Lee County Biography


WILLIAM J. ARMOUR, engineer on the Illinois Central Railroad, came to Amboy March 31, 1859, and has since that time been closely identified with the best interests of this thriving place. He is the son of John and Eva (Hartzell) Armour, natives respectively of New York and Pennsylvania, and was born in Somerset County, Pa., March 1,1838. The grandfather of our subject, William Armour, was a native of Scotland and emigrated to the United States, where he settled in Pennsylvania and there married Margaret Buchanan, a cousin of the President of that name. He was engaged in the hotel business for some time and died when about sixty years old at Laughlintown, Pa.

John Armour, father of our subject, was born in York State, January 1, 1807, and was married in Pennsylvania, May 18, 1835, to Miss Eva Hartzell, who was born July 19, 1815. His trade was that of a tanner and he was for many years agent of a coal company, in which capacity he resided for a time in West Virginia and Maryland, acting as purchasing agent of horses and feed. He died in Somerset County, Pa. His children numbered six, namely: Margaret, Mary Emily, Martha, George, John and William J. In his early life our subject learned the trade of a blacksmith, at which he served an apprenticeship of four years. At the age of nineteen, he commenced railroading on the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad in Virginia, filling the position of brakeman and fireman.

After coming to Amboy in 1859, Mr. Armour served for three years as fireman of the Illinois Central Railroad, and in 1883 was promoted to be engineer of the passenger train. He was married September 1, 1870, to Louisa Tuttle, who was born in Sheffield, Mass., August 21, 1847. Her father, Horatio N. Tuttle, was born in New York State (whither his parents removed from Connecticut) April, 26, 1810, and was three years old when the parental family removed to Massachusetts and settled in Sheffield. He was there married, October 2, 1834, to Miss Emily Loom is. In 1864 he came to Illinois and for two years resided in Amboy, whence he removed to Lincoln, Neb., but subsequently returned to Amboy. He died here, November 14, 1888, and his wife passed away thirteen days prior to his demise.

Six children of the family of Mr. and Mrs. Tuttle grew to mature years, namely: Edwin, who was a lumberman and died in Lincoln, Neb., January 3,1879; Antoinette, who married John Doolittle and resides in Lincoln, Neb.; Mary, wife of Caleb Benedict, of Amboy; Martha, who died in Massachusetts, at the age of seventeen years;

Louise, the wife of our subject; and Ellen, who resides in Chicago. Mr. and Mrs. Armour are the parents of three children: Bertha, born November 1, 1871; Emily, December 21, 1875; and Eva, May 12, 1887. The family residence is a large and beautiful abode and the center of a gracious hospitality enjoyed by many friends. Their religious home is the Methodist Episcopal Church, and politically Mr. Armour is identified with the Republican party.

Portraits and Biographical Lee County IL 1892


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