Modest, Faithful, Conscientious (1)


by John W. Quist

       George Armstrong was born near Sunbury, Delaware County, Ohio on May 26, 1843.  His farmer father, Charles Armstrong, was born in Scranton, Luzerne County, Pennsylvania on November 14, 1809 and died on his farm near Sunbury on October 25, 1870.  His mother, Elizabeth (Slocum) Armstrong was born at Wilkes Barre, Luzerne County, Pennsylvania on March 30, 1814 and died in Sunbury on January 30, 1897. (2)  They were married in Delaware County, Ohio on March 30, 1836. (3)  They had six children:  Benjamin (born in 1837), Sarah (1839), Edson (1841), George (1843), James May (1845), and Henry (1848). (4)  Charles and Elizabeth were buried in Sunbury Memorial Park. (5)

      At the age of 17, George enlisted for three years as a Corporal in Delaware County’s Company C, Fourth Ohio Volunteer Infantry Regiment (4th O.V.I.) on June 3, 1861. (6)  The regiment was organized at Camp Dennison (north of Cincinnati, Ohio).  The regiment first moved to Grafton, Virginia (now West Virginia).  It served and saw action in western Virginia throughout 1861.  It participated in the Battle of Winchester, VA (March 23, 1862) and Battle of Port Republic (June 9).  After suffering serious losses in a prolonged firefight at Antietam (September 17), their brigade was given the nickname “Gibraltar Brigade” because of its firmness in battle.  They fought in the disastrous Battle of Fredericksburg (December 11-15), Chancellorsville Campaign (April 30-May 6, 1863), and Battle of Gettysburg (July 2-3). (7)  On November 1, George was promoted to Sergeant. (8)  After much movement in different directions, but with little combat, the 4th O.V.I participated in the long Wilderness Campaign (May-June, 1864). (9)  On June 21st, George was mustered out at Columbus, Ohio, having fulfilled his term of service. (10)

      Returning to Berkshire Township, Delaware County, George again engaged in farming. (11)  On April 3, 1867, he married Emily Kimball, who was born in Ohio in 1847.  Her parents, Elias Kimball (1815-1872) and Irene Augusta (Ticknor) Kimball (1818-1897), were natives of Lebanon, Grafton County, New Hampshire. (12)  Elias was employed in the dry-goods business from the age of 17.  He moved to Cleveland, Cuyahoga County, Ohio at the age of 21 and continued in his trade.  On September 18, 1939, he married Irene A. Ticknor, daughter of W.D. and Becky Ticknor.  They moved to Marion, Marion County, Ohio, then to Marysville, Union County, Ohio, and finally to Sunbury in the spring of 1845, (13) always working in the dry goods business.  For four years, George Armstrong was a partner with Elias Kimball in merchandising at Sunbury. (14)  In 1872, both Elias and George were original stockholders in The Farmers Bank at Sunbury, with Elias as president until his death that year. (15)  Both Elias and Irene were buried in Sunbury Memorial Park. (16)

      George and Emily had four children, all born at Sunbury:  Arthur Ticknor (1868-1868), Burt Duel (1870-1951), Edson McClure (1871-1871), and Mabel (1873-1926). (17)

      George was involved in the building of the three-story brick school house in Sunbury’s town-square.  The building cost $6,500 and was paid for by public subscription.  Of this amount, $1,500 was given by the Masons to build the third story for their use.  The teacher, Colonel Granville Adolphus Frambes, veteran of the 59th Ohio Volunteer Infantry Regiment (59th O.V.I.), originated the project, and it was seconded by George Armstrong and others.  The building was known as the Sunbury Institute. (18)

      On Monday, April 26, 1875, there was a tragic accident involving 28 year old Emily Armstrong.  The Delaware Herald gave this account:  “About noon (on Monday last) (George’s) wife was engaged in burning rubbish in the back yard of their homestead, when her clothing took fire.  The unfortunate lady first rushed for assistance to her mother-in-law who, in attempting to extinguish her burning clothing, was seriously burned.  Mr. Armstrong, so soon as aware of the accident, also endeavored to relieve his wife and was severely burned in the hands, arms and face.  Mrs. Armstrong expired about twenty four hours after the accident [on Tuesday, April 27th] after suffering the agony incident to injuries sustained from fire.”  Her mother-in-law’s injuries, though serious, were not life-threatening, and her husband’s injuries, though painful, were not serious. (19)  She was buried in Sunbury Memorial Park. (20)

      On May 24, 1876, George married Mrs. Irene Sedgwick, a sister of his first wife.  She was born in Marion, Marion County, Ohio on September 21, 1846. (21)  She attended school at Granville, Licking County, Ohio and graduated there in 1861 from the Young Ladies’ (Baptist) Institute, later Shepardson College for Women, (22) and later incorporated as part of Denison University in 1900. (23)  She was the widow of the Rev. William S. Sedgwick (born in Ohio in about 1836).  She married him in Sunbury on September 25, 1861, and they had two children:  Kimball (1862-1918) and George Carothers (1866-1881). (24)  William was a Baptist minister and became State Superintendent of Sunday Schools in Kentucky for his denomination. (25)  He died in 1866 at Bardstown, Nelson County, Kentucky. (26)   George and Irene had one son:  Charles Otis (1877-1937). (27) 

      In June 1880, George applied for a U.S. government pension as a Civil War veteran. (28)

      George was affiliated with several organizations while in Sunbury.  He was a member of the Baptist church and served on the board of deacons.  He belonged to the Masons.  He was a Republican. (29)  He was a member of the Grand Army of the Republic (G.A.R.), being mustered in to Delaware’s George B. Torrence Post 60 on March 21, 1882. (30)  He was transferred on July 3, 1883 to Sunbury’s Lawrence A. Myers Post 252, where he held at least one office. (31) 

      Not long after this, George and his family moved “to the West” and located at Ellsworth, Ellsworth County, Kansas. (32)  In the March 1, 1885 Kansas State Census, George is listed as a merchant. (33)  His G.A.R. membership was transferred to the Ellsworth Post 22. (34)  He died at Ellsworth on January 28, 1866 at the age of 43 and was buried there.  The Delaware G.A.R. Post adopted a resolution regarding him:  “He was a true type of the model Union Soldier.  Modest, faithful, and conscientious in the discharge of every duty, he won the esteem and confidence of officers and men with whom he was associated.  As a citizen he was universally respected, and as a comrade of this Post, he was admired and loved by us all….” (35)

      In June 1886, Irene applied for a U.S. government pension as the widow of a Civil War veteran. (36)

      Irene and the children moved back to Sunbury in February 1886.  On September 11, 1912, Irene died at her home in Sunbury at the age of almost 66 years.  The Delaware Gazette had this comment:  “She has had a varied and useful life, deriving her greatest pleasures from her family and church….” (37)  She was buried in Sunbury Memorial Park. (38)

      The adult children of the Armstrong and Sedgwick families would continue to influence the future life of Sunbury. 


Compiled by John W. Quist
Delaware, Ohio
June 14, 2011


“George Armstrong.” The Delaware Gazette, Delaware, Ohio; Thursday, February 18, 1886

  “George Armstrong.” The Coad Family Tress & Branches. RootsWeb’s World Connect Project. (online)

“Charles Armstrong.” The Coad Family Tree, etc.


Cemetery records. Sunbury Memorial Park, Sunbury, Ohio

“George Armstrong.” American Civil War Soldiers.

“Fourth Ohio Volunteer Infantry.” Wikipedia (online)

Footnote 6

Footnote 7

10  Footnote 6

11  History of Delaware County and Ohio.  O.L. Baskin & Co., Chicago, 1880; page 678

12  “Emily Kimball.” The Coad Family Tree, etc.

13  Footnote 11, page 686, which gives the year as 1844; The Obituary for Ireme Kimball

Sedgwick Armstrong gives the time as “the spring of 1845.” The Delaware Semi-Weekly Gazette; Friday, September 20, 1912, page 6

Footnote 11

15  Lytle, James R. “The Farmers Bank, Sunbury, Ohio.” 20th Century History of Delaware County, Ohio and Representative Citizens, Biographical Publishing Company, Chicago, Illinois, 1908, page 159

 16  Footnote 5

 17  Sedgwick Family Tree. has Burt’s birth year as 1869; the Sunbury cemetery record has 1870 

18  Footnote 11, page 445

 19  Delaware Herald, Delaware, Ohio, Saturday, May 1, 1875, page 3 (The Sunbury cemetery record and several family trees are incorrect in giving the month as August)

 20  Footnote 5

 21  “Irene Kimball.” The Coad Family Tree, etc.

 22  “Obituary” for Irene Kimball Sedgwick Armstrong; Footnote 13

 23  “Denison University.” Wikipedia

 24  Footnote 21

 25  Footnote 15, page 733

 26  Footnote 21

27  Ibid

 28  “George Armstrong.” Civil war Pension Index: General Index to Pension Files, 1861-1934.

 29  Footnote 11, page 738

 30  The Military History of Ohio. H.H. Hardesty, Publisher; New York, 1886 (with special section for Delaware County); page 324

 31  Ibid, page 326

 32  Footnote 1


 34  Footnote 30, page 326

 35  Footnote 1

 36  Footnote 28

 37  Footnote 22

 38  Footnote 5


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