THE LEADING CITIZENS OF MADISON COUNTY

CONTENTS
Preface
Names Index
Portrait Index


   VIRGIL M. ARMOUR, now retired from active business and living at Morrisville, N. Y., was born in Sherburne, Chenango County, N.Y., November 13, 1818, and was only a few months old when his parents settled on a new farm in Madison County, in the early part of 1819, and built a log cabin for their home. His father, Preston Armour, was born in Union, Tolland County, Conn., in 1795, grew to manhood, and was educated there. For some years he taught school, and was recognized throughout that section as an intelligent and well-informed man. His wife, Betsy Brown, was born in Killingly, Conn., and brought up in Berkshire County, Massachusetts. She, was of Rhode Island parentage. At sixteen years of age she returned to her native State, and was married to Mr. Armour in the town of Union. After their marriage they went to Chenango County, in 1818, but, as above mentioned, moved to Madison County early in the following year and here spent the rest of their lives. They were devout members of the Methodist church While Mr. Preston Armour was not particularly successful as a financier, he was universally esteemed for his integrity and high mental gifts. In their later years the parents resided with their son, Virgil, at his beautiful home, one mile from Morrisville, N.Y., where he settled when he left Smithfield twenty-two years ago, the father dying in 1879, at the age of eighty-four, and the mother in 1882, she having reached her ninety-first year.
   Virgil M. Armour is the eldest of the five children born to Preston Armour and wife. The others were: William W., the fourth child, deceased; Lucian B. of Morrisville, the third child; Volney, of Calhoun County, Iowa, the fifth; and Esther; the second child, widow of William J. Bonney, who lives in Austin, Ill., a suburb of Chicago. Mr. Armourís first wife was Mary Bayless, whom he married in Smithfield, N. Y. She was born in Worcestershire, England, and was but eighteen years of age when she arrived in this country. She lived in Philadelphia, Pa., for two years, coming from there to Smithfield, Madison County, where she married Mr. Armour in 1847, and died twenty-two years later, at the age of fifty-one. Six children were born to them, of whom four are now dead, namely: William W., at the age of thirteen years; Adalpha J., five years old ; Isabell B., who was the wife of DeLoss Norton, and died in June, 1885, at the age of thirty-four, leaving one child, Lynn; and Minnie B., who married Dr. Wesley Reeve, and, dying June, 1879, left one child, James Wesley. The children living are: Eliza, widow of William Chaffin, who has one child, Benjamin B., and resides in Oxford, N.Y. ; and Mary E., wife of Mr. Jay Curtis, who with their three children reside at Exeter, Otsego County.
   Mr. Armour's second wife was Mrs. Wealthy J. Reeve, nee Reese, whom he married in Smithfield, Madison County. She was born in Nelson, a town of Madison County, in October, 1833. Her parents, Samuel and Sallie (Hart) Reese, came from the valley of the Mohawk, where they were born and married. They settled on a farm in Nelson town early in the present century. The mother died in the prime of life, but the father lived to a ripe old age. Mrs. Armour, by her former marriage to Mr. Ramsey Reeve, had three children, who are still living: Mary V., wife of Bertrand Hardy, a farmer and mechanic of Smithfield, Madison County, has one child, Ruby; Anna, wife of William Curtis, a farmer of Butternuts, Otsego County, has one son, Walter W.; and James W., a physician, of Morrisville, N. Y., whose present wife was Miss Maude A. Miller. By her second marriage Mrs. Armour is the mother of two sons,--Virgil M., Jr., and John P., both prosperous hop-growers and dairymen of the town of Eaton. Virgil M. Armour, Jr., married Miss M. Louise Bentley, a native of Tioga County, Pennsylvania, and has one child,--John H. John P. Armour married Miss Frankie Gregg, of Stockbridge, Madison County. Both the sons are Republicans in politics. They live on handsome one-hundred-acre farms, which are among the finest in the county.
   While Mr. Armour has been and is a thrifty, well-to-do farmer, he has met with many financial losses, but fortunately, has been most generously assisted by his cousin, Philip Armour, the millionaire pork-packer and philanthropist of Chicago, Ill., to whom he feels indebted for much of his present prosperity. He never wearies in extolling the kindness and benevolence of this noble-hearted relative, who truly proved himself a friend in need. By his timely help Mr. Armour's affairs were placed on a secure basis and his declining years made comfortable. In politics our subject is a firm and stanch Republican. Mr. and Mrs. Armour attend the Baptist church, Mrs. Armour being a professed member of that religion.

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