Biography of William J. Armstrong

The John A. Wellington Ranch
The John A. Wellington Ranch

William J. Armstrong, one of the prosperous and progressive ranchmen of Mesa county, living on a well improved and highly productive ranch two miles northeast of Grand Junction, is a native of Ontario, Canada, born on December 28, 1855, and reared and educated in Jackson, Michigan. In 1880 he came to Colorado, and for a number of years worked at mining and on ranches. In the spring of 1901 he moved to Mesa county and soon afterward settled on the ranch he now occupies, being married on Christmas day, 1902, to Mrs. Amanda (Bowers) Wellington, the widow of John A. Wellington, who owned the place. Mr. Wellington was a native of Massachusetts who came to Colorado in 1882 among the early settlers of the western part of the state, and took up one hundred and sixty acres of land in Mesa county not far from Grand Junction, which he afterward sold. In 1894 he located on a tract of wild land and by industry and skill transformed it into a good home and a productive farm, it being the one on which the Armstrongs now live. The land is above the level of the irrigating ditch and Mr. Wellington put in a private plant in the form of a huge water wheel to lift the water forty feet which furnishes enough to irrigate his land and that of two or three neighbors. He also owned town property and other ranches. In March, 1902, he died on this land, and after that his widow carried on the ranch until her marriage with Mr. Armstrong. She is a native of Toledo, Ohio, and the daughter of Eleazer and Polly (Woodbury) Bowers, the former a native of New York and the latter of Vermont. They were married at Ravenna, Ohio, and died in Lenawee county, Michigan, the mother in 1877 and the father in 1882. They moved there when Mrs. Armstrong was two years old, and there she was reared and educated. There also she was married to James N. McKay, by whom she had four children, John R., James H. and a pair of twins, now all deceased. In 1892 James H. came to Mesa county, this state, where he died the next year, leaving a widow and three daughters, the oldest of the latter, Amanda, who is now fourteen years old, living with Mrs. Armstrong. Mr. and Mrs. Armstrong are prosperous in business, active in social life and the general affairs of the community, and are highly esteemed on all sides as leading and representative citizens.

Source: Bowen, A. W. Progressive Men of Western Colorado. Chicago: A. W. Bowen & Co., Publishers. 1905.

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