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The History of our Public Schools
Wyandotte County, Kansas

1844
2012

 

 

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Silas Armstrong

Armstrong ancestry:
Chief Tarhee m. French-Canadian woman
daughter Myreerah m. Isaac Zane
daughter Sarah Zane m. Robert Armstrong (adopted Wyandot)
son John M. Armstrong m. Lucy Bigelow
son Russell Bigelow Armstrong m. Rachel Brown
daughter Anna Armstrong m. Charles Bigelow
sons: Paul Armstrong Youngman (book's author), Lawrence W. Youngman, and Dr. Robert Armstrong Armstrong Youngman

ZANESFIELD - The Revolutionary Commission placed a sign in 1930, along road 5 in Zanesfield, at the Sloan Library lawn. The sign reads: Zanesfield, site of three blockhouses, Robert Robitaille Trading Post built in 1793, the English fort by Co. Logan in 1786, and the graves of Isaac Zane and his wife Myeerah, daughter of Chief Tarhee.

Address of Tarhee, Grand Sachem of the Wyandot Nation to the assemblage at the Treaty of Greenville - July 22,1795

Variant spellings of the Wyandot:  Quendat, Wendat, Wyandot, Wyandott, Wyandotte

The Wyandots belong to the Iroquoian Family of North American Indians. They are the descendants of the Tionnontates or Tobacco Nation of the Huron Confederacy.

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Heritage of the Wyandots and "The Armstrong Story" by Paul Armstrong Youngman, pg. 40.  A copy of this book may be found at the Kansas City, Ks Public Library at 625 Minnesota Avenue.  Paul Armstrong Youngman is descended from Robert Armstrong and Sarah Zane, parents of John McIntire Armstrong and Silas Armstrong.  Mr. Youngman had interviews with Lucy B. Armstrong (widow of John M. Armstrong) and information received from her is incorporated in this book.

One of the persons mentioned in the old tape-recorded interview with Aunt Lucy was Silas Armstrong, a son of Robert and Sarah Zane Armstrong, born in 1810.  He was evidently a rugged individual and able to command quite a degree of respect.

His name is included in the roster of interpreters etched on the plaques at the Old Mission Church at Upper Sandusky, Ohio.  He married Sarah Preston, and they lived in the fine brick house that is still occupied on the Reber farm.  Apparently Silas kept together this farm that was inherited by the children of Robert Armstrong, probably buying the interests of the other children.

His brother, John McIntire Armstrong, sold his inheritance in order to finance his law studies, and it is likely that Silas was the buyer.

The eldest daughter, Hannah, died before the father, but there would still be the younger sister, Catherine, whose interest Silas may have acquired.  Actually, as we understand it, only rights to the land were possessed, and not actual deeds.  At any rate Silas held the place together and it was known as the "Armstrong bottom" until they moved in 1843 to Indian Territory, on the Missouri River.

He and Sarah had seven children, and in addition to their own children he watched over those of his half-brother, George, and in Kansas was their guardian, seeing to it that they received an education.  He lost his wife in 1842 (one of the four graves in the oak grove) and then married Zalinda Hunter, a full-blood Indian, seven more children being born to this union.  It is no wonder he built large houses, both in Ohio and Kansas.

Silas and John, who preferred to be called by his middle name, McIntire, appeared to have supplemented each other in their activities.  The former being active in the day-to-day affairs of the nation, and the latter working on the legal matters in his capacity as a lawyer.

Some of the members of the tribe who favored following courses of action that differed from John's ideas in matters pertaining to tribal affairs became so antagonistic as to threaten his life.  But they would have refrained from such drastic action when they remembered that his brother, Silas, was an expert shot, and had strong affection for his relatives.  That is perhaps over stating the situation as Silas would no doubt have acceded to the rule of law.  We recall that Silas once served on a firing squad that executed an Indian who had been found guilty of murder in the Wyandots court of justice.

In Wyandotte county, Kansas, in addition to being a land holder, Silas was in business as a merchant, as well as being a civic leader.  It was probably due to his prominence, as much as any other factor, that one of the towns was named Armstrong - later to merge with others to form Kansas City, Kansas.  Silas died in 1865, leaving a phalanx of descendants to carry on down through the years.

Brother of Silas Armstrong:  John McIntire Armstrong

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Contact the History Webmaster - Patricia Adams

History Site created on December 02, 2002
Page last updated: 23-Apr-2014

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