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Hudson-Mohawk Genealogical and Family Memoirs:
Armitage

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[This information is from Vol. III, pp. 1052-1054 of Hudson-Mohawk Genealogical and Family Memoirs, edited by Cuyler Reynolds (New York: Lewis Historical Publishing Company, 1911). It is in the Reference collection of the Schenectady County Public Library at R 929.1 R45. Some of the formatting of the original, especially in lists of descendants, may have been altered slightly for ease of reading.]

The family of Armitage is one of great antiquity in England. The family was seated in Yorkshire, where the first to bear a title was Sir Francis Armytage, who was created a baronet December 15, 1641, by King Charles I., a title still held by the English family. Arms: A lion's head erased between three cross crosslets arg. Crest: A dexter arm embowed, couped at the shoulder habited, or the cuff argent holding in the hand proper a staff gules, headed and pointed over motto. "Semper paratus." A branch of the family settled in Ireland, where the spelling was usually Armitage. The founder of the American family now living in Troy, New York, was William Powell Armitage, who was born in England, and was for a time a resident of Ireland, but later came to the United States, where he died. He was a miller by trade, and was living at the date of his death in Belleville, Jefferson county, New York. He was a devoted member of the Methodist church, and of an intense religious nature. He was twice married, the descent being through his second wife, Hannah, who bore him three children: John Wesley (see forward), Foster and Elizabeth.

(II) John Wesley, eldest son of William Powell and Hannah Armitage, was born July 1, 1829, at Watertown, New York, died at Dayton, Ohio, February 18, 1910. He learned his father's trade and worked with him when a young man. He formed a partnership with W. F. Mosley in the sale of Wheeler & Wilson sewing machines, hoopskirts and notions. He advertised in the daily papers a hoopskirt for a song, and to his surprise a lady came to his store and sang the then popular song, "Willie, We Have Missed You," and demanded the hoopskirt, which Mr. Armitage gallantly gave her. He was an ardent Whig and Abolitionist, and threw himself, heart and soul, into the election of Abraham Lincoln. He was a delegate to the convention that formed the Republican party in New York, and to the national convention that nominated Abraham Lincoln for the presidency. He organized a company of "Wide-Awakes" during the first Lincoln campaign that was the first organization of the kind in the state of New York. Three months before war broke out he enlisted with his "Wide-Awakes" (Freeman cadets) for service. This was the first organized company in the state. He was captain of Company A, Second Regiment, New York, and for "gallant and meritorious conduct" was brevetted major and lieutenant-colonel. He was taken ill and had to return to his home. After his recovery he was appointed chief of a division in the quartermaster-general's offices at Washington. Later he was inspector of customs in New York, and in 1884 removed to Dayton, Ohio, where he died. He met death like the gallant old hero he was — bravely and cheerfully. He married (first) Lydia Allen Ingalls, born in Schoharie county, New York, 1819, died January 12, 1887, in Troy. Children:

  1. Eliza M., married H. W. Bruce; children:
    1. J. Edward M.,
    2. Donald,
    3. Alice Bruce.
  2. William Powell, see forward.

(III) William Powell, son of Colonel John Wesley and Lydia Allen (Ingalls) Armitage, was born at Valley Falls, on the Schagticoke side of the Hoosac river, Rensselaer county, New York, February 27, 1853. He was educated in the public schools of Troy, where his parents removed when he was an infant, and learned the trade of brush maker after his school days were over. His home has always been in Troy, except in 1862-65, when he resided in Lansingburg. April 17, 1865, he entered the dry goods store of Winne, Ford & Clark, of Troy, as check boy, and remained with them nine years, working up to the position of salesman. On January 18, 1875, he entered the employ of William H. Frear as salesman, continuing in that capacity until February 1, 1880, when he was advanced to the more responsible position of buyer and manager of the department of domestic cotton goods. His management of that department has been so satisfactory that now after thirty years at its heads and thirty-five in the service of the store he is still the trusted manager of that very important department of Troy's "greatest store." Mr. Armitage is a lifelong Republican. In 1876 he was president of the Hayes and Wheeler campaign club, and has sat as delegate to city and county conventions. He is not an office seeker, but is mindful of all his obligations as a citizen. He is a lifelong Methodist, one of the organizers of Hedding Methodist Church, Troy, which he served as trustee for seventeen years, twelve years being secretary of the official board. He was a teacher in the senior Bible class of the Sunday school for ten years, was a class leader, and president of the Brotherhood of St. Paul. He is prominent in the Royal Arcanum, and is past regent, district deputy grand regent (served several terms), represents Trojan Council, No. 86, at the meetings of the Grand Council, and served one term as grand guide to the Grand Council. He is also interested in the work of the National Union. He is past president of the local, now (1910) deputy to the state senate, and chairman of the executive committee of the state assembly of the National Union.

Mr. Armitage married, October 29, 1873, Mary Barker Anthony, born in Troy, daughter of Aaron C. and Elizabeth (Bogardus) Anthony, born July 4, 1854. Mr. Anthony was early in his business life a clothing merchant of Troy, but later engaged in the coal business. Children of Mr. and Mrs. Armitage:

  1. William Frear, born January 16, 1875; educated in the public schools; now a department manager in the William H. Frear & Company department store of Troy; served five years in the State National Guard, and was on strike duty with the Twenty-first Separate Company (Tibbet's cadets), and was at Albany in 1903-04, ranking as corporal; he is a member of the National Union and Hedding Methodist Episcopal Church; he married, September 14, 1898, Minnie, daughter of James Ertell, of Troy; children:
    1. Foster Lloyd, born August 10, 1900;
    2. Harriet May;
    3. Mary Barker.
  2. John Foster, born August 28, 1879; educated at public schools, Troy Academy and Phillips Exeter Academy; he was in the employ of the Troy City Bank for a time, and later with the Brooklyn Rapid Transit Company, where he is assistant chief of claim department, located at Brooklyn, New York.
  3. Aaron Anthony, born in Troy, New York, November 24, 1882; he received his early and preparatory education in the public school, Troy high school, Troy Academy, class of 1901, and Lawrence Academy, Groton, Massachusetts, class of 1902; he entered the law department of Cornell University, and was graduated LL.B., class of 1905; he was admitted to the New York bar the same year, and commenced the practice of his profession in Troy; he is alone in business, and specializes in surrogate's court practice and corporation law; he is a popular and successful lawyer. He is an active Republican, and a delegate to many local and state conventions of his party, and was assistant district attorney from 1906 to 1909. He is a member of St. Paul's Episcopal Church and an active worker. He is also a member of the Phi Gamma Delta college fraternity; King Solomon's Primitive Lodge, No. 91, F. and A. M.; B. P. O. E., No. 141; National Union; Rensselaer County Bar Association; Rensselaer County Republican Club, and the East Side Club of Troy. In college his clubs were the Round Table, Chancery and Sunday Night. He married, November 26, 1908, Bertha Amalia, of Troy, daughter of Augustus Kolbe, who was born in Germany, died in Troy, February 24, 1907, and Eliza (Linker) Kolbe, born in St. John, New Brunswick, November 2, 1854.

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