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Biography of John Armstrong

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With the industrial interests of Racine John Armstrong is closely associated as the president of the Holbrook-Armstrong Company, manufacturers and jobbers of castings. Racine numbers him among her native sons, his birth having occurred in this city in 1859, his parents being John and Susan R. (McNellis) Armstrong, who, in the year 1855, arrived in this city. The father, a tinner by trade, was connected with the J. I. Case Threshing Machine Company for twenty-five years and thus the name has long been associated with the industrial interests of Racine.

Reared in his native city, John Armstrong obtained a public school education and entered business circles as a mailing clerk in the post office, being thus employed for a few years. He became connected with manufacturing interests as a representative of the Hurlbut Manufacturing Company, with which he was associated until he started in business on his own account. In 1900 he became one of the organizers of the Holbrook-Armstrong Company, of which W. A. Holbrook became president, with John Armstrong as the secretary. This association was maintained until 1905, when Mr. Holbrook disposed of his interests to Charles Mathews and C. G. Wilcock. About 1908 they sold out to Charles Buehner, of Milwaukee, who is now vice president of the company, with Mr. Armstrong as president. The company has a large and well equipped plant with a capacity of thirty tons per day and in addition to manufacturing, does a jobbing business in castings. The volume of trade which they have built up has made theirs a profitable concern and careful management, unfaltering enterprise and laudable ambition have gained for Mr. Armstrong a substantial measure of success.

On the 17th of September, 1881, occurred the marriage of Mr. Armstrong and Miss Belle A. Steckle, of Racine, and they have three children, Bessie, Ed. and Hazel. Mr. Armstrong holds membership with the Modern Woodmen of America and also with the Christian Science church. In politics he maintains an independent course, voting according to the dictates of his judgment and the exigencies of the case with comparatively little regard to party ties. His business career has been marked by steady progression, the steps of which are easily discernible. He has learned to take cognizance of and correctly value not only his own capacities and powers, but those things which go to make up life’s contracts and experiences, and in his business career he readily discriminates between the essential and the non-essential.

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