Biography of Charles L. Armington, M. D.
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CHARLES L. ARMINGTON. M. D. Numbered among the able and honored representatives of the medical profession in Madison County is Dr. Charles Lee Armington, who is a scion of one of the sterling pioneer families of the Hoosier state and who has attained to marked distinction in the profession that was dignified and honored by his father, Dr. Armington has been established in the practice of medicine and surgery at Anderson, the thriving capital of Madison County, for nearly a quarter of a century, has served as County coroner and held other positions of trust, and his hold upon popular confidence and esteem is on a parity with his high professional attainments and sterling worth of character.
Of French and English lineage on the paternal side, Dr. Armington was born at Vevay, Switzerland County, Indiana, on the 23d of February, 1848, and he is a son of Dr. John L. and Eliza B. (Lee) Armington, the former of whom was born at Ballston Springs, New York, and the latter of whom was born in Pennsylvania, as was also her father, Col, Charles W. Lee, who was a distinguished officer in the United States army, in which he was for some time a line officer of the Fifteenth Infantry; he held the rank of colonel at the time of his death, which occurred when he was but thirty-four years of age, and it is worthy of special note that he was a kinsman of the distinguished officer of the Confederacy in the Civil war, General Robert E. Lee.
Dr. John L. Armington was a son of Benjamin Armington, who was born in the state of Rhode Island and who was a carpenter and contractor by vocation, For a period of years Benjamin Armington maintained his residence at Ballston Springs, New York, whence he finally removed to Palmyra, that state, near which place he became the 0wner of a farm situated opposite to Bible Hill, a place so designated by reason of the fact that the hill was that on which Joseph Smith claimed to have found the Mormon bible, the “Book of Mormon,” Upon this homestead farm, three miles distant from Palmyra, Benjamin Armington died at the venerable age of eighty years.
Dr. John L. Armington, a man of exalted integrity of character and of fine intellectuality, admirably fortified himself for the profession in which he achieved unqualified success and prestige, In 1839 he was graduated in the Louisville Medical College, at Louisville, Kentucky, and after receiving from this institution his degree of Doctor of Medicine he was engaged in the practice of his profession at Vevay, Indiana, In 1848, he removed to Greensburg, the judicial center of Decatur County, where he continued in successful practice until 1857, his wife, Mrs. Eliza B. (Lee) Armington, having there passed to the life eternal in the year 1849, Upon leaving Greensburg Dr. Armington removed with his family to Minnesota and became one of the pioneer physicians and surgeons of that state, He remained for a time at Hastings and then removed to Goodhue County, where he purchased a farm, near Cannon Falls, and where he continued in the practice of his profession, in connection with the development and improvement of his farm, until he responded to the call of higher duty and entered the service of the Union, the integrity of which was jeopardized by armed rebellion on the part of the southern states. He enlisted in the Second Minnesota Volunteer Infantry, of which he became assistant surgeon, and with which he saw arduous and varied service, He was with his command in numerous engagements, including those of Perryville, Crab Orchard and Murfreesboro, and finally he was appointed a member of the board of examining physicians for the Army of the Cumberland, with assignment to duty with General Steadman’s brigade. His service in this capacity had to do with the granting of discharges t0 soldiers, Later ne was appointed physician at Hospital No, 1 at Gallatin, Tennessee, and finally he was transferred to the Army of the West, in which he served as surgeon of the Second Cavalry, under General Polk, until the close of the war, At the battle of Perryville his servant was killed and his horse was shot beneath him, He lived up to the full tension of the great conflict for the preservation of the Union and his record in this connection gives lasting honor to his name and memory. After the close of the war he returned to his home in Minnesota and in 1 896 he removed from his farm to Northville, that state, where he was engaged in the practice of his profession, as was he later at Minneapolis and Marshall, He passed the closing years of his long and useful life at Minneapolis, where he was summoned to eternal rest at the venerable age of eighty- seven years, He served as surgeon of his post of the Grand Army of the Republic, was a Knights Templars Mason and was prominently affiliated with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, as was he also with various professional associations, He was one of the founders of the State Medical Society of Indiana, Of the four children of Dr. John L. and Eliza B. (Lee) Armington the youngest and only survivor is he whose name initiates this review.
Dr. Charles L. Armington was reared to the age of ten years in Indiana, to whose public schools he is indebted for his early educational discipline, and he then accompanied his honored father to Minnesota, where he finally supplemented his academic education by a select course in the Minnesota Central University, at Hastings, Minn. In 1865 he was matriculated in the literary department of the celebrated University of Michigan, at Ann Arbor, and after a year of study in this department he devoted a similar period to following the curriculum of the law department, He then complied with the wishes of his father, who desired him to prepare for the medical profession, Accordingly in 1867, he entered the medical department of the same university, where he continued his technical studies for two years, He then returned to Minnesota and was associated with his father in the practice of medicine at Northville until 1881, when he returned to his native state, having received appointment to the position of assistant physician in the Indiana Hospital for the Insane, at Indianapolis, After acceptably filling this position for three years he resigned and returned to Minnesota, There he was engaged in general practice in the city of Minneapolis until 1876, when he came again to Indiana and established himself in practice in its capital city, Indianapolis, where he remained until 1879, when he cause to Madison County and established his home and professional headquarters at Chesterfield, where he gained unequivocal precedence and definite success. To fortify himself more fully for the work of his chosen calling he finally entered the Central College of Physicians and Surgeons, at Indianapolis, and in this institution he was graduated in 1886, with the degree of Doctor of Medicine and as valedictorian of his class. Thereafter he continued in practice at Chesterfield until 1891, when he removed to the city of Anderson, where he has been engaged in successful general practice during the long intervening years and where he has gained precedence as one of the popular and essentially representative physicians and surgeons of this section of his native commonwealth. He has been indefatigable and self-abnegating in the work of relieving human suffering and distress and it may consistently be said that in his home County his circle of friends is coincident with that of his acquaintances. He was appointed County coroner to fill out the unexpired term of the late Dr. William Hunt and thereafter he was twice chosen the incumbent of this office by popular election, as candidate on the Democratic ticket, He has also served with marked earnestness and effectiveness as city physician and as physician to the Madison County Orphans’ Home, The Doctor is an appreciative member of the Indiana State Medical Society, besides which he holds membership in the American Medical. Association, In the Masonic fraternity he is affiliated with Roper Commandery, Knights Templar, in the city of Indianapolis, and he also holds membership in the Benevolent & Protective Order of Elks, the Knights of Pythias, and the Improved Order of Red Men. As a citizen he is distinctively loyal and public-spirited and in politics he accords staunch allegiance to the Democratic party, Both he and his wife hold membership in the Christian church and their attractive home, at the corner of Prospect street and Central avenue, is known for its generous and refined hospitality.
In the year 1873, at Bloomington, Illinois, was celebrated the marriage of Dr. Armington to Miss Emma Taffe, daughter of the late Hannibal Taffe, who was long a prominent and honored citizen of Indianapolis, Indiana, Of the three children of this union the eldest is Florence L., who is the wife of Dr. Samuel C. Wilson, a prominent physician of Anderson; Katherine E. is the wife of Wilbur C. Roush, of Anderson; and Dr. John C. is an able representative of the third generation of the family in the medical profession, He is engaged in successful practice in the city of Anderson and is well upholding the prestige of the honored name which he bears.