Sullivan Armstrong, farmer, section 22, Ashland Township, was born in Monroe Co., N. Y., March 3, 1821. His parents were Bealy and Mary (Palmer) Armstrong; father was born in Connecticut and mother in Rhode Island. Soon after marriage they settled in the State of New York and when their son was five years old they came to Michigan and fixed their place of residence at Walled Lake, Oakland County, where the father died, 1827. In the fall of the same year Mr. Armstrong returned with his mother to New York. In the spring of 1828, he went to Wyoming County, in that state, and became the employee of a farmer named Burt, with whom he remained until he was 18 years old. In 1839 he came to Walled Lake once more, where he remained two years. In the fall of 1841 he came to Walker Township, Kent County, Mich.
Mr. Walker was married Dec. 4, 1844, to Mary C., daughter of George and Sarah M. (Davis) Sheldon. The parents are of straight Puritan ancestry, born respectively in New York and Maine. Mr. Armstrong turned his attention energetically to farming and remained in Kent County until 1852. In the autumn of that year he decided to seek a permanent home in another part of Michigan, and in the company of this brother, Alfred Armstrong, set out as "land lookers". They fixed upon Newaygo County as a desirable quarter to locate, and Mr. Armstrong pre-empted 120 acres of land in Ashland Township. Through the assistance of John Ball of Grand Rapids, he was enabled to establish himself on the place which has since been his homestead. As soon as practicable he erected the usual pioneer cabin, and took possession of his farm, with his wife and four children. The place and its fixtures make a creditable exhibit of the efforts and energy of the owner for the past 30 years. In addition to his farming interests he has extensively engaged in traffic in real estate, and during the winters of the past 25 years he has been occupied in heavy lumber transactions, putting in some seasons 3,000,000 feet of logs. His land operations have included over 1,000 acres, and he has added 40 acres to his home farm. Besides fine and expensive farm buildings, he has erected a residence at an expense of $4,000.
In public life Mr. Armstrong is one of the most prominent citizens of Newaygo County, and has been identified with all its permanent interests. He has been actively, alive to whatever promised to enhance the advantages of his township, and from the date of his settlement in the county has maintained the confidence and esteem of its citizens. He has been a Republican of decided principles, and in 1860 was elected County Treasurer, and has served in that capacity three terms. In the fall of 1872 he was elected to the position of Representative to the State Legislature, which post he occupied two terms. He has officiated as Supervisor of his township 14 years, and, at various times, he filled most of the minor offices. On the organization of the National party he adopted its principles and issues, and so wide-spread was the repute of his influence and character that in the fall of 1880 he was placed in nomination by the National Greenback Convention at Jackson, Mich., as candidate for the post of Lieutenant Governor. The party was in its early youth and its nominations were defeated by small minorities. Mr. Armstrong was not premonished of the purposes of this Convention not in any way made aware of the projected action.
Of 11 children born to Mr. and Mrs. Armstrong, eight are deceased. Those living were born as follows: Sarah A., Dec. 28, 1845; Ida M., March 22, 1856; Herbert, Nov., 24, 1861. The sorrowful record of the early lost is as follows: Ellen, born Sept. 28, 1847; died April 26, 1873; Amy A., Aug. 3, 1849, died Jan. 27, 1878; Sanford, Dec. 22, 1851, died Feb. 1, 1868; Fanny G., July 22, 1853, died July 2, 1880; Arthur, May 22, 1858, died March 31, 1860; Willis, Sept. 25, 1863, died Nov. 10, 1863; Eugene, June 6, 1865, died Aug. 5, 1865; Mabel, Jan. 9, 1868, died Sept. 8, 1868.