12 March 2009

Victor E. Armstrong Fought Fires

Victor E. Armstrong
Apr 29, 1873
Feb 9, 1961

Mr. Armstrong and his wife rest in Rose Hill Cemetery. They share a plot in the Cabiness Ridge section with the Strozier family.

Victor Emanuel Armstrong was born in Alabama. He, his parents, and his siblings were living in Henry County, Alabama in June 1880.

Victor married Alma Martha between 1901 and 1903. She was born 28 July 1884 in Georgia, and she passed away 12 December 1971. She lies next to her husband in Rose Hill.

In April 1910, Victor and family were living on Oak Street in Macon, Bibb County, Georgia. His occupation was a fireman. At the time, Alma claimed to have three children with two living: Vashti and Marion F.

Between 1919 and 1920, Victor found himself in a somewhat controversial and likely awkward situation. The current fire chief was being ousted due to "inefficiency," and Victor was named his replacement. The saga was covered extensively in the local Macon Weekly Telegraph. Here is one such article dated 3 June 1919:
PLAN TO OUST FIRE CHIEF ON CHARGE OF INEFFICIENCY

Civil Service Commission Will Appoint Victor E. Armstrong to Succeed Monroe Jones at Meeting Today, Reports Say.

The Civil Service Commission, it was stated last night, will meet today and appoint Capt. Victor Armstrong as chief of the Macon fire department in place of the present chief, Monroe Jones, whom the commission will order for trial on the charge of inefficiency. Captain Armstrong is now senior captain of the department and second assistant chief.

It is understood the change in chiefs will take place the next few days, following the proposed action of the commission today.

It is alleged by those in close touch with the fire department situation that Chief Jones admitted to the commission that he has failed to respond to the alarm at least sixty fire calls during the last year; that he does not sleep at the department station and continues to have his own apartment somewhere in the neighborhood.

Chief Jones is probably senior to all the fire department chiefs in the South, having been chief of the old volunteer department before the present city organization and elected to the present place in 1886. He has been at the head of the department continually since that time, with the exception of the two years administration of the Wallace Miller city council, when A. L. Miller, now a member if the Civil Service Commission, was chief.

Shortly after the organization of the first Civil Service Commission, which was composed ot Curran R. Ellis, R. C. Haglehurst and Frank West, L. A. Miller was supplanted by Monroe Jones.

Victor E. Armstrong, known in fire department circles as "Vic" Armstrong, is at present stationed at No. 2 enginehouse near Wesleyan College on Washington avenue. He is the senior captain of the department and has been acting first assistant chief of the department.

The proposed new chief is a native of Abbeville, Ala., and came to Macon in 1898. He has been a member of the Macon fire department since 1900 and during the long term of service has never lost even a part of a day because of suspension or had a mark against his record. He is now enjoying a vacation of fifteen days, which began May 20.
In January 1920, Victor and family had moved to Lawton Avenue in Macon, and Victor was still the Fire Department Chief. (His World War I draft registration card from 1918 gave the specific address of 117 Lawton Avenue.) Another son had arrived about 1917. His name was Robert.

It appears Victor left the fire department sometime before 1930. At that time, his occupation was Municipal Court Deputy Sheriff. Victor and his family were still in Macon. This time they had moved to College Street.

Victor died in Bibb County, Georgia.

Do you have anything to add regarding Mr. Victor Armstrong? Please comment.

Sources Include:
- "World War I Draft Registration Cards," database, The Generations Network, Ancestry, (http://www.ancestry.com).
- Rose Hill Cemetery (Macon, Bibb County, Georgia), Cabiness Ridge Section; Transcription and Photos by Stephanie Lincecum.
- 1880 U.S. census, Henry, Alabama, Enumeration District 84, Page 20, Accessed March 2009.; digital image, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com).
- 1910 U.S. census, Bibb, Georgia, Ward 4, Enumeration District 44, Page 11A, Dwelling 180, Family 241, Accessed March 2009.; digital image, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com).
- 1920 U.S. census, Bibb, Georgia, Ward 4, Enumeration District 48, Page 2B, Dwelling 38, Family 49, Accessed March 2009.; digital image, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com).
- 1930 U.S. census, Bibb, Georgia, Macon Ward 4, Page 5A, Dwelling 96, Family 115, Accessed March 2009.; digital image, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com).
- "Georgia Deaths, 1919-98," database, The Generations Network, Ancestry, (http://www.ancestry.com).

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