The Armstrong Family traces it roots back to the early years of our country. Elsie Strawn Armstrong (1789-1871) was born of Quaker parents in Pennsylvania in 1789. She married Joseph Armstrong in 1808 and moved to the wilderness of Ohio and became the mother of nine sons. She wrote of the account of her life in rhymes:

I saw the Indian had no gun.
And him I did not fear
But there might be more hard by,
And his gun might be near

We raised our corn and wheat,
And our different kinds of meat,
I spun and wove our clothing
And we had plenty to eat.

And thus our time went on,
From one year to another,
And every other year
My children had a brother.*

Because of her ambition to obtain every opportunity for her sons, she decided to endure the rigors of pioneering and moved her family to La Salle County, Illinois In 1831. Her youngest son, Isaiah James, aged 21, came to California in the Gold Rush of 1849. He mined but a short time, but since he had pack mules, began carrying freight between Placerville (Hangtown) and Sacramento.

His business prospered, enabling him to provide for his wife and eleven children. His tenth child, Burton Howard Armstrong was the founder of Armstrong Family Mortuary. He was joined in the business by his son, M. Burton Armstrong, and later by his grandson, Gordon B. Armstrong. After over 100 years, the firm is still owned by the Armstrong Family, and has been managed for the past 25 years by his great-grandson, Bob Armstrong.

*Armstrong, James Elder (1931) Life of a Woman Pioneer, Chicago Ill: John F. Higgins Co.