Dr. J. C. Armstrong, Sabine Parish, Louisiana

The subject of this sketch is entitled to honorable mention in any history of Sabine parish, for the reason that it can be said of him as truthfully as of any one that he lived and labored for the good, of its people rather than for wealth or personal aggrandizement.

He was born in Dallas County, Alabama, and came to this parish on or about 1850, where he lived until his death in 1896. This parish was, consequently, the scene of his labors for over forty years. While he was a popular and successful physician, and always did a large practice, all he got, or wished to get out of it, seemingly, was a very modest living. The poor and needy, especially, had cause to revere the name of Dr. Crit Armstrong, who guarded and frequently saved their lives, and did so, as often as otherwise, "without money and without price." It was said of the knightly Bayard, the beau-ideal of the age of chivalry, that he always exhibited an utter disregard for money and financial matters.

This was pretty much the case with Dr. Crit Armstrong, our good and true knight of the scalpel, whose tender heart was as well known as his majestic figure to the people of every section of this parish. At one time Dr. Armstrong had the remarkable experience of being elected Parish Judge, without having any special knowledge of law or of court proceedings. Being well supplied with sound sense, however, he filled the position to the satisfaction of the people.

But on one occasion there was a great tumult in his court. Two irate attorneys. were apparently thirsting for each other's gore; the crippled clerk was tossed aside and the sheriff was unable to quell the uproar, until the judge from the bench gave the remarkable order to "let 'em fight," which had the effect of quieting the disturbers, as fighting was really the last thing the blustering attorneys wished to do.

At this day and time, when love of money is properly regarded as the root of so many evils it is refreshing to contemplate a character with whom generosity and all kindly impulses were unaffected by sordid considerations, and whose moral and physical strength and breadth of brawn enabled him to exemplify such principles throughout his course.

The grave of old Dr. Crit, in the cemetery at Many, is entitled to reverence as that of the kindliest fathers of our people and our parish.

Sabine Parish | AHGP Louisiana

Source: History of Sabine Parish, Louisiana, by John G. Belisle, Sabine Banner Press, 1913.

 

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