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