Biography of Frank Armstrong, Sr.

Frank Armstrong, Sr., born October 26, 1871, in Central Station, West Virginia, has been with the National Fruit Product Company, Inc. since 1913 and currently serves as its chairman. A graduate of Parkersburg High School, he initially worked in the wholesale grocery business before founding Armstrong-Crislip-Day and Company in Clarksburg. He later established Board, Armstrong and Company, which evolved into the National Fruit Product Company. Armstrong also engaged in fruit production and real estate in Florida. He owns a farm in Madison County, Virginia, where he breeds Aberdeen Angus cattle. Married to Nellie Steel in 1897, they have two children, Frank Jr. and Eleanor Virginia.

Frank Armstrong, Sr
Frank Armstrong, Sr

Since 1913, Frank Armstrong, Sr., has been identified with the National Fruit Product Company, Inc., of Winchester, and is now chairman of its board. Agriculture is one of his major avocational interests, and he has a large herd of Aberdeen-Angus cattle and considerable productive acreage. Mr. Armstrong’s connection with the company, which has had its headquarters at Winchester since 1938, has covered a period of steady and rapid growth, and his influence in its management has been most constructive.

A son of William and Emily (Shannon) Armstrong, Frank Armstrong, Sr., was born at Central Station, West Virginia, on October 26, 1871. His father, a native of Oakland, Maryland, was throughout most of his career in the employ of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. After attending public schools at Central Station, West Virginia, Frank Armstrong, Sr., entered Parkersburg High School, from which he graduated. His first business connection was in the wholesale grocery business with the firm of Shattuck and Jackson in Parkersburg, West Virginia, with which he began work in 1888. He next formed his own company, Armstrong-Crislip-Day and Company, in Clarksburg, West Virginia, and in this partnership he continued until 1906. In 1908 he formed the firm of Board, Armstrong and Company, with headquarters in Alexandria, Virginia, and with this he was identified until 1913 at which time it was reorganized as the National Fruit Product Company, Inc.

Mr. Armstrong has also been active in other aspects of fruit production. For a number of years starting in 1906, he grew pineapples near Fort Pierce, St. Lucie County, Florida, and he also has been active in the development of farm properties in that state, chiefly in the vicinity of the Indian River. From 1906 to 1919 he was active to a greater or lesser extent in real estate development in the state of Florida.

Since 1919 Mr. Armstrong has devoted his full time to the operations of the National Fruit Product Company. Throughout most of those years, its headquarters were at Washington, D.C. but in 1938 its general offices were moved to Winchester, Virginia.

In 1934, Mr. Armstrong purchased a farm consisting of four hundred acres in Madison County, and there he has successfully engaged in the breeding of Aberdeen Angus cattle. His farm properties now consist of about thirteen hundred acres situated near Haywood, Virginia, and his herd of registered cattle numbers about three hundred.

Frank Armstrong, Sr., is a trustee of the New York Avenue Presbyterian Church in Washington, D.C.

In Clarksburg, West Virginia, November 17, 1897, Frank Armstrong, Sr., married Nellie Steel, who was born in Clarksburg, March 14, 1873, daughter of Samuel Rossiter and Margaret Steel. Her father served as a captain during the Civil War. Mr. and Mrs. Armstrong became the parents of two children: 1. Frank, Jr., (q.v.). 2. Eleanor Virginia (Armstrong) Glover, born September 28, 1903.


Couper, Wm. (William), History of the Shenandoah Valley, Family and Personal Records, vol. III, New York, Lewis Historical Publishing Company, Inc., 1952.

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