Descendant Of Colonial Family Dies

Mrs. Armstrong at 93 Was Last Prentiss Of Generation

Mrs. Willamette J. Armstrong of Pulteney, widow of David J. Armstrong, died yesterday at the home of a cousin, Mrs. Susan Hotchkin Saunders at Prattsburg. Mrs. Armstrong was in her 94th year. Death followed an illness of only a few days of pneumonia.

Mrs. Armstrong came of a long line of Colonial American ancestry. Born at Pulteney Sept. 1, 1840, she was the fourth child and third daughter of John Adams Prentiss and Thankful Hotchkin Prentiss, and at the time of her death, she was the last surviving member of the Prentiss family of her generation. The family was founded in American by Peter “the Trooper” Prentis, one of the founders of Cambridge, Massachusetts Bay Colony, in 163[unclear], and the man who laid out the town which is now known as Worcester, Mass.

John Adams Prentiss, father of Mrs. Armstrong, was of the ninth generation of the family in America and was a native of Lancaster, Mass., whence he came with his father, John Prentiss, to take up land in the Finger Lakes Region in 1812.

Collaterally, Mrs. Armstrong was a relative of Narcissus Prentiss, daughter of the first judge of Steuben County and wife of Dr. Marcus Whitman, with whom she journeyed to Oregon as a missionary, meeting a martyr’s death in 1847. To Dr. Whitman is ascribed the credit of saving the Oregon Territory for the United States.

Mrs. Armstrong received her education at the hands of Martha Bridge Wright of Boston, a famous tutor of pioneer women. June 21, 1864, Miss Prentiss became the bride of David J. Armstrong, who died May 4, 1888. He came also of a Colonial America family famous in history.

Thankful Hotchkin Prentiss, mother of Mrs. Armstrong, was a granddaughter of the Bariah [unclear] Hotchkin, A.M., of Yale, founder of a church in Greenville, this state. As a girl Thankful Hotchkin was an acquaintance of many of the Hudson Valley aristocrats of that period, including the Martin Van Burens of Kinderhook.

Mrs. Armstrong was a Presbyterian and an active church worker, and also took a lively interest in public affairs, having caster her ballot in the last Presidential election.

She leaves a son, John R. Armstrong of Rochester; two nieces, Mrs. William Seward Millener of Williamsport, Pa., and Mrs. Frank C. Shafer of Brockport, and a nephew, R. Prentiss Davis of Brockport.

Funeral services will be conducted from her home in Pulteney tomorrow afternoon at 2 o’clock, the Rev. Elmer J. Stuart, D.D., pastor of the First Presbyterian Church of Corning, N.Y., officiating, assisted by the Rev. Emory Douglas Webster, pastor of the First Presbyterian Church of Brockport. Burial will be in Glenview Cemetery at Pulteney.

Source: Rochester Democrat Chronicle, February 9, 1934.

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