War Wall History


Location of the Memorial Wall
A memorial dedicated to all of Armstrong County's war dead is a vast undertaking. Early on, the Committee realized that one of the critical decisions would be the location at which the memorial would be erected.
Many beautiful locations were suggested, including: Kittanning Riverfront Park, Ford City Borough Park, Freeport Community Park, and some privately-owned locations. After careful and long deliberation, it was decided by the Committee that it would not be right to locate a county monument on any particular borough's property, for it could be perceived as a slight to all of the other municipalities in the county. This memorial lists soldiers from all areas of the county who fell in service to their country. The resultant unanimous feeling of the Committee was that the memorial should be located on land owned by all of us, i.e. county property.
Our industrial parks do not serve this purpose well and were eliminated, which left either the Courthouse complex or Armsdale. While Armsdale presented a serene and beautiful setting, security could not be provided. The security aspect is extremely important to ensure that the memorial is not damaged or destroyed once erected. It fell upon the Courthouse complex to provide a final resting place for our names. The decision was made to locate it behind the Administration Building in a natural "nook" formed by the building. As the memorial took form, its striking beauty demanded it be given a more visible place of prominence — today's location
Inclusive, Not Exclusive
There is no standard set when it comes to war memorials. They come in all shapes and sizes, and listings vary from all who serve to ones that only list those who were killed in action (KIA). Until World War II, diseases such as camp fever (Civil War) and influenza (World War I) caused as many fatalities as combat action. Until Vietnam, just as many died of wounds (DOW) as KIA, due to transportation from battlefield logistics.
Much discussion ensued as to who should be included on the Armstrong County Wall. We could have been "exclusive," listing only combat deaths. Certain, the list would have been much shorter. However, the Committee adopted the philosophy that action of war caused a person's involvement with the military to be "inclusive" for those who died in service to their country in connection with war. Death is death, regardless of how it happened. By being inclusive to all connected with war, we sincerely believe that our most noble warriors who died on the battlefields would concur.
Charles Hanna, Our Artist
From the very beginning, members of the Memorial Wall Committee sought to find a unique way to display the names of those Armstrong Countians who never came back. At the time, we were looking at basic plaques that would be either mounted on the old retaining wall or displayed in front of it behind the Administration Building.
Enter Charles Hanna to our meetings and our lives. Most of the Committee agree that we didn't know what to think of him at that first meeting when he spoke of sweeping vistas, of charging cavalry, of something more to bring the vision of what our fallen saw regardless of which war. We only knew that Charley was a former Art Teacher at Ford City who now lives in Freeport.
To state that Charley captured the very essence of our collective desire is a gross understatement. From the initial meetings, he managed to translate that vision to drawings that he presented within three months of his involvement. As we chose bronze as the medium in which he wished the monument to be presented, he not only sculptured the clay model, but ensured the minute details were carried out.
They say that "a picture is worth 1,000 words." One glance at the sweeping panorama called the Armstrong County Memorial War Wall is certainly worth millions of words.
The gratitude, appreciation and respect of the War Wall Committee to OUR artist, Charles Hanna, cannot be adequately articulated. We can only simply say "Thank You!"
Guide to the Artwork
The Armstrong County Memorial War Wall is a complex and compelling work of art. The bottom half is traditional, using the medium of bronze casting to powerfully present the 1,285 names of those Armstrong Countians who died in service to their country. Taken by itself, the listing of the names would have been a suitable honor. However, thanks to Charles Hanna's vision, we are presented with much more: a top half that allows us to associate those names with the horrors of war, and the symbolism associated with specific actions by individuals and units from Armstrong County. To assist you, the following guide is offered. The guide is organized beginning from the viewer's left and moving to the right on each of the six plaques.
First Plaque
The first scene is the "Battle of Kittanning," which occurred on September 8, 1756 during the French and Indian War. Lt. Col. John Armstrong is directing his men under the British Flag. The Delaware Indians are fighting from their long houses. The icon of the Father of our Country, George Washington, can be seen from a tree. To his right, the 8th Pennsylvania Line is leaving Kittanning on a forced march to Amboy, NJ to join Washington's troops. The march is still considered one of the greatest, for they covered the distance in the dead of winter within five days. Next is " Fort Kittanning," which was manned less than one year near present-day Manorville. Finally, ships are presented to represent the War of 1812, with rangers landing.
Second Plaque
An officer is leading a charge through Mexico City. We then move to the Civil War, with gunners of the 12th Artillery, comprised of mostly Armstrong Countians, providing support fire. Behind them, the 78th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry (PVI) prepares to charge across the Chickamauga River during the siege of Chattanooga. The first application of air warfare is illustrated above them by the observation balloons. Next, another unit comprised of mostly Armstrong Countians, the 159th Regiment, is charging at Greenbrier White Sulphur Springs, VA. The 159th became the 14th U.S. Calvary. Behind the leading horseman is the dreaded Andersonville Prison, GA. Over 15% of Armstrong County's losses in the Civil War died in captivity at Andersonville. Most notable were the members of the 103rd PVI regiment who surrendered April 20, 1864 at Plymouth, NC, three days after two flanking regiments had already surrendered.
Third Plaque
This plaque begins with the USS Maine blowing up, an act of sabotage that precipitated the Spanish-American War of 1898. "Remember the Maine" became the battle cry of the American Army, especially Teddy Roosevelt's Rough Riders at San Juan Hill. To the Maine's right is a bombed-out church that was taken from 28th Division archives. Below the church, a new development for trench warfare, the tank, is portrayed. In the foreground, members of Company L, 110th Regiment, and Company K, 112th Regiment, are fighting during the Meuse-Argonne Offensive near Hill 244. A close look at their arm patches identifies their units. One man carries another technological development of World War I, the machine gun. Above them, air warfare has advanced into bi-wing aeroplanes, another development in war machinery. On the right, soldiers are emerging from dugouts that were part of the trench systems, with imagery above the dugout of the dreaded "No Man's Land" that had to be crossed in the fighting.
Fourth Plaque
World War I was dubbed the "War to End All Wars" by many. It is fitting that the Fourth Plaque picks up from the horrors of a WWI battlefield to the beginning of World War II just 23 years later. On the left, the devastating raid on December 7, 1941 at Pearl Harbor is portrayed. In the foreground, Japanese planes are attacking the USS Arizona, with the USS West Virginia and USS Montana behind the Arizona. In an ancient myth, the great Phoenix bird rises out of the ashes of destruction. Hanna captures that symbolism: out of the smoke, fire and death at Pearl Harbor rises the two icons of the United States, the American Bald Eagle and American Flag. The entire scene is portrayed, with the attack being led by a Sherman Tank and supported by a 155mm gun, dubbed "The Long Tom." Off in the distance, ships are preparing for the D-Day invasion. Air power changed in WWII with two Hellcats providing close air support. Behind them, bombing missions are being performed by a B-19, B-24 and a B-29.
Fifth Plaque
On the left, we finish WWII with one of its most famous icons, the raising of the American Flag by US Marines at Iwo Jima. Just five years later, America once again finds itself dragged into war, with the mountains of Korea in the background. This winter scene of combat troops portrays the fighting that took place near the Choison Reservoir, dubbed the "Frozen Choison" by the troops. Above them flies the first tactical jet plane, the F-86 Sabre. Behind the F-86, members of an airborne unit are jumping from C-47s.
Sixth Plaque
The Korean mountains begin into the sixth plaque, symbolizing the fact that we have never left Korea. The mountains fade into the jungle, symbolizing both the Dominican Republic and Vietnam. Combat troops are in fighting bunkers. First introduced in Korea, the helicopter became a dominant means of air power in Vietnam. A C-130 is waiting to take off from Khe Sanh. Finally, the most famous icon of Vietnam is displayed, the three soldiers who stand near the Vietnam War Memorial in Washington, DC. High above, a B-52 is flying a bombing mission. On the right, the high degree of technology that made up the Persian Gulf War is plentiful. Mechanized Infantry is in the foreground, with the Bradley sitting behind them. Above the sands, the sky is filled with F-16s and the Stealth Bomber.
Capsule Summaries of Our Wars
This tribute is made to those from Armstrong County who were lost in defense of their country. Historically, those who settled the area later known as Armstrong County were not "Armstrong Countians" until the formation of the county on March 12, 1800, nor were they "Americans" until the formation of the united colonies on July 4, 1776. Therefore, military and frontier actions that resulted in death which predate those dates would not normally be recognized to be historically accurate. The War Wall Committee struggled over this significant fact as it debated who should be reflected on the Wall. In the end, it was the unanimous consensus of the Committee that technically those who fell prior to 1800 were not "Armstrong Countians" and those who fell prior to 1776 were not "Americans." All who fell did sacrifice to help create what came after. It was also the consensus of the Committee that we would make a statement about the original settlers of the area who fought with and against the colonials — Native Americans. In our spirit of being inclusive and to bring closure, we honor all who lived and died for what became Armstrong County.
French and Indian War [1754-1863]
The struggle over our river valleys resulted in the French and Indian War, which began in 1754. The principal settlement of the Delaware Indians was located at Kittanning as early as 1726. The Western edge of colonial expansion was in the Cumberland Valley near Carlisle, nearly two-hundred miles to the east. A great barrier was the Allegheny Mountains. From Kittanning, raiding parties would walk the Kittanning Path (which is closely followed by present-day US Route 422), hit settlements in the Cumberland Valley and return with captives to Kittanning with impunity. As an ally, the French controlled most of the Allegheny River Valley, including Pittsburgh.
Two years into the war, Col. John Armstrong proposed a daring raid on Kittanning to rescue captives. Military tactics do not change, and the raid is likened to the Doolittle Raid over Japan early in World War II. Kittanning was considered inaccessible, and a raid would show the Indians that the colonials could indeed reach out and touch them. Lt. Col. John Armstrong commanded the Pennsylvania Regiment's Second Battalion, comprised of garrisons west of the Susquehanna River. Companies were named for the commanding officer of that company, with the garrison in parentheses as follows: Lt. Col. Armstrong ( Ft. Carlisle); Capts. Steele and Potter (McDowell's Mill); Capts. Ward and George Armstrong (Ft. George); Capt. Hamilton ( Ft. Lyttelton); and Capt. Mercer ( Ft. Shirley). With a contingent of 307 men, Armstrong left Ft. Cumberland, followed the Kittanning Trail over the Allegheny Mountains, and arrived near Kittanning on September 8, 1756. The march through the wilderness with military supplies was remarkable in itself. On the morning of the attack, he had his men leave all unnecessary equipment, including their bedrolls, to be guarded by a contingent of eight men led by Lt. Hogg. The attack was swift and sudden —Kittanning was destroyed and many captives were released. As they began their return to Ft. Cumberland, they discovered that Lt. Hogg's contingent, to a man, had been surprised and killed where they left their supplies on a hill. Since Indians were beginning to counterattack, Armstrong's force did not have time to gather their supplies and bedrolls. To this day, the site is known as "Blanket Hill," four miles east of Kittanning. Armstrong's force was chased the whole way back to Ft. Cumberland.
Only nine soldiers died at the battle site of Kittanning, with the other eight including Lt. Hogg dying at Blanket Hill. One other soldier, Sgt. Samuel Chambers of Capt. Ward's Company, died of wounds three days later on the march home. While 17 were listed as missing in action (MIA), conflicting documentation exists that some of them made it back to Ft. Cumberland on their own. There are various estimates on the number of casualties suffered by the Delawares, from 20+ to over 150+. What is known is that their leader, Capt. Jacob, along with members of his family, died in their longhouse. The names of the others are lost in history.
Revolutionary War [1776-1783]
Although some trappers and frontiersmen located here earlier, the true settlement of Armstrong County began shortly after the French and Indian War. It is unknown exactly how many Armstrong Countians fought in the Revolutionary War. Many present Countians are members of the Sons or Daughters of the Revolutionary War (SAR or DAR); however, they are descendants of those who came after the Revolutionary War period from other counties and colonies, not those who fell in battle. In 1778, the 8th Pennsylvania Line formed at Kittanning to utilize the Kittanning Trail. Their mission was to join in the fight in New Jersey. We are sure that a few of the 1,000 in this regiment were Armstrong Countians, although the names are lost in history. Considered to this day as one of the finest examples of a military "forced march," the 8th left Kittanning in mid-January during a terrible winter storm, and marched to Amboy, New Jersey within five days! They lost over 50 soldiers along the way. There are no reliable records of those who died; it can only be assumed that some settlers joined this regiment on its trek.
Border Wars [1760-1800]
After the French and Indian War, Western Pennsylvania increasingly became the western edge of early America's frontier, previously defined as the Allegheny Mountains. There were several organized and unorganized military and civilian engagements during this time period. Indians in the area felt betrayed when the French signed over colonial possessions in 1763. An Ottawa chief, Pontiac, immediately organized a formidable confederation of Indians, commencing what is known as " Pontiac's War" that was waged throughout Western Pennsylvania, Ohio and Michigan. After a treaty was signed at Coshocton, Ohio, the area was peaceful for ten years. In 1774, hostilities again broke out in what as known as "Lord Dunmore's War." In 1794, the "Whiskey Insurrection/Rebellion" broke out in what was then the Allegheny, Fayette, Washington and Westmoreland Counties, including the area of Westmoreland that became Armstrong County six years later. The Westmoreland County leader of the Whiskey Rebellion was William Findley, prominent in the formation of Armstrong County. Since this period extends for forty years and extends into Ohio and Michigan, the War Wall Committee has designated the period collectively as the "Border Wars" as it pertains to Armstrong County. Many of the actions occurred near the Allegheny River and its tributaries, the natural "highways" of that day. During this period: Fort Armstrong was established and abandoned; two ranger companies patrolled the area; Capt. Brady established himself as a premier frontiersman in actions on the Mahoning; the famous Harbison family ordeal occurred near Freeport; three soldiers were killed by Indians as late as 1794 near Fort Run in Manor Township (near Riverside Market); and the last documented Indian to be killed occurred in 1811 near the mouth of Pine Creek.
In all, eight soldiers, 13 civilians (including three children) and 29 Indians died in Armstrong County during this period, with many unnamed, especially the Indians. We also believe that given the record keeping of the day, many more might have died but were unrecorded.
War of 1812 [1812-1815]
Only 12 years after the formation of Armstrong County, the United States was plunged into another war with England, the War of 1812. Again, there is little documented evidence of how many Countians answered the call, but we can only assume that individuals, and possibly companies of rangers, did fight. The latter is evident given the fact that two rangers indeed are documented to have died.
Mexican War [1846-1848]
It is unclear about how many Armstrong Countians served during the Mexican War; however, muster rolls in the Civil War note "Mex. War Veterans," denoting service. At least two of the eleven regiments raised for the war were mustered at Pittsburgh, regiments that fought at Vera Cruz, Mexico City and Chapultepec. The Pittsburgh regiments participated in all battles on the march to Mexico City, suffering heavy casualties. Given the unsanitary conditions, it is possible that other Armstrong Countians might have died in service.
Civil War [1861-1865]
Armstrong County anticipated the call to arms prior to the commencement of the Civil War. In the days prior to National Guard units, private militia companies abounded in the countryside, supported by individuals who supplied arms and uniforms from their own funds. In return, that individual was normally "elected" to command those troops. In the Kittanning area, there were two such militia companies, the "Brady Alpines" and the "Kittanning Yeagers," with Capt. William Sirwell commanding both. He volunteered their services to Gov. A. S. Curtain about April 1, 1861, in case war should be declared. After the attack on Fort Sumter, Sirwell received orders and the "Brady Alpines" were mustered into service for three months. Although they never saw action, members of this company were the root stock of most of the military organizations that left Armstrong County for service during the Civil War.
As more troops were needed, regiments were formed at regional base camps in a similar manner. A regional base camp was established early in the war in present-day Kittanning (its boundaries were Allegheny to the rail bed and Union Avenue to Montieth Street). A regiment, consisting of ten companies, might be formed from an area encompassing one or several counties, with individual counties comprised of men from a single county. According to Col. Sirwell's records, 3,562 individuals from Armstrong County joined units, and were represented in over 60 regiments.
No purely Armstrong County unit was formed; however, there several units that found a majority of the troops from our county. The largest representation of Armstrong Countians (over 50%) was the 78th PVI, commanded by Col. William Sirwell. Next was the 103rd PVI, which met its end in Andersonville Prison, GA. The 39th PVI was another with large county representation, as well as the 159th Pennsylvania Cavalry, which became the Federal 14th US Calvary Regiment.
It would be fair to say that Armstrong Countians fought in every major theater and in practically every major battle fought in the Civil War, from the first Bull Run to the surrender at Appomattox Courthouse.
It is documented that 534 Armstrong Countians died during the Civil War, remarkable in the fact that it represents at least a 14.6% fatality rate of those who served, or one out of seven.
Spanish-American War [1898]
According to the records, units of the Pennsylvania National Guard served in the Philippines (10th Regiment) and Puerto Rico (4th and 16 Regiments, plus the artillery and a squadron of cavalry). Two of the 323 casualties came from Armstrong County.
World War I [1914-1918]
Most of the Armstrong Countians who served during World War I were part of the 28th Infantry Division (Pennsylvania National Guard), although they also served in the regular Army, Marine, and Navy units; some even served the British and Canadian Armies. America entered the war in 1918, and its combat role lasted less than eight months. The most famous unit populated by Armstrong Countians was undoubtedly Company K of the 112th Regiment / 28th Division. In a key battle in the Argonne Forest in October 1918, future-Judge J. Frank Graff, then a captain, took command of the entire regiment during a German offensive. His actions turned the tide of the battle.
A second predominately-Armstrong County unit was Company L of the 110th Regiment, populated mainly from the Kiski Valley, most notably the Leechburg area. This unit also fought with distinction.
In all, Armstrong Countians served in at least 14 regiments, and suffered 181 fallen in this "Great War to End All Wars." Only one veteran survives in 1997 — "Jake" Hobaugh of Ford City.
World War II [1941-1945]
As time passes, memories fade about those who serve and give the supreme sacrifice. The first war that still gives us a collective memory of its imagery is World War II. Mothers, fathers, children, and friends still remember those who are inscribed on this War Wall. Armstrong Countians were already in the service prior to the war, and we lost sons at Pearl Harbor. In those early, dark days following that attack, Armstrong Countians responded as they always have. It is unknown exactly how many units were represented by our people, but suffice it to say that it would be safe to say there were Armstrong Countians in every theater of the world during this global conflict. All branches were represented by our people, and they served our county and the world well.
In this war, 407 Armstrong Countians lost their life; only the Civil War had more casualties.
Korea [1950-1954]
Termed the "Forgotten War," the Korean War was an outgrowth of Communist expansion after World War II. Again, Armstrong County answered the call, serving in all branches of the service. For the first time, the Air Force was a separate branch. Wars began to be called "conflicts" or "police actions," which is a failure to the faithful soldiers who sat on Pork Chop Hill or survived the "Frozen Choison." To many at home in the United States, Korea was the first war in which the mainstream population did not seem to be interested unless a family member was involved in it.
Dominican Republic
Unrest in the Dominican Republic resulted in the insertion of American troops in the spring of 1965. In this next "police action," Armstrong County was again represented. One of the few casualties of that action was from Kittanning.
Although the United States had advisors in the Republic of South Vietnam as early as 1954, the buildup of those advisors began in 1962. Mainline units began to be deployed in 1965, and Americans continued to be deployed until 1972, when the last combat units returned.
Armstrong County lost 36 individuals in this war.
There were no casualties in this war from Armstrong County.
There were no casualties in this war from Armstrong County.
Persian Gulf
Also called "Desert Storm" after its operational name, the United States responded to an attack by Iraq on Kuwait, and resulted in a swift and decisive victory for the Allies.
Addendum Wall
In any endeavor of the magnitude of this memorial wall which specifically names individuals, omissions can inadvertently occur, especially given the nearly 250-year timeline. The Committee is certain that we have missed some names due to the passage of time and condition of written records and history. Who would remember a young man swept up in the patriotic emotions of 1778 that walked east to join Washington and perhaps fell at Valley Forge? Or the estimated 600+ listed by Col. Sirwell, undocumented by others who served in the Civil War; how many died? Or the impatient young man who believed in adventure and went to France in 1916 as part of the British Army? Given the capabilities of documentation in the 1970s, one only has to look at the "m  issed" dead who have been subsequently added to the Vietnam Wall in Washington.
We realize that some names will still be lost to history, but felt that we must move on to the construction phase of this worthwhile project. A deadline had to be established. Therefore, it is the intent of the Armstrong County War Memorial Committee to erect an "Addendum Plaque" after a suitable period of time — say two to three years. This Addendum Plaque will be erected near the Wall, and will indicate the war in which the person fell. We look forward to this last "Stand Down" for the truly forgotten that can be remembered.
We have received our first names for this Addendum Plaque and offer them to you at this time:

War              Name                            Branch       Rank        Status        Date of Death              From             
Civil War      McLean, Ebenezer        ?                 PVT                             02/07/1963                   Frederick City
Armstrong County - A Brief History
Formation of the County
"Penn's Woods," or Pennsylvania, was given to William Penn by England's King Charles II in 1681. By 1682, the three original counties of Philadelphia, Bucks and Chester were laid out, notwithstanding that additional lands were later purchased from the Indians. Although the original lines were not distinct, Armstrong County can trace its roots to Chester County. In 1731, Lancaster County was formed from part of Chester County, and in 1750 Lancaster was further divided by the formation of Cumberland County. Next came Bedford County from Cumberland in 1771, and Westmoreland from Bedford in 1773. In 1788, Allegheny County was formed from parts of Westmoreland and Washington Counties. Finally, in 1795, Lycoming County was formed out of the northern parts of Bedford. The Armstrong and Butler Counties were formed from parts of Allegheny, Lycoming and Westmoreland on March 12, 1800. In its original configuration, Armstrong County's eastern, southern and western borders were as they exist today; however, its northern border extended to include all lands south of the Clarion River, then known as Toby's Creek. By the Act of March 11, 1839, all areas north of Redbank Creek (today's boundary) were detached and annexed to form Clarion County. Armstrong County presently comprises 659 square miles of area, and is bisected by the Allegheny River.
Battle of Kittanning
The largest settlement west of the Allegheny Mountains by 1726 was the Indian village of Kittanning, which was used as a base from which to raid eastern colonial settlements via the Kittanning Path, later called the Kittanning Trail (present-day US Route 422). On September 8, 1756, a contingent led by Lt. Col. John Armstrong attacked this "capitol" of the Delaware, destroying the town and releasing captives. Later a general in the Revolutionary War, Armstrong was honored by having the county named after him.
Settlement of the Area
The first settlers in Armstrong County were trappers and traders, as early as the 1760s. While the French gave up their claim to the area with the end of the French and Indian War, the Indians were not willing to give up their land. The 10-year peace between Pontiac's War and Lord Dunmore's War resulted in settlement of many parts of Armstrong County, especially near the Allegheny River and its tributaries. Notable early settlement areas include the present-day townships of Plumcreek, Washington, Rayburn, South Buffalo, and Brady's Bend. By 1800, there were an estimated 2,300+ inhabitants in the county, and towns were being formed. Kittanning Borough was formed in 1804, and was selected as the County Seat.
It might be hard to believe today, but the vista that met those original settlers was forest, forest, and more forest! It has been estimated that over 95% of the county was woods. The original industry of the county was agriculture, a tradition that continues today. Land was cleared and crops were planted. By the 1820s, livestock was introduced. We have already celebrated the 200th anniversary of a few farms that have remained in the same family; after the turn of the century we anticipate adding many more. Many of our smaller communities, including Dayton, Rural Valley and Worthington, grew as agricultural centers.
Much wealth from its natural resources of hardwoods, clay, oil, gas, and coal resulted in prosperity for many of the County in the last century. In 1873, Parker City boasted over 25,000 residents (now 868, it is considered the " Smallest City in the USA"). The area took full advantage of the Industrial Revolution, with Brady's Bend Iron Works becoming a major supplier of the first iron (later "pig steel") products, ranging from cannons for the Civil War, to bridge components in the 1880s. Long before the term became popular, the Town of Freeport practiced intermodal transportation between land, river and rail, and for awhile, canal. A major transportation route over the Allegheny Mountains was the Kiskiminetas River Valley, again first by river, then canal and finally rail. The canal aided the establishment of Apollo and Leechburg. Many of the other towns in Armstrong County were a result of settlement around a stagecoach stop. The last area to be settled was the county's rugged northeast. All roads led to Kittanning, and by the 1880s Kittanning enjoyed the distinction of having one of the highest percentages of millionaires per square mile in the nation, if not the world. Brick-making resulted from the great deposits of clay. The introduction of glassmaking by John Ford and chinaware by the Cranes resulted in the formation of Ford City by 1886. Coal mining began in earnest in the county by the early 1880s, and employed thousands by 1910. Foundries and furnaces abounded throughout the country.
The first half of this century saw further grown and maturity in the industries of the county. There were many industries located along the Allegheny River and its tributaries. The population peaked after World War I, and remained relatively stable until the 1950s. Jobs in many industries greeted returning servicemen after World War II.
Armstrong County depended upon what is considered heavy industry — mining, manufacturing, and steelmaking — to carry its economy forward. Such dependency is susceptible to downturns in those industries, which is exactly what happened to them beginning in the 1960s, and continues into the present. Like all other Western Pennsylvania counties, Armstrong County is entering into a period of transition from the Industrial Age to the era of "High-Tech." The future of Armstrong Countians is unknown, but with our past history and work ethic which is second to none, we will persevere and prosper. We owe it to those embodied on this wall to do so.