Armstrong’s father was born in Jamestown, Rhode Island, and his mother was born into a prominent family in Charleston, South Carolina.
After the family moved to Savannah in 1871, George was graduated from Chatham Academy and began his career. He climbed to the vice-presidency of Strachan and Company Shipping from his early position of clerk.
Through the years George F. Armstrong was also a Director of Hibernia Bank and served as President of the Mutual Mining Company, miners and shippers of Florida phosphate. He is credited in the development of the port of Savannah as one of the main shipping points south of New York. Armstrong was a Commissioner of Pilotage and was appointed Port Representative of the United States Shipping Board as well as Comptroller of Savannah and Charleston Shipping.
Mr. Armstrong was also very interested in charitable and civic organizations, such as the Union Society (Bethesda Orphanage), The Savannah Female Orphanage, and The Little Sisters of the Poor. He supported his hometown by investing his own money in its businesses; he was also a member of the Chatham Artillery and President of the Savannah Board of Trade.
Armstrong’s concern for the well being of his local business community was also evidenced in the building of his magnificent home. Wherever it was possible he used local talent. For example, the beautiful ornamental plaster ceilings, cornices, panels, and friezes of the Armstrong House were executed by Mr. Thomas Forshaw of Savannah. Also, the interior finish, furnishings, and decoration were done locally by Lindsey and Morgan Company.
This imposing residence, completed in 1919, was designed by architect Henrik Wallin. Mr. Olaf Otto was the contracting engineer.
At age thirty-seven George Armstrong married Lucy May Camp of Suffolk, Virginia, and Ocala, Florida, who was fifteen years his junior. They had one daughter, Lucy Camp Armstrong.
After his death in 1924, his wife and daughter only remained in the house for four years. By 1930, Mrs. Armstrong had remarried and had become Mrs. Lucy M. C. Moltz. At this time she was approached by the city (Mayor Thomas Gamble) through Robert Groves, her deceased husband’s business associate, about the possibility of the city’s acquiring the home for a junior college. Gamble pursued the issue– during the height of the Great Depression–to benefit Savannah’s youth and the community, as well as to stimulate the local economy. A delighted mayor later announced that Mrs.Moltz and her daughter Lucy, by this time Mrs. W. R. Johnson, had agreed to give the building to the city. The freshman class began on June 23, 1935, in the Armstrong Building, with Dean Lowe in charge. The much needed Armstrong Memorial Junior College had become a reality.
From: A Research Paper by Armstrong student Diana Guyette , Savannah, GA May 1991