Land by the Kansas River was owned by a Wyandot Indian named Silas Armstrong, who sold his it to the Kansas Pacific Railroad. It was located on a strip of ground between the Kansas River and the Missouri line. The town was platted in 1868. Armstrong was established in 1871 and incorporated in 1872. To the north of Armstrong was Wyandotte, and to the south was Armourdale.
The small community was on a hill above the Union Pacific Railroad shops that had been built south of Wyandotte. Before long, the flourishing city was filled with packing houses near the railroad. It gained a post office on January 22, 1874.
The Kansas Division of the Union Pacific Railroad car shops were located in Armstrong. The repairing material for the 1,100 miles of road comprising the division was furnished by these shops, which also repaired all of the rolling stock and manufactured much of it. These shops covered 50 of the 220 acres owned by the railroad company. The buildings included a locomotive erecting shop, machine shop, blacksmith shop, boiler shop, tin shop, brass foundry; a car machine shop; coach shop; paint shop, a brick roundhouse with ten stalls, a wooden engine house with eight stalls, a turn table, store room, facilities for storing coal, and offices of Superintendent of Machinery, and Master Mechanic.
From September 1881 to September 1882, the expense of operating the motive-power department at Wyandotte was $1,270,000, of which $650,000 was for labor and $620,000 for material. In September 1882, the shops employed 270 men, with a monthly payroll of $18,000. The entire payroll of the motive-power department of the road was $50,000 monthly, most of this amount being disbursed at Wyandotte.
By the early 1880s, Wyandotte was a city of 9,000 inhabitants and was growing rapidly in importance in social and business life. Its location at the Kansas and Missouri Rivers confluence made its natural advantages great as a commercial center.
In 1886 old Kansas City and Armourdale were annexed by legislative enactment, and Armstrong was included as an intervening territory. Much discussion arose over the proper name for the consolidated city. Wyandotte held out for its name, but as it was argued that municipal bonds would sell better under the title of Kansas City, Kansas, that was finally adopted.
Armstrong’s post office closed on February 1, 1888.
Blackmar, Frank W.; Kansas: A Cyclopedia of State History, Vol I; Standard Publishing Company, Chicago, IL 1912.
Cutler, William G; History of Kansas; A. T. Andreas, Chicago, IL, 1883.
Morgan, Perl W.; History of Wyandotte County, Kansas and Its People, Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago, IL, 1911
Kansas City Public Library