Yuma County, Colorado

COGenWeb Logo

Home Page Photograph Index Site Index

Yuma County Pioneer Photographs:

Betty Keen

Although Betty was only in Yuma County a few years in the early 1950's, she had such a colorful life and family that a page is warranted.  This page starts with Betty's life, then - with some lap-overs - with her family.

   1955 Yuma Union High School - courtesy Marie (Trautman) Wenger

 Courtesy Arlene (Trautman) Glenn

When Betty was in Yuma, she taught school for at least one year in the elementary school and one year at the high school.  One of her students was Kent Haruf,  in whose award-winning PLAINSONG, Ike and Bobby are visiting old Mrs. Stearns, and she is talking to the brothers.  Kent has graciously permitted this paragraph to be used as a tribute to Ms. Keen.
What are you doing at school?  You go to school, don't you?



They were silent

You, she said.  The oldest one.  What's your name?


What grade are you in?


Who's your teacher in school?

Miss Keene.

A big tall woman, with a long jaw?

I guess so, Ike said

Is she a good teacher?

She lets us do seatwork at our own speed.  She lets us do work at the board and do writing.  Then she copies it and sends it to the other grades in school to look at. 

So she is a good teacher, Mrs. Stearns said.

But she told a girl to shut up one time.

Did she?  What for?

She didn't want to sit next to somebody.

Who didn't she want to sit next to?

Richard Peterson.  She didn't like the way he was smelling.

Well, yes, Mrs. Stearns said.  His people have a dairy.  Don't they?

He smells like their cow parlor.

So would you if you lived on a dairy and you had to work on it, Mrs. Stearns said.


Charleen Elizabeth Loud Keen (also known as Charleen Armstrong) was born August 25, 1911, in Dallas, Texas. She was the daughter of Walter Thomas Armstrong and Ota Maco Chasteen Armstrong and was raised (the reference to her maternal grandparents, Dr. and Mrs. N.W. Loud is wrong - Dr Loud was her mother's second husband), in Kensington, Connecticut. Charleen Keen's paternal grandparents, Charles A. and Carrie Bryant Chasteen were both ordained ministers of the Christian Church in Dallas, Texas. Charleen Keen died January 30, 1976, in Dallas, Texas.

In 1900 Oten M. Chastain is 9, with her minister parents Charles and Carrie Chastain in Pawnee County Oklahoma. 

One tree said her full name was Oto Maco Carita Chasteen, and her mother was Carrie BELLE Bryant.  It also said she married Walter T. Armstrong in Lockhart, Texas.

  1. Hartford Courant - Aug 27, 1937
    In Shanghai she obtained a position with the Shanghai Post and Mercury and soon became with Victor Keen, their romance culminating in marriage despite the ...


  In 1934 the Tuscaloosa Alabama News wrote about Christine Diemer "an American girl, who is now an editor of cable news in Shanghai, China, for the far-flung Reuters news agency.  Only one other woman, Mrs. Elizabeth Keen, also an American, is employed in an editorial capacity by foreign news agencies in the Far East."

Betty Keen and E.B.White June 2, 1934   THE NEW YORKER MAGAZINE

 Chrysler Automobiles China Turtles

We can hardly wait to hear news of how the new Airflow Chrysler make out in Shanghai. The report is that all the rival car dealers in town have banded together and spread malicious rumor that the new Chrysler resemble a turtle. There is no greater insult in the Orient than to call a man a turtle. And no right-minded Chinese would be seen riding in anything even remotely resembling the noxious beast, no matter how clearly it cleaves the air.

  August 1937 - she must have been using the name "Keen" before the ceremony.

Emily Hahn's book "China to Me"  has a section on Shanghai night life, especially the taxi dance "I had a friend, Betty, the tall, handsome wife of Victor Keen, she was working for the United Press and living away from her husband while she made up her mind to a divorce.  We decided to investigate the mysteries and the technique of taxi-dancing.  I can't remember now just how it all began, but I think we must have been drinking a little when we got the idea .  I do remember how it ended.  An insurance salesman, Betty's acquaintance, carried it through by applying to his friend, the manager of the Frisco, for permission for us to work there one evening.

He'll have to talk it over with the regular girls," explained Buster, the insurance man.  "If not, and you're sprung on them cold, there's liable to be an awful row.  But he's putting it up to them that you're only going to be there one night, trying to earn an honest penny to carry you on to India, and I don't think they'll mind."

I felt pretty silly about it when we started out at last, dressed in evening clothes.  Betty was gloomy toom, because she had a boy friend she cherished for one reason and one reason only,  he topped her six feet two by another inch - and he didn't approve of the project at all.  He was, she told me in exasperated tones, being stuffy.

 The manager greeted us hastily and gave us our station, a tiny table just off the dance floor.  All around the restaurant were other girls, sitting at inviting little tables that had extra chairs for clients.  they stared at us and we realized that we were badly overdressed; the others wore shabby frocks, some short, some long, but all of them frayed at the hem and sweated out under the arms.

It was ten o'clock, still early for the sailors, who liked to go to the movies first.  Pretty soon, though, they started to drift in.  Our dresses may not have been admired by our rivals, but they worked quickly with the sailors.  One of them joined us immediately.

He was a Briton, a cockney, and he didn't seem to have any money.  We noticed that because he ordered no drinks and he didn't suggest dancing.  Evidently it was wrong of him to take up space and time under these circumstances and he knew it better than we did, because when the manager strolled watchfully around the floor he went away.  After that the British contented themselves with sitting as near to us as they could get without joining the party, talking to us over the intervening space.

I had heard that the British and the Americans always had trouble at these places because of the difference in their rates of pay.  The Yanks were wealthy and took what they liked, whereas the poor sterling-based British had to think twice before they ordered single beers.  It was an obvious state of affairs and Betty and I commented on it in decently lowered tones.

In the meantime a few of the girls were dancing with special friends, old acquaintances who evidently came in every night.  Still Betty and I sat there, resplendent in our dresses, with the non-dancing British sitting around us out of reach, if admiring.

"This is dreadful" said Betty "It's just like my first party at high school.  I'm being a wallflower.  Do you suppose we are going through the evening without anybody asking us to dance?"

"Looks that way." I said gloomily.  But the jinx was broken just then; an American Marine took Betty off to dance, and a moment later I got an Italian sailor.

Our conversation was on a high moral plane.  After remarking that he hadn't seen me around before, the sailor said that the weather was cold but seasonable, and I said it was.  He told me I danced well and I complimented him on his style.   By that time the dance was over; they liked a quick turnover at the Frisco.  My Wop didn't linger or buy me a drink, but he gave me five tickets.  Betty's Marine sat down with us and set out to run up a bill.

After that we did fine.  I collected a lot of tickets and Betty would have done better than I if her real boy friend hadn't suddenly marched in, a deep frown on his forehead, and planted himself at our table.  The Marine who was sitting there at the time took one look at his face and withdrew, intimidated.

"Go away," said Betty "You're spoiling everything.  I told you not to come."

"Didn't I hear you making a date with that man?" demanded the angry swain.

"You did. What's it to you?" demanded Betty.  I missed the reset of it because I was taken off to dance by a man who was, surprisingly enough, British.  He was a Scottish engineer, and his first line was the same one I had heard about ten times already.  "What are you doing here? " he asked.

I didn't want to cut in on the family quarrel at our table, so I accepted my engineer's offer thankfully and had a drink (cold tea with commission) at his.  He was drunk.  After a little while he asked for the story of my life.  I gave him a pretty good one, concocted by Betty specially for the occasion.  When I had finished the Scot announced that he was going to Take Me Out of All This.  He was going to buy me a ticket straight back to the States where I belonged.  What was more, he intended to come along with me and tell that stepmother exactly what he thought of her.  Then he gave me a lot of tickets and went off to sleep.

I did pretty well out of the evening, but I would have done better if one American Marine hadn't cheated me out of my rightful earnings.  He walked off without giving me even one ticket.  I could have appealed to the manager, but I felt funny about it.  Anyway, we didn't cash in on our tickets; we gave them to be distributed among the regular girls.  Betty's young man took us home, in one of those uncomfortable silences.  It lasted for half an hour but he relaxed over coffee at Betty's apartment when we held our post-mortem.  What cheered him up was our decision never again to enter the gay life.


In 1944 the News-Chronicle (London) reported

The villagers call it "The Old House".  It's a good way off the main road and down at the bottom of a small, snug Wiltshire Valley, it stands in the middle of Milston-----a village of nine thatched cottages.  


It is a friendly comfortable looking house of flint stone and the villagers say it was built 400 years ago when, obviously, it was intended as the home of a large and happy family.        


But today, if you look closely you see the unfriendly coils of barbed wire stretched across its gates, along the hedges and the paths, before the three doors.  Iron bars shut in the window of the room that was once the nursery:  they have been put in all the other windows as well.   


Oddest of all are the numerous telephone wires leading into the  house, for what Milston family would need more than one telephone?  


Two years ago, these private wires were humming with messages to and from the War Office  and Downing Street and even Buckingham Palace.  From here in this house without a name, were drawn up the tentative plans, which eventually  became the nucleus or the great project on which the Allied invasions of Normandy was built. 

Officers of high rank came to "The Old House" to confer with General Frederick  Edgeworth Morgan, whom Mr Churchill named in the House of Commons this week as head of the British and American staff who surveyed the invasion project.  


Field --Marshall Lord Wavell used to come down here, so did the Prime Minister.


Once the King George VI made a visit.


The people of Milston knew all along that something big was taking place within "The Old House" but as Alfred Cook, a lorry driver who was born in Milston of Milston parents describes it:  "We have had a lot of important people down here in my time.  We knew there was a lot going on in that house there, but, of course we never talked about it to outsiders".  


Which is the way the people of Milston helped to keep the secret of "The Old House".   

Elizabeth Keen  


Edward Burra was a noted surrealist painter - the painting described in this letter is The Tea Party

"I have been doing some research which has involved looking at the collections of letters to and from Edward Burra in Tate Britain -- I was interested to see this picture on the Web because it explains a minor mystery in Burra's wartime correspondence: a letter from a journalist friend of his called Betty Keen, who wrote for the News Chronicle. This letter is internally datable to 1946 by the Buchenwald reference:

'Redfern have just sent Raphael Tuck back and it is now hanging over the fireplace a joy to everyone. It is beautiful and Mr Punch grows more like Mac every day or it may be the other way round. Mac says some day a few hundrd years hence a terrific controversy may rage in the newspapers -- such as is this the only extant Raphael Tuck, or is it? or Tuck versus Burra WHICH DID IT? Or did Burra really do the Xmas card for Tuck as pin money or did Tuck do all the Burras? and so on ... it is lovely and it glows. ...a note on Buechenwald --- at conference on Friday it was stated all newsreeld had been told by the MOI that they had to devote footage to the horrors -- so if you go to the pictures you will get your moneys worth.'

'Mac' is John Macadam, her husband, also a journalist, I think, and author of a book called The Reluctant Erk, published in 1945. It is possible that it is one of the pictures exhibited by the Redfern Gallery in 1943, though none of the names given in the catalogue sound remotely like it: since he mentioned in another letter that he liked the way they framed his stuff so it may simply be that he asked their people to frame it for her. "


May 1950 "Slot machines were reported still operating today in some Idaho Springs establishments despite a warning from the district attorney] Betty Keen, local newspaper woman, told of seeing the machines in several places and said she was informed, also, that some were operating at Lawson west of Idaho Springs"

May 1951 "Miss Elizabeth Keen of Idaho Springs arrived here May 14, and was a guest a the home of Mr. and Mrs. Leo Chance. Miss Keen is associte editor of the Clear Creek Mining Journal, and was enroute back to Idaho Springs from California, where she had been on vacation."
October 1951 Steamboat Springs "Miss Betty Keen of Idaho Springs came in Monday to meet her brother and sister-in-law of Arcadia, California, who are vacationing in Colorado. They remained until Tuesday before going to Idaho Springs. Miss Keene Is a member of the Colorado Press Women. "

 Betty Keen Joins

Pioneer News Staff  YUMA COLORADO

The Pioneer is happy this week to present Miss Betty Keen, who has joined the editorial staff of the paper. Miss Keen was employed by the paper following some reorganization of personnel made necessary through the resignation of Glen Knapton.

Mr. Knapton was a valued employee of The Pioneer for five years, but has returned to his former home in Oregon to take care of some property interests and plans to remain there. His family is still in Eckley, but will leave for Oregon as soon as arrangements can be made for them.

Miss Keen's journalistic accomplishments place her high in the craft. Prior to returning to the United States three years ago, she had spent two years in South America, travelling as a freelance writer through Brazil, Bolivia, Peru, and Argentina. During World War II she was news reporter for the News-Chronicle in London, England. The paper is recognized as one of the best-written dailies in Britain and is proud of the fact that Charles Dickens was once one of its editors.

Before the war, Miss Keen was a departmental editor for The North China Daily News, Shangha's largest English language daily newspaper, and while in China was also associated with the Shanghai bureau of the United Press News Service for one year. After seven years in Shanghai she went to Paris as a reporter for The New York Herald Tribune, Paris Bureau, where she remained for one year.

She is familiar with news work in small towns, having worked on suburban California papers early in her career. Preferring to work on small town, mid-western newspapers, she came to Colorado three years ago, and has been employed on the staff of The Clear Creek Mining Journal of Idaho Springs, and Estes Park Trail. The Pioneer feels fortunate in securing Miss Keen as a news staff member. Roger Chance who has been assisting in news writing, will, now devote full-time to mechanical operation in the plant.

This article appeared on the front page of a July 1952 issue of The Yuma Pioneer. Rollie Deering reset this article from the Yuma Public Library’s microfilmed copy.

YUMA:  Our fourth grade classroom was a country school that had been moved in just southwest of the brick school.  Miss Carpenter was dating Lavern Lillich at the time.   

Fifth grade was on northwest corner above the gym….technically the first floor but probably considered the second floor.

  Lowell Baumunk’s dad, also Lowell, had hired Miss Keen and made sure that his son was in her class.  At the time I thought it was unusual that he would “stop by” so often to observe.  It was her first year of teaching (she probably had no teaching credentials) but was excellent.

   Miss Keen published a “newspaper” for her class…mimeographed, of course ….Kent Haruf could still recite the poem he had written for it. 

We also did a mural with Crayola's on a sheet of muslin that was fastened to the east wall.  We were all so proud of it. It went to the fair!

  I also remember that she got a sheet of steel to place over a fire in the schoolyard and made tortillas from scratch.  She had lived in South America, China, and England.  She told of being in London during WWII and having to spend the nights underground, surviving on stale bread and mustard.  The college kids of the University of Wyoming and Tuskegee Institute also had a great teacher! 

 Rollie E. Deering


In November 1952, Betty Keen of Yuma was a speaker at a county meeting of Home Demonstration Clubs.
December 1952 Yuma Pioneer
In February 1953 she told the Pioneer editor about having "Beef steak Tar Tare" twice, once at the Hotel du Nord in Peking, China, and then af few years later in Berlin. She said she had thought it had to be cooked, and ws surprised in Berlin to find she was expected to eat the meat raw.
In April 1953 "Miss Helene Wintzel arrived Saturday to visit at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Leo Chance, and to with Miss Betty Keen. Earlier in the week she attended a meeting of city officials of the Rocky Mountain area in Pueblo. She is manager of the Chamber of Commerce, and city clerk at Steamboat Springs."
She might have been the connection for Betty coming to Yuma to work...

In May 1953 she was a member of the Yuma Business & Professional Women.
In August 1953 she began teaching the fifth grade at Yuma, with Miss Inger Marie Henderson the other fifth grade teacher.
Also in 1953, she was one of the three judges of floats in the county fair parade.
November 1953
December 1953
In July 1954 "Mrs. Gladys Gillespie ...will be a student at A &. M. College for one month. She hopes to get away some week end to visit Betty Keen at Laramie, Wyoming."
July 1954 she wrote the Pioneer, sending a clipping of her role in a melodrama at the University of Wyoming.

November 1954 Yuma "Miss Betty Keen left Thursday morning for Laramie, Woming, where she will attend the Rocky Mountain Play Festival....Miss Keen is an English teacher in the Yuma high school, sponsor of the Pow Wow, and dramatic coach."
December 1954 "Miss Betty Keen represented the Yuma Teachers association at the state meeting."
December 1954
January 1955 the Pioneer editor wrote

April 1955 "Also leaving will be Miss Betty Keen, who will resume her studies in the University of Wyoming after serving as a reporter and a teacher in Yuma and other Colorado communities. Miss Keen has also had offers of teaching positions in Wyoming."

December 1955 the Pioneer wrote "Work on her thesis kept our good friend Betty Keen from spending the holidays with us. She is writing her thesis on Wyoming newspapers form 1865 to 189..... Betty is teaching English at the Universityh of Wyoming, and working on her masters's degree."
June 1957
January 1958

July 1958 Betty was teaching a summer session at Westminister College in New Wilmington, Pennsylvania.

October 1961

August 1962

In 1966 the Pioneer editor visited Betty at Tuskegee.

The "Annals of Wyoming" of the Wyoming State Historical Society 1962-1963 had a long article on WYOMING'S FRONTIER NEWSPAPERS by Ms. Keen.

This must be the author of a 1962 letter to the Village Voice


She probably is the Elizabeth Keen who wrote an MA thesis for the University of Wyoming in 1964 on "The Frontier Press."

  Her grandmother died in Dallas in 1971

A Charleen Keen died in Dallas January 30, 1976.  Her death certificate implies that her body was donated to medical research.

The following listing of material in the Charleen Keen collection at the Arkansas History Commission probably gives the best timeline

  • 1. Autograph album to Kittie Bryant, 1887-1891 (Box 1)
  • 2. Broadside: Services, East Dallas Christian Church, 1930 January 26, Bryant family genealogy handwritten on back
  • 3. 1950 May 30: Letter from "Pearl," South Center, Kansas, to Mrs. K. Pepper, Tulsa, Oklahoma
  • 4. 1954 December 25: Letter from "Ethel" to [?]
  • 5. 1854: Diary fragment
  • 6. Undated: Handwritten notes
  • 7. 1916 May 11: Invitation to graduation of Maco Chasteen Armstrong from University of Arkansas medical department
  • 8. Undated: Maps and travel guides from Los Angeles, California, to Socorro, New Mexico; and Automobile Club of Southern California
  • 9. Undated: Maps and travel guides from Socorro, New Mexico, to Texas; and Automobile Club of Southern California
  • 10. 1911-1920: Newsclippings
  • 11. 1926-1929: Newsclippings
  • 12. 1945 May 11: Poem, "My Blessings" by Katherine Bryant O'Neal
  • 13. 1949 March 16: Poem, "Smiles" by Katherine O'Neal Pepper
  • 14. Undated: Poem, "Some one" by Katherine Bryant O'Neal
  • 15. Undated: Postcard, Belmangate, Guisborough, England, inscribed "Cross X marks house where Ernest was born, February 28, 1877"
  • 16. Undated: Postcard book of Middlesborough, England 12 postcards
  • 17. 1934 June 4: Commencement program, Brenau College-Conservatory, Gainesville, Georgia, Charleen Loud (Armstrong)
  • 18. 1920 February 1: Program of the dedicatory service of the First Christian Church, Tulsa, Oklahoma
  • 19. Undated: Publication, "The Red Rose Anthology," published by George W. Jacobs and Company, Philadelphia, Pennslyvania
  • 20. Undated: Publication, "Sweet Strains from Longfellow," by Raphael Tuck and Sons
  • 21. 1937 March 1: Souvenir of Panama Canal Zone sent to Katherine O'Neill
  • 22. Undated: Tract, "The Movies: The Greatest Religious Menace," The Gospel Publishing House, Springfield, Missouri
  • 23. Undated: Tract, "What It Means," Christian Workers' Union, Incorporated, Framingham, Massachusetts
  • 24. Undated: Tract, "Words of Life: Healing for All," published by Christian Workers' Union, Framingham, Massachusetts
  • 25. 1890 January 9: Wedding invitation of Carrie Bryant and Charles A. Chasteen
  • 26. 1908 May 6: Wedding invitation of Ota Maco Chasteen and Walter Thomas Armstrong
  • 27. 1918: "A Prayer Book for the Public and Private Use of Our Soldiers and Sailors," War Commission, Episcopal Church, Philadelphia, Pennslyvania (Box 2)
  • 28. 1904: "A Rosy Path, a Dickens Birthday Book," Boston, Massachusetts (includes 1910 diary)
  • 29. 1897: "Plain Talks to Young Men on Vital Issues" by Peter Ainslee
  • 30. Undated: "The Pilgrim's Progress" by John Bunyan
  • 31. 1888: Autograph book for Miss Altie
  • 32. 1889: Autograph book from Kittie (Bryant) to Minnie (Bryant)
  • 33. 1881: "Tot, the Dwarf" by Margaret Eytinge, Boston, Massachusetts
  • 34. Undated: "Poems" by John Greenleaf Whittier, New York, New York
  • 35. Undated: "In Memoriam," Alfred Lord Tennyson, New York, New York
  • 36. Undated: "Foot-Path to Peace" by Henry Van Dyke, New York, New York
  • 37. 1909: "Character, or the Making of the Man" by Edward Ward Carmack, Nashville, Tennessee
  • 38. 1885: "A Brief History of the United States," Barnes' Historical Series (Box 3)
  • 39. 1938: "The Crown Anthology of Verse" edited by Edward Uhlan, New York, New York
  • 40. 1900: "Shakespeare Rare Print Collection" edited by Seymour Eaton, Philadelphia, Pennslyvania (Box 4)
  • 41. 1899: "For Love's Sweet Sake: Selected Poems of Love in All Moods" edited by G. Hembert Westley, Boston, Massachusetts (Box 5)
  • 42. 1901: "The Century Book of Facts" edited by Henry W. Ruoff, Springfield, Massachusetts
  • 43. 1916: "The Foster Family and Its Ancestors, the Norman-French," by W.T. Foster, Washington, District of Columbia, with correspondence, newsclippings, and death notice
  • 44. Crocheted hat (Box 6)
  • 45. Collar
  • 46. 1947 May 15: Pink ribbon worn at Tulsa, Oklahoma, wedding
  • 47. Ladies' handkerchief
  • 48. Ladies' handkerchief
  • 49. Spectacles
  • 50. Spectacles' case
  • 51. Oversize material
    • 1885 January 22: "The Christian Evangelist," St. Louis, Missouri, pages 49-64
    • Undated: Image of young woman on reverse of a Coca-Cola advertisement
    • 1950 October 1: News clipping," Florida Will Dedicate New Stephen Foster Memorial," pages 5-6F, "The Miami Herald," Miami, Florida




In 1910 Dallas Walter is a druggist, having his own store.  He's 24, born in Texas, married to Ota M.   They're renting south of current Fair Park.

Walter registered for WWI in Dallas County, saying he was living in Garland, working for Whitney Hill as a pharmacist.  In 1920 Walter T Armstrong is in Dallas, divorced, pharmacist, living in a boarding-house.

In 1930 he's married to Mary, living in Dallas, and they have a three-year-old son John.  Walter is an insurance salesman.

In 1940 they're in Garland, and have added Betty, born in Dallas April 15, 1931 to Walter Thomas Armstrong and Mary Lois Anderson Armstrong

.  Neither Walter nor Mary have an occupation. 

Mary died in 1942,


Walter died in 1954 - but his obituary doesn't mention the Yuma Charleen Keen 


Walter in 1954, and are  buried together in Garland Texas.  Betty Susan Armstrong married Marvin L. Jacobs June 17, 1978 in Rockwall, Texas, and divorced him in September 1978.



In 1920 Luzerne County Pennsylvania at an insane asylum  Maco Armstrong, widow, 29, born in Arkansas, is an "Asst Phys", with her daughter Charleen Armstrong - eight years five months old, born in Texas.

The 1930 census of Hartford Connecticut has an Ota C. Loud, born 1891 in Arkansas, married to Norman W. Loud, a physician born in Colorado.  He's 38, Ota 39, and they were first married at ages 32 and 33, respectively.  That would put their marriage at 1924.  One family book said his father was a professor of mathematicsa at Colorado College - and Norman was born in Colorado in 1892.

Guests of Local Republicans at Saturday Rally

In 1940 they're in Bangor, Maine,  where Norman is a Roentgenlogist at a hospital.  These two census don't quite match with Charleen's biography at the Arkansas Historical Commission - first paragraph.

The 1941 Palm Beach directory has an Ota C.  Loud - saleswoman for John H. Birdsall - she lives on La Puerta - no mention of Norman.  But the 1944 and 1948 directories have him as a physician, both he an Ota on La Puerta.

But the 1945 Florida census just has Ota - 60, born in Massachusetts, a physician living on La Puerta - but no mention of Norman.

The 1956- 1960 directories of New Smyrna Beach, Florida have Norman W. Loud married to Urania (and there's a Urania in the sane cemetery as Norman)

Norman W. Loud, born September 20, 1892 in Rhode Island (?) died December 15, 1966 in Volusia County, Florida.

Name: Ota Maco C. C. A. Loud
Death Date: 1948
County of Death: Palm Beach

Hartford Courant April 24, 1948 "Dr. Ota Maco Loud, wife of Dr. Norman W. Loud of Palm Beach, Fla., formerly of Kensington, died April 18 in Palm Beach, after a long illness. Her husband was ... "



In 1929 Charleen's grandmother was making news in Dallas

Elizabeth Enstam wrote



In Memory of Col. John William Armstrong.
*** John William Armstrong, Colonel Unit: 480th Tactical Fighter Squadron Serial Number: 449306236
Notes: Colonel Armstrong was the squadron commander of the 480th Tactical Fighter Squadron. On November 9, 1967, he was flying in a McDonnell Douglas Phantom II Fighter (F-4C) over the Ho Chi Minh Trail when his aircraft was hit by a surface to air missile. His remains were not recovered. His name is inscribed on the Courts of the Missing at the Honolulu Memorial.

Age: 47
Race: Caucasian
Date of Birth Dec 5, 1926
Religion: BAPTIST
Marital Status: Married - Son, Thomas K. Armstrong.

His tour began on Nov 9, 1967
Casualty was on Jun 7, 1974 In LZ, LAOS
Hostile, died while missing, FIXED WING - CREW AIR LOSS, CRASH ON LAND
Body was not recovered  Panel 29E - Line 55

Other Personnel in Incident: Lance P. Sijan (Died in Captivity, Remains returned)

Bill's last military assignment was to DaNang Air Base in Vietnam as Commander of the 480th Tactical Fighter Squadron.

On the night of November 9, 1967, while on a bombing mission over Laos, his aircraft was destroyed.

His body was never recovered.

John William Armstrong was born 5 December 1926 and grew up in Garland, Texas a suburb of Dallas. During his youth hardly anyone knew that his first name was John; he was always known as Bill. Not until his Academy days did he acquire such names as Jack or appropriately, Army.

Always a good youngster and student, Bill blossomed in his high school years to become exceptional. He was a standout at every aspect of teenage life in the early 1940's. He was a social, academic and sports leader. He graduated as valedictorian of his 1944 Garland High School class. He had been class president, captain of the bi-district championship football team and editor of the school yearbook. He won the school leadership award and was elected most popular boy. He participated in every team sport offered and lettered in them all. Upon graduation, he won a scholarship to Southern Methodist University. Bill always had roots in Garland, and he was remembered there. In 1988 a public park in the city was named in his honor.

It was during his year at SMU that he became interested in West Point, and, as a result of competing for a congressional appointment, he was admitted to West Point in July 1945. Bill's success continued at the Academy. In this broader setting, he again met every challenge, always with good humor and an engaging openness. He graduated 16th in his class of 574, participated in both intramural and varsity athletics, and was a cadet captain. Always busy, he was seldom too busy to pursue the fair sex. He maintained an exceptionally high level of physical fitness, which he continued throughout his life, also becoming an avid golfer. At graduation, Bill chose the Air Force and pilot training. After getting his pilot's wings in 1950, he began his career as a fighter pilot. His initial assignment was to fly F-84's, then a new fighter in the Strategic Air Command. In December 1950, from its Texas base, Bill's unit moved to Korea to fly in combat. Although the standard tour length was 100 missions, Bill flew 127 before returning to the United States. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and other combat decorations.

When his tour in Texas ended, he had another fighter assignment at Bangor, Maine. From there Bill returned to West Point for four years as an instructor in the Military Psychology and Leadership Department.

Then he was transferred to the USAF, Europe as a fighter pilot. During this tour he was selected to lead the Skyblazers, the USAF Europe's aerial demonstration team, comparable to the Thunderbirds in the United States. He also met and married Margarete Burch. They moved to the US in 1961. He was assigned to an Atlas missile wing at Altus AFB, Oklahoma as crew member and supervisor during the early ICBM buildup. This was for Bill a different type duty, one that he enjoyed far less than flying. He was pleased to be selected to attend USC in 1965, where he earned an MBA with high marks. While there, Bill and Margarete adopted a son, Thomas. His next assignment was to DaNang Air Base, RVN as a squadron commander and F-4 pilot. While on a night combat mission on 9 November 1967, Bill's aircraft was seen to explode in mid-air. His body was never recovered. He was declared dead in 1974.

School Spirit & History
Year opened: Fall of 2002
Mascot: Aviators
Colors: Navy Blue and Gray

Named After a Great Leader
Our school is named after John William Armstrong. We are the only Garland ISD school to be named after a former student.
Born in 1926, John William Armstrong was a native of Garland, Texas. He entered first grade at Garland Elementary School and graduated from Garland High School as valedictorian of the class of 1944.
Known to his friends as Bill, he was a social, academic and sports leader at GHS. He served as class president for three years, edited the Owl's Nest yearbook, won the school leadership award, and was elected most popular boy. Bill participated in every team sport offered at the school, and lettered in them all. Most notably, he co-captained the undefeated 1943 regional championship football team.
Earning a scholarship to SMU, Bill attended that university for a year, where he played football and made the Phi Eta Sigma scholarship fraternity. During that year, he earned an appointment to the U.S. Military Academy.
He entered West Point in summer of 1945 as a member of the class of 1949. Bill continued his stellar academic career as a cadet at West Point, earning "Dean's List" status for four years, serving as Cadet Captain, participating in intramural and varsity sports, and graduating 16th in a class of 574. He was the first Garland native to enter and graduate from the prestigious academy.
After graduation, Bill embarked on a career as Air Force fighter pilot. At the start of the Korean War, his unit was assigned to the combat area. While a standard "tour of duty" for a fighter pilot was 100 missions, Bill voluntarily flew 127 before returning to the U.S. He was awarded Air Medals and the Distinguished Flying Cross. Following flying assignments in the United States, he served on the faculty at West Point for four years in the Military Psychology and Leadership Department.
Bill's last military assignment was to DaNang Air Base in Vietnam as Commander of the 480th Tactical Fighter Squadron. On the night of November 9, 1967, while on a bombing mission over Laos, his aircraft was destroyed. His body was never recovered. We can only imagine what life would have brought this gifted, idealistic and hardworking person, had he survived and returned home. While his body may not have returned home to Texas, his spirit certainly lives on - in the hearts of his family, his friends, and certainly in the students, parents and faculty who will pass through the halls of Armstrong Elementary.
John. W. Armstrong Elementary School. What a fitting tribute to a fallen hero - a man who loved life, loved his country, and loved learning!

+++++++School Song++++++++

At John Armstrong
We cherish lessons we have learned
In scholarship in character and pride
Throughout the years wherever we may wander
We'll carry Armstrong's messages inside.
Work hard, play fair; Respect yourself and others.
Find joy and honor in the Golden Rule
While staying true to all that we believe in.
Join hands and hearts and hopes
To make this special school.




In 1920 Pueblo Victor is 21, no occupation , born in Colorado.  He's with parents Perry M. and Etta F. Keen. Perry is a real estate agent.  Frances, 25, daughter also born in Colorado, is a teacher.

The Columbia  (Missouri) reported in 1922 "Victor Keen, B.J. '22, left yesterday for Chicago where he will be on the staff of the United Press News Service. Keen's home is in Pueblo, Colo.  He has been attending the School of Journalism for the past two years.  During the present school year he has been in charge of the news desk of the Missourian part of the time.

On August 26, 1937, Charleen Elizabeth Armstrong, 26, born in Dallas, married Victor Keen, 39, born Pueblo in the Chambers of the US Court for China, Shanghai, China.

December 1937 Pueblo Indicator

In October 1939 Charlene Elizabeth Armstrong Keen - same birth place and date - arrived in New York from Le Havre, with a U.S. address of Kensington, Connecticut.

Victor Keen reported for the Japan Advertiser, New York Herald Tribune and the China Press.

1942 U.S. JOURNALISTS HELD IN SHANGHAI  NEW YORK. January 6.-Karl Eskelund, a correspondent of the United Press, who escaped from Shanghai and is now in Chunerking says that at least two prominent American journalists are being held by the Japanese in Shanghai. They are Victor Keen of the Herald-Tribune," New York, and J.B. Powell, editor of the "China Weekly Review."

The POW Archive says that Keen was held at the Shanghai War Prisoners Camp Kiawgwan Sha and later repatriated or liberated.
 "The Principled Politician:  The Ralph Carr Story" by Adam Schrager says " Pueblo (Colorado) native Victor Keen, who had worked as a journalist in the Far East for twenty years, came home after being imprisoned for months by the Japanese.  He had been kept in a twelve-by-twenty-foot cell with three other American men, two British women, two British men, one Russian woman, one Russian man, and twenty Chinese men and women.  Their bathroom facilities consisted of a hole cut in the floor of the cell with no privacy for men or women.

Keen told Colorado audiences that a fellow American journalist had lost his toes from a gangrenous infection that 'the Japs would not treat.'  The Chinese prisoners apparently received the worst treatment.  Keen described one man's chest that bore a mass of blisters from burns inflicted with matches."

Thanks to "Edgar Snow in Asia " by Robert M. Farmsworth


  1942 Dallas newspaper.

July 1943 VICTOR KEEN MARRIES; New York Newspaper Man Weds Miss Alice Morgan

In 1979 - 1980  Beijing - When the bloody weekend came, June 3 and 4, the sense of helplessness among foreign onlookers was overwhelming, even though we realized we were part of a long string of similarly gut-wrenching episodes. In 1935, when a student demonstrator tried to break through a line of troops with fixed bayonets and police armed with Mausers, the police, "began to beat her," Hamilton reports, and "Snow and Victor Keen, the New York Herald Tribune reporter." The New York Herald Tribune was a daily newspaper created in 1924 when the New York Tribune acquired the New York Herald. The Herald Tribune  correspondent, rushed over hoping their presence would shame the police into stopping." The reporters in Tiananmen June 4 had even less effect. I ran in a panic from a volley of shots overhead Much of that day seemed spent avoiding gunfire, and one young American journalist found himself in police custody for several hours with all the standard psychological torture - blindfolds, threats of death, pistols held to forehead, hours left alone and unclothed.


Back to Pioneer Photographs.

This page is maintained by M.D. Monk.