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CHAPTER III. Part 2.
George Arnold, son of William and Elizabeth [Townsend] Arnold, was born at Greenville, Ohio, September 27, 1818, and was raised on the farm, enjoying only a common school education, which, though meager, enabled him to master the common branches and some of the higher branches of mathematics, including the system of surveying. In his younger days he taught school in various places. He was married to Ann Maria Welty, November 10, 1840, after which he resided in Greenville for two years. In February, 1843, he moved to Eel River, in Whitley county, Indiana, into what was then almost a wilderness, only now and then a log cabin, and for a distance of ten miles east on the Fort Wayne road not a single cabin intervened. Indians were plentiful, there being several camps within two or three miles. He suffered the hardships and privations incident to pioneer life. He resided on a small farm, which was only the forest underbrush, for five years, and then moved to Columbia City and entered the store of Henry Swihart as clerk, where he remained for over a years, and then bought out Mr. S. and engaged in the mercantile business with pork packing on his own account, and met with success. In the fall of 1856 he moved to Bluffton, Indiana, and entered into partnership with Mr. John Studabaker, and a year thereafter he bought out his partner and then continued as sole proprietor of the dry goods store for a number of years with success, having never failed or compromised with his creditors, but always paid promptly dollar for dollar.
Having gone out of the dry goods business, he, in 1878, bought the Bluffton Chronicle and continued as editor until the Spring of 1888, and then retired from active business operations. Mr. Arnold erected three of the finest business rooms in the city of Bluffton during the summer of 1889, thus showing that, though not actively engaged in business, he still believes in the upbuilding of the beautiful little city of which he is one of the most respected citizens.
During his residence in Whitley county he held the office of County Surveyor and was commissioned by the Governor as a Notary Public. The former position he held for three years and the latter for six. He was a candidate for County Auditor in 1849, coming within ten votes of being elected, having run thirty-two votes ahead of his party. He has ever since felt it a fortunate thing that he was not elected, as it would have entirely changed his future life, which might have resulted in disaster instead of success. In 1870 he was the Republican candidate for the State Senate, but the district being Democratic he was defeated, though he ran ahead of his ticket. In 1872 he was a candidate for Secretary of State before the Republican State Convention, and was second highest on the list of four candidates. In 1876 he was selected by the Indiana State Republican Convention to represent the Twelfth Indiana District in the Republican National Convention at Cincinnati in 1876, and participated in the exciting scenes of that occasion which nominated Hayes for President, and saw and heard speak all the leading Republicans of the country. He is a staunch Republican and takes an active part in politics. January 13, 1880, he was appointed by President Hayes postmaster at Bluffton, Indiana, which position he held for four years and two months. The children born to him were: Janette, born September 23, 1841; Henry Clay, May 2, 1843; Sarah Louisa, November 30, 1844; Charles Albert, born February 5, 1852. Janette died in June, 1872. In 1872 he was elected a Lay Delegate to attend the North Indiana Conference at Muncie. His son, Henry C., is a large and successful merchant and grain dealer in Bluffton, Indiana. Charles A. has a saw mill and is engaged in the timber business at Monroe and Poneto, Indiana. Henry C. married Miss Lide Bulger in 1867, and Sarah L. married Mr. John B. Welty of Gettysbury, Pa, in 1868, who is now engaged in the merchant tailoring business in Bluffton. Charles A. married Miss Kate Wahl in January, 1878.
Ann Maria Arnold, wife of George Arnold, died February 16, 1889, aged 76 years.
Janette W., first daughter, was born September 23, 1841, and died June ___, 1872, Henry C., Sarah L., and Charles A.
Henry Clay, second child and first son, was born on his father's farm in Washington township, Whitley county, Indiana, May 2, 1843. In August, 1848, his father moved to Columbia City, the county seat, and engaged in the dry goods business, buying some grain and packing pork in connection with the business. He lived here until April, 1856, when he removed to Martinsville, Morgan county, Indiana, when the subject of this sketch was a little less than 13 years of age. What schooling he had was at Columbia City during the residence of his father there. His father removed from Martinsville to Bluffton, Indiana, in September, 1856, where they have ever since resided. From December, 1856, to March,1860, he was in the employ of John Studabaker, who did a produce and banking business, keeping his books.
In March, 1860, he went into the store of his father in Bluffton and remained with him until the Spring of 1863, when he went into the pay department of the United States Army as clerk to Major J.L. Wilson, Paymaster. He remained here four months, when he returned home to accept the position of cashier of the First National Bank of Bluffton. Mr. Arnold was the youngest cashier in the State, being at that time 20 years of age. Tiring out of this business and wishing for a more active one, during the next year he returned to his father's store and remained with him until he sold out in 1865.
In the Spring of 1866 he organized the firm of Arnold, Bliss & Co., and in the year 1869 they started a branch store in Montpelier, both of which concerns are still in existence, though there has been many changes of partners. Mr. Arnold is still the principal partner in both concerns. For the last two years Mr. Arnold has retired from the active management of his stores and engaged in the produce business. Mr Arnold was married in 1867 to Miss Eliza Bulger, of Bluffton. They have seven children, five of them living: Lelia, born April 12, 1868; Affie, born April 14, 1871; Henry C., born June 28, 1875, died September 30, 1875; George L., born October 13, 1876; Henrietta, born February 7, 1879, and Wilson, born April 28, 1881, died June 2, 1881.
In politics Mr. Arnold has always been a straight Republican, but has never been known as a politician. He has never been an aspirant for office, his time being too much occupied with his business affairs to allow him the leisure for political aspirations.
Sarah L., second daughter, was born October 30, 1844, and was married to John B. Welty October 6, 1868. They had three children: George A., born February 10, 1873, died July 27, 1874; Burd, born January 26, 1875, died September 18, 1876; Jennie, born March 25, 1879, died July 12, 1879. She had the advantage of a good common school education and attended the Fort Wayne college and the college at Delaware, Ohio. In 1863 she concluded to spend the Summer at Gettysburg, Pa., and was at that place during the memorable battle, July 1, 2 and 3, of that year, and for two days was within the Rebel lines and was compelled to assist in cooking for the Confederate soldiers. The cannonading on that occasion was said to be the most terrific known to modern warfare. Her husband, Mr. W., is engaged in the merchant tailoring business in Bluffton, Indiana.
Charles A. Arnold, the youngest son of George and Ann M. Arnold, was born February 5, 1852, in Whitley county, Indiana. He received a good common school education and also spent several terms at the Fort Wayne college; spent some time clerking in the store and afterwards taught school, first in the country and afterwards in the Bluffton graded schools, giving general satisfaction. In June, 1877, he bought the Bluffton Chronicle, and was engaged in publishing that paper until May 1st, 1888, when it was sold, and is now engaged in the hub block business. In December, 1877, he married Miss Kate Wahl, by whom he has had six children, George A., Albert, Anna, Sherman and Margaret. George A. died when only seven months old.
In 1888 he was nominated for State Senator, in a district of over twelve hundred Democratic majority, which was reduced to about five hundred majority, after the most persistent canvass against him. His Postoffice is Bluffton, Indiana.
John, third son of William and Elizabeth [Townsend] Arnold, was born November 12, 1820, receiving a fair common school education for the times. Engaged in teaching in the winter, but in the summer he spent his time laboring on the farm. He married Angenette Fogger, December 19, 1844, by whom he had two children, Augusta, born September 7, 1849, and John born March 15, 1852. He moved on a farm on Eel River, March 4, 1845, which he cleared up, it being mostly river bottom land and very rich. About the year 1852 he sold his farm and moved into South Whitley, and entered into partnership with his brothers, Jesse and William, where he remained until his death in 1880. His merchandising and milling ventures proved to be very successful undertakings. He was one of the organizers and proprietors of the South Whitley Bank, which is now one of the most prosperous institutions of the kind in Northern Indiana.
He was married, July 22, 1856, to Miss Almira Thomson, by whom he had four children, Eva, born October 23, 1857, James, born December 7, 1858, Willie, born October 23, 1865; and Ruskin, born November 30, 1868.
In 1880, the North Indiana Conference of the M.E. Church elected him as a Lay Delegate to attend the General Conference in Cincinnati, which met in May of that year. He attended and took a deep interest in the deliberations of that body, but his health suffered to some extent and he returned home but without regaining his health, and the anxiety about the extensive repairs to his mill seemed to worry him and he was taken with chills and slow fever which culminated in typhoid pneumonia, resulting in death, October 11, 1880, but with little seeming pain or distress of any kind. He had, however, accumulated a property valued at $65,000, which has been increased since his death. His business is successfully carried on by his son, James, assisted by the other boys, and all are prosperous. The mills in South Whitley and Huntington have been converted into a joint stock company and run in the interest of all the heirs and the partner, Jesse Arnold.
His children all received collegiate education and are doing well. There are at this writing only two of the children married, to-wit: Augusta married Mr. Shibly, of North Manchester, and Eva married Mr. Harter, of Wabash, where she is now living.
Mary Arnold was born at Greenville, Ohio, March 5, 1823; and was married to the Rev. Elisha Hook, of the North Ohio Conference, June 10, 1845. Mr. Hook died April 9, 1873. Their children were, Sarah Elizabeth, born March 18, 1846, and married to Henrick L. Watson, march 18, 1869; (their children, Ernest, born December 17, 1869; Herbert, born August 12, 1871); Emily J. born February 2, 1849, unmarried; Mary Ellen, born March 23, 1851, and died July 8, 1851; Mary Ellen, June 19, 1852, and married to George W. Watkins, December 29, 1871; (their children are Nellie, born October 19, 1873; Mary F., born January 10, 1880; Edith, born March 26, 1882, and James Earl, born January 29, 1885): Eveline Amanda Hook was born September 4, 1853, and married Joseph L. Cannon, September 4, 1874; (their children are Cressy L., born September 29, 1875; Percy N., born September 4, 1876; and Bessie C., born August 17, 1883); James Wm. Hook, born August 30, 1857, was married to Ella Seymour, March 8, 1883. (no children.)
William, son of William and Elizabeth [Townsend] Arnold, was born November 29, 1825, and was raised on the farm. He was married to Mary Ann Stigley in --------, ----. He shortly after moved to Whitley county, Indiana, where he engaged in the mercantile business, and also built a large flouring mill at South Whitley shortly after. His widow is still living in Darke county, Ohio. They have children living, to-wit: William, Adeline, Frank, Arther and Delila, now Mrs. Delila Clear.
William was about five feet inches tall, a little stoop shouldered and of more than ordinary ability and energy, but sometimes a little erratic in his notions. He had the confidence and warm friendship of the community in which he lived. He was a merchant in South Whitley, Indiana, for many years, and built a mill which in later years has been a great convenience to that section. In 1852 his brother, Jesse, was associated with him, and a few years later his brother, John, having sold his farm, also became a member of the firm, thus laying the foundation of what afterwards became a large and prosperous business. The milling business has been in successful operation for a period of thirty-seven years, and it, in connection with the banking and produce business, is still carried on very successfully by them on Eel River at the crossing of the Nickel Plate railroad with that of the Eel River Valley railroad.
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