The subject of this sketch is a citizen of Foster township, Marion
county, and he is so loyal to what he considers his duty that no personal
consideration will deter him from its accomplishment. It is such worthy
citizens as Mr. Arnold who have made this county the productive and
prosperous region that it is today.
James W. Arnold was born in section 9, Foster township, February 14, 1847, the son of John Wesley Arnold, who was born in Alabama, he the son of John Arnold, of Georgia. He married Elizabeth Webb and they came to Illinois, settling near Charleston in 1825, where they remained for one year, when they went back to Alabama. Twelve years later they located near Lebanon, Illinois, where they remained until 1844, when they moved to Foster township, Marion county, buying land there. Later they went to Ellis county, Texas, where Mr. Arnold died in 1887, at the age of eighty-seven years. His wife died in Foster township, this county. Mr. Arnold was a farmer and also owned a mill. The following children were born to them: William; Nancy, of Cairo, Illinois; John W., Joseph; Adeline, who is living in Missouri; Margaret, Esther, Ivey, living in Oklahoma; James A., Felix, Nathan of Texas; Fletcher was killed at Atlanta, Georgia, during the Civil war.
John Wesley Arnold married Nancy Jones, of Foster township, Marion county, the daughter of James and Laura Jones. He settled in section 9, Foster township, where he secured wild land and made a home. He was always a farmer and stock raiser and owned five hundred acres of good land. He was active in politics, being a Republican, and was at one time Supervisor of Foster township. He was a member of the Methodist Episcopal church. He was born in 1820 and his death occurred in 1889. His wife was born in 1827 and died in February, 1905. Seven children were born to them as follows: James W, our subject; Mary E., who married Alexander Mussey, living near Vernon, Illinois; John I. is living retired in Foster township; Elizabeth married John Doolen, living at Kinmundy, this county; Joseph T. lives at Kinmundy; Eli M. is in the oil business at Shawnee, Oklahoma; Rosie E. married Isom W. Doolen, living at Vernon, this county.
James W. Arnold, our subject, attended the home schools. He remained a member of the family circle until his marriage, November 18, 1869, to Permelia J. Robb, who was born in Kinmundy township, the daughter of Samuel and Agnes Pruitt, who were pioneers of this county and who died here. The following children have been born to the subject and wife: Cyrus Elmer, a farmer in Foster township, who married Ann Green and who has one child, Gladys; Samuel W., living in section 3, Foster township, was married first to Jennie Green, and his second wife was Isabelle Nichols. He had two children by his first wife, Doris and Dale, and two children by his second wife, Thelma and an infant born in 1908. Lola Etta is the name of the subject's third child, who is the wife of Cyrus Green, of Foster township, and the mother of four children, Glen, Lovell, Anna and Russell; Orin M., graduate of the Business College of Dixon, Illinois, married Laura Garrett, of Foster township, is farming and they have two children, Florence and Harold D. The subject's children were educated in the home schools, receiving careful mental training, and they all give much promise of successful futures.
After Mr. Arnold's marriage he lived on the old home place for two years when he bought the place where he now lives, consisting of one hundred and eighty-three acres. He at one time owned considerably more but gave it to his children. Besides his farming Mr. Arnold successfully operated a sawmill for a while. He also managed a store at Lester, Illinois, for two years and was also successful in this venture. He was postmaster of that town, giving entire satisfaction to all concerned. He made all the improvements of his farm, which now ranks among the best in Marion county. He has a most excellent and valuable apple and peach orchard, consisting of forty acres, also of small fruits. He carries on general farming and stock raising. He is active in politics, being a Republican, and he has filled all the township offices. He is a member of the Methodist Episcopal church. In his fraternal relations he is a Mason, the Blue Lodge, No. 398, at Kinmundy, Illinois. Mr. Arnold is well known throughout Marion county for his industry and his honesty in dealing with his fellow men.
Extracted 05 Jun 2017 by Norma Hass from 1909 Biographical and Reminiscent History of Richland, Clay and Marion Counties, Illinois, pages 223-224.