Biography of Adam Arnold
There were very few white people in Wells County previous to 1830. Then they slowly drifted in from the settlements in Ohio and other parts of the country where government land could no longer be found to settle upon. By 1845, much of the land was taken, but the country was still wild and little improved. In 1844, the progenitor of the Arnold family came and made settlement upon a quarter section in Harrison township.
Adam Arnold, the subject of this sketch, was born in Harrison township, Wells County, April 1, 1852. His father was Moses Arnold, who in the early forties, located upon one hundred and sixty acres of land in the woods of Wells County. He came from Miami County, Ohio, where he was born, his parents being Jacob and Clotilda Arnold. When he first located in Wells County, Moses Arnold was a young man of twenty-four years, married only a short time, and had come out into the wilderness to establish a home and make his fortune. Eagerly, he set about the undertaking, working early and late in clearing and improving his land. The hardships of pioneer life, however,were not easily endured, and his young wife sickened and died, leaving four little children to his care. To remain long a widower under those circumstances would have been cruel to his helpless offspring, so, after waiting a suitable period of time, he chose a wife from the daughters of his neighbors and was united in marriage to Miss Mary Ann Bartlemay, daughter of John Bartlemay, a native of Pennsylvania who had located in Wells County early in its settlement. To Moses and Mary Ann, twelve children were born, of whom Adam, the subject of this sketch, is the oldest. They are Adam, of whom more will be said hereafter; Ellen, deceased; Sarah, deceased; Elijah and Eli, twins, of whom the latter is dead; the former married Clara Shock and they reside in Michigan; Henry married Carrie Sweney; Edward, deceased; Clotilda, deceased; George married Ida Souch; Jennie is the wife of Charles Ealey; Allen married Sarah Beeler.
The original quarter section of land located upon by Moses Arnold was cleared and improved by him and his children and was held and resided upon by him until his death, which occurred February 8, 1897. He was a man of much firmness and determination, yet neither aggressive nor unkindly in disposition. He loved his family and respected his neighbors and acquaintances. Few men have passed away in his section of the country esteemed more highly or who were more deeply mourned. In politics he was a Democrat and although not a bitter partisan, never neglected an opportunity to vote his sentiments. He died as he had lived, at peace with all the world and perfectly resigned to abide by the will of the Superior Power.
Adam Arnold, the subject of this sketch, was reared upon the farm and learned early the details of the work to be done. When little more than a child he swung an ax with the energy of a man. He chopped down trees, trimmed them, measured and sawed the logs, dug roots, burned brush, and split rails under his fathers direction with far more assiduity than many hired hands. In the winter he attended the district school and was as faithful in his studies as in the clearing of the field. The result was that before he had obtained his majority he had acquired a fair knowledge of the common school branches. When twenty-one years of age he began working in the timber for wages and followed that calling during the winter months for a number of years, the other months of the year being employed as a farm hand. His first agricultural labors on his own account was on his fathers farm, which he rented. In his customary careful, methodical manner, he plowed and planted and reaped. With such success was his efforts attended that within a short time he determined to establish a home of his own. On December 24, 1876, he was united in marriage to Miss Julia Lanning, who was a native of Harrison township, born March 2, 1853. Her parents were Johiel and Susan Lanning both old residents of Wells County. She was a young lady of good education, fair attainments and amiable disposition. He continued to rent the old home place after marriage and prospered. At his fathers death and when the estate was divided, he added to his share by purchase until he owns sixty and three-quarter acreas of the original farm. To Adam and Julia Arnold eight children have been born, viz: Theodore, born September 3, 1877, married Zetta M. Masterson; Dessie Belle born in 1879, deceased; Lulu May, born December 8, 1880; Samuel E., born November 1, 1882; Margaret E., born July 14, 1884; Myrtle, born February 16, 1888; Zina M., born May 7, 1889; Millie M., born June 12, 1891; Luster H., born January 1, 1895. Mrs. Arnold and members of the family belong to the Six Mile Christian Church and are liberal supporters of that religious denomination.
In politics Mr. Arnold was a Democrat, but never has felt that he is either cut out or constructed on the lines of a politician. He has, therefore, neither aspired to nor held office, nor does he care to seek place at the hands of any party. He has no quarrel with people who have taste or inclination in that direction, but political pie is neither palatable nor nutritious to him. In their section of the county Mr. and Mrs. Arnold and their children are well known and highly esteemed. Mr. Arnold has in his possession an old parchment deed dated November 2, 1837, and signed by President Martin Van Buren.
Memories of Wells County, Indiana
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