Transcribed by Mary Ann Kaylor
ARNOLD, GEORGE W. , dealer in Pilot acetylene generators, Pleasant Plains, is a well and favorably known as any business man in his part of Sangamon County. He is a native of Miami County, Ohio, born October 6, 1865, a son of John and Hannah Arnold. The latter was born in Virginia and early in life was taken by her parents to Miami County, where she grew to womanhood and where she met and was wooed and won by Mr. Arnold. They were married about 1848. Their son John lives at Loveland, Colo.; their daughter, Mary, widow of Charles Eklaw, lives at Paxton, Ill.; their son George W. is the immediate subject of this sketch. The family came to Illinois in 1868 and settled on a farm in Cartwright Township, Sangamon County. Mr. Arnold died in the following year and Mrs. Arnold survived until 1894. They were reared in the faith of the Dunkards, but she became a member of the German Baptist Church. For some years after her husband's untimely death, Mrs. Arnold remained on the farm, but eventually moved to Pleasant Plains where she passed away.
When his father died George W. Arnold was only about four years old. He was brought up on the farm and educated in the public schools. In1885 he came with his mother to Pleasant Plains, where, at the age of twenty-one years, he embarked in general merchandise trade. He was thus engaged in 1886-91, then sold out his business to become a carpenter and builder. After a time he became a member of the building firm of Harnett and Arnold, his partner being J. P. Harnett. They erected the Sangamon College building, the store building of John Lehman, and many other sightly public structures, and some of the finest village and farm residences in that part of the county are monuments to their skill and enterprise. In 1902 Mr. Arnold disposed of his partnership in this business to Mr. Harnett and engaged in his present venture as dealer in Pilot acetylene generators. He has installed lighting plants in many of the leading public buildings and private residences in his part of the State. The automatic acetylene generators that he handles have made their way to competition with gas and electric systems of illumination. It is probably that Mr. Arnold has found an advantage nn his intimate practical knowledge of building. His skill in placing the lights adds much to their efficiency.
March 10, 1886, Mr. Arnold married Miss Ardia Hamilton, daughter of R. F. and Tabytha (Purvins) Hamilton, pioneers in Sangamon County who have gone to their reward. Mrs. Arnold was born in Cartwright Township. She has borne her husband seven children, two of whom died in infancy. Their son Hoyt A., born August 1, 1888, was educated in the public school at Pleasant Plains and entered the employ of a concern controlling a chain of five and ten cent stores and made himself so proficient and so useful that he was given charge of an establishment of Iowa City, Iowa. Lee H. Arnold, born April 5, 1890, finished his course in the Pleasant Plains school. In 1906, he entered the United States Navy and was stationed on the flagship Connecticut and made the tour of the world with the Atlantic squadron, visiting many important foreign ports. When the squadron, consisting of sixteen vessels, sailed for Seattle in 1908, Mr. Arnold went to San Francisco to witness its departure. On the completion of the voyage in 1910, Lee, having served four years, was honorably discharge and has found a satisfactory business connection with a five and ten cent store at St. Paul, owned by a company that has about 400 such enterprises in different cities of the United States. Rollie Arnold, born September 16, 1896 is in school; Phyllis, born February 27, 1902, and George II, born June 7, 1904, are the "babies" of the family.
Mr. Arnold has been satisfactorily successful in life and know no dearer duty than properly educating his children and settling them in useful occupations. His home is one of the most modern in the vicinity, with up-to-date heating and illuminating apparatus, and all else to correspond. In politics he is a Democrat and as such as been elected to several important local offices. He has ably filled the office of Town Clerk and in the Spring of 1909 was chosen Tax Assessor for the second term. He and his wife are active and helpful members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, of Pleasant Plains.