Charles S. Arnold, BiographyPorter County biographical sketches . . . .

Transcribed biography of Charles S. Arnold

CHARLES S. ARNOLD. Few of the present residents of Porter county have a longer retrospect over the past history and development of this vicinity than Charles S. Arnold, now retired, whose home is on North Michigan street in Valparaiso. His earliest recollections of scenes in this county go back about sixty-five years, when the country was still little more than a wilderness. Reared and trained in the pursuits of the farm, he was for many years identified with the agricultural activities of the county, and from the industry and good management which he devoted to that career he retired to enjoy his later years in ease and comfort. In his early life he was also a soldier, and is one of the survivors of the noble Grand Army of the Republic.

Charles S. Arnold was born at Weedsport, Cayuga county, New York, thirteen miles from Syracuse, May 22, 1839. His parents, also natives of New York, were Elisha and Phoebe (Sayles) Arnold. In 1844, at the little town of Jordan, New York, was collected a little company who had determined to migrate west and find homes on the great prairie region about Lake Michigan. The Arnolds consisted of the father and mother and three children -- George W., later a well known physician of Porter county, Charles S., then five years old, and Inez. Also in the party were William A. Bull, a brother-in-law of Mr. Arnold, with his family and the family of Mr. Watson. The first stage of the journey was made in canal boat to the lakes, and from Buffalo to Chicago by steamboat. Thence coming to Portage township in Porter county by wagon, Elisha Arnold bought one hundred and sixty acres of government land, half of which was prairie and half in timber, and on this he continued his career of farmer and home builder until he had made for his family a valuable property and was ranked among the estimable and substantial citizens of the community. Before his death he added twenty-five acres to his original homestead.

Charles S. Arnold from the age of five to twenty-eight remained at the original Arnold home in this county, and early in life began learning the carpenter's trade, an occupation which he alternated with his regular work as farmer. When he was twenty-two years of age the Civil war began making its demands upon the young manhood of the nation, and he was among the volunteers. He was mustered in at South Bend in Company I of the Seventy-third Indiana Infantry, was sent to Louisville, and there joined Buell's army in the campaign against Bragg. He participated at Perrysville and Stone River and many of the minor engagements. On the noted Straight's raid to Macon, Georgia, an exploit which is well known to all students of the war, he was with the rest of the soldiers taken prisoner, and for eighteen days was a prisoner at Belle Isle. He and his comrades, excepting the officers, were later paroled, sent first to Annapolis and from there to the camp at Indianapolis, where they were exchanged and finally rejoined the active service. Mr. Arnold was one of the brave and efficient soldiers of the war, and his record gained him promotion to the rank of lieutenant, which he held when finally mustered out.

Exchanging the life of a soldier for that of civilian, he settled down in Porter county and began laying the foundations of a solid material success. In 1868 he established a home for himself by his marriage to Miss Margaret Sigler. She was born in Lake county, a daughter of Samuel and Nancy Sigler, and the other children in the family were George, Eliza and John. After his marriage Mr. Arnold located at Wheeler, where he was at first engaged as carpenter and then conducted a general merchandise store. From this he returned to farming, on a place of a hundred and seventy acres a mile northwest of Wheeler, and the Arnold homestead has for many years been known as one of the best improved and valuable estates in that locality. It was the happy home of the children, and the scene of many kindly and delightful associations.

The seven children born to Mr. Arnold and wife were Hugh W., George S., Jessie E., Ethel A., Etta, Ralph and Don S. All were educated carefully, by attendance at the high school of Wheeler and in the Valparaiso schools. Hugh W., the oldest, died at the age of twenty-four, in the flower of young manhood. George S., now the leading merchant at Mt. Ayre, married Miss Cora Burke, and they have two sons, Charles and George. Jessie E. resides with her father and keeps the home and ministers to his comforts. Ethel died at the age of eight years and Etta when an infant. Ralph, who is employed by the Ohio Brass Company of Mansfield, Ohio, married Miss Edith Cram of Pittsburg, and they have one child, Helen. Don S., who is an energetic young business man, is connected with the Cleveland Electric Supply Company. Mrs. Arnold, the mother of these children, passed away on the farm homestead, and after her death Mr. Arnold came to Valparaiso and established his home in this city. In politics he has always been a stanch Republican, casting his first vote for Lincoln, and as a soldier giving a service to his country which the most conscientious citizen of later generations cannot surpass. His principal office in local affairs was as member of the county council, where he served efficiently in the control of the fiscal affairs of the county government. He is a member of the Masonic fraternity, affiliating with the Blue Lodge at Valparaiso, and with the Chapter and Council. He has also passed all the chairs in Evergreen Lodge at Wheeler, Indiana, where he joined the fraternity. He is a member of the local Grand Army post, and among his surviving comrades and among all classes of citizens has the esteem and respect which are paid to a worthy and successful life.

Source: Lewis Publishing Company. 1912. History of Porter County, Indiana: A Narrative Account of its Historical Progress, its People and its Principal Interests. Chicago, Illinois: Lewis Publishing Company. 881 p.
Page(s) in Source: 447-449

This biography has been transcribed exactly as it was originally published in the source. Please note that we do not provide photocopies or digital scans of biographies appearing on this website.

Biography transcribed by Steven R. Shook


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