Ireland Old News
Northern Nebraska Journal
Died, at his home near Ponca, on January 30th, 1894,
Judge Arnold was one of the best known and most esteemed citizens of the county. He was born May 1, 1822 at Cork ¹, Ireland. When quite young² he came to this country, locating in Holyoke, Massachusetts. He was married at Woonsocket, Rhode Island, on May 11, 1844, to Mary O'Hara, who now survives him. In 1857 he and his family came west, arriving at Sioux City, Iowa, on the steamboat Essy Wilgus³ , May 8, 1857. From Sioux City, which was then a town of tents, log cabins and perhaps a hundred people, he came to Dixon county and has resided here ever since. Hence, as will be seen, he was one of the earliest settlers of this county. When he came, the white inhabitants were few and scattering and the land was mostly unbroken and uncultivated. Where are now dense settlements and cultivated farms was then the home of the Indians and buffaloes. Where we now see large town, extensive business enterprises, elegant residences, railroads, telegraphs and a multitude of other evidences of progressive and educated people, then the country was yet wild, and a white man was almost as much of a rarity as the Indian is now.
It required much energy and perseverance to come and make a home in a country so forbidding in appearance and promising so little to the settler. The brave and resolute pioneers who, in face of the certain hardships and discouragements of a life of solitude and toil on the frontier, come and remain, deserve to hold an honorable place in the memories of all. Judge Arnold was one of those pioneers, of whom there are a mere handful all told, in 1857, who struggled with and conquered untamed nature in northern Nebraska and pioneered the way for its present towns and farms and prosperous inhabitants. Dixon County, which in 1857 was scarcely more than a wilderness, has now the comforts, luxuries, schools, churches, markets and railroads of the most favored parts of the east. Its growth in the past 37 years has, like the usual growth of the great west, been almost magical. This marvelous panorama of development was from first to last, witnessed by Judge Arnold. He was indeed one of the actors in the transformation, and to him as much as any other are we indebted for the steadfast efforts which in all the years were made to develop the county and promote the welfare of its citizens.
Judge Arnold took an active and prominent part in the affairs of the county, and at various times was elected to county and town offices, all which he filled with honor and integrity. In politics he was a democrat of the old school; he had a fine education, was a fine speaker and a convincing writer, and in all business, either public or private, his record was clear and untarnished.
The citizens of the county and especially the old residents will remember him as a sincere and reliable friend and a most courteous and honorable gentleman.
Judge Arnold leaves a wife and two sons and two daughters, viz., Wm. Arnold who lives at Sioux City, John E. who is in Colorado, and Mrs. Fenton of Elk Point and Mrs. Hewitt of Missouri.
His funeral took place on Thursday of last week at the Southcreek Catholic church, Rev. Father Geary officiating, as was attended by a large concourse of sorrowing friends.
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