Biography of Manasseh Arnold
Clarion County, PA Biographies





ARNOLD, MANASSEH. Manasseh Arnold was born in York county, Pa., Sep tember 17, 1830. in 1837 his parents removed to Clearfield county, Pa., which was then a comparative wilderness. The family was one of moderate means, and its members were subject to the privations incident to the lives of the. pioneers of civilization. The facilities afforded the children for acquiring an education were of the most limited character, and had it not been that their father, Peter Arnold, was a man of superior learning for his time, and took great interest in the common school system then being introduced in the State, their education might have been entirely neglected. The instruction received at the primitive common school during the day was supplemented by the father's supervision of the children's studies in the evening, and in this manner the subject of this sketch acquired what would at the present time be considered a fair common school education.

Up to the age of sixteen years Mr. Arnold remained with his parents, assisting in clearing up a farm and tilling the ground for the maintenance of the family, when, in 184 6, he left the parental roof to seek his fortune. Coming to Clarion county, he secured a position in a country store at a salary of seventy-two dollars per year, boarding furnished. After one year's employment his salary was increased to one hundred and forty-four dollars, and subsequently to one hundred and ninety-two dollars per annum. His services were so satisfactory to his employer, Mr. James Laughlin, that on the 1st day of October, 1850 (Mr. Arnold then being in his twentieth year), that gentleman proposed a partnership on very favorable terms, which proposition, after due consideration, was accepted, and a partnership was formed under the firm name and style of Laughlin & Arnold, for the purpose of carrying on the mercantile, lumbering, milling, and boat building business, and dealing in live stock, at Leatherwood post-office, near St. Clarles Furnace, Clarion county, Pa. About one year subsequent to the formation of this partnership, the senior member of the firm met with an accident in the flouting-mill, which nearly cost him his life, and for a long time incapacitated him for attending to business, although he eventually recovered sufficiently to assist to some extent in the minor affairs of the firm's extensive dealings; yet he remained an invalid until the time of his death, which occurred in 1870. Thus, in a great measure, the management of the large business to which the firm had already attained was assumed by the junior partner, and carried on by him successfully until the death of his senior, a period of nearly twenty years.

On September 3, 1857, Manasseh Arnold was married to Amanda Ross McKelvey, second daughter of Thomas McKelvey, esq., of New Bethlehem, Pa., and the young couple immediately went to house keeping at the husband's place of business. 'The union was a very happy one, and was followed by a family of seven children, three sons and four daughters, all of whom are living.

Mr. Arnold continued the business of merchandising, etc., at Leatherwood from the time of the death of Mr. Laughlin, in 1870, until December, 1875, when he disposed of his interests at that point, and in the following spring removed to the borough of Clarion, where he has since resided. This step was the result of the fact that in November, 1875, he had been elected prothonotary and clerk of the courts of Clarion county, in the face of one thousand majority adverse to his party. He assumed the duties of his office on the first Monday of January, 1876, and discharged the same to the entire satisfaction of the people until the expiration of his term, in 1879.

During that time and since, Mr. Arnold acquired valuable real estate in Clarion borough, upon which he has erected large and extensive buildings, and in various other ways has given evidence of commendable public spirit and enterprise. For several years he has been engaged in the dry goods business in Clarion, and has attained a leading position in the trade, while in connection with other parties he owns large and profitable lumber interests on the Clarion River, in the northern part of the connty.


From:
History of Clarion County, Pennsylvania
With Illustrations and Biographical Sketches
of some of its prominent pioneers.
EDITED BY: A. J. Davis
D. Mason & Co., Publishers
1887


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