Son of Joseph P. McArthur, Sr. and Mary Neill. He married Anna Currie. The couple had a daughter Alice in 1896. He worked as a blacksmith and partner in the "Joseph McArthur and Son" wheelwright shop at Bailey and Jefferson Streets. He became an iron worker after the business closed in 1900. At that time. his father, brothers Thomas and Joseph left for Iona, New Jersey. He died of peneumonia and menengitis in 1908. His widow went to live with her parents in Philadelphia.