|Birth: ||Nov. 19, 1845|
|Death: ||Aug. 16, 1925|
San Augustine County
When asked, by his young grandson Clifford Arnold whether he had a middle name, William replied, in the soft, slow Louisiana tones that he had acquired years earlier, "Just plain William." Clifford interpreted that short, cryptic response to mean that he had no middle name. There is some debate about a middle name, due to a single record that lists a middle initial, "M". The fact is lost to history.
William Arnold was the son of James Monroe Arnold I and his first wife, the former Telitha Frances "Tillie" Katz. He had three brothers and one sister.
William's mother, whose birth name was "Owah", was a full-blood Choctaw, a daughter of sub-chief Little Creek and his wife, Tishku. His father, James, was born in that same Mississippi area when it was part of far-western Georgia. Tillie was born after it became the Mississippi Territory. William and his siblings were born in the state of Mississippi. All the places of birth were in or near present-day Copiah County, Mississippi.
In February 1862, 10 months after Gen. P. G. T. Beauregard's Confederate forces opened fire on the Union garrison holding Fort Sumter, William Arnold, at age 17, enlisted in the Army of the Confederacy with the rank of Pvt., serving in Co. E, 8th Regiment, 8th Brigade, Louisiana Infantry. Nine months later, he was honorably discharged by a 'Surgeon's Certificate of Disability". The disability is not defined on the form, so it is not known if it was even military-related. His name has not been found on any rosters of battle participants, which is more than a just a suggestion that he never saw any action against the Union Army.
Seven months after his discharge, William married the former Sarah Jane Dowdney, who he met after his family relocated to Franklin County, two counties to the southwest of Copiah County. in the late 1850s. He was exactly one year-to-the-day younger than his lady fair. Their marriage would endure for 60 years.
William and Sarah, who was often addressed by her middle name, were the parents of a large family, beginning in 1867 with the births of fraternal twins, Marion Richard and Mary Vienna, followed by William Bunyon in 1873, Emma Venora in 1875, Lucinda Victoria in 1878, James Dowdney "Jim" in 1880, and Telitha "Tillie", namesake of William's mother, in 1882. Only the twins and Bunyon were born in Mississippi; the others were born in Catahoula Parish, Louisiana. Of their seven children, only Bunyon, Venora, and Jim lived to an old age. Richard Marion died at age 32, his twin Mary Vienna at age 25, and Lucinda Victoria at age 20, all before the turn of the century. Tillie, whose last illness was treatable had the prescribed medication not been withheld by her husband, died six years after Sarah Jane and four years after William.
It is the general consensus that the lives of William and Sarah Jane were never easy. Both were the children of honest but poor farmers who never used slave labor in their endeavors. Before his marriage, he worked on his father's farm and Sarah Jane went into service at age 14. After his marriage, William supported his family by farming in every place they lived: Mississippi, Louisiana, and east Texas. Their last home and farm was in Angelina County, Texas, not far from the town of Lufkin.
While only William and Sarah Jane's youngest son, Jim, seemed to have enjoyed higher than average success as a farmer, all their children followed their parents into farming or as the wife of a farmer. They loved and respected their parents, and that filial love linked to love of the land was passed to successive generations.
ED.NOTE: The burial site for William's oldest daughter, Mary Vienna (Arnold) Knapp, who died in 1892, probably in LaSalle Parish, Louisiana, has not been found. Either her widower never put a marker in place or time and harsh temperatures reclaimed it.
James Monroe Arnold (1788 - 1870)
Telitha Frances Katz Arnold (1810 - 1861)
Sarah Jane Dowdney Arnold (1844 - 1923)*
Marion Richard Arnold (1867 - 1899)*
William Bunyon Arnold (1870 - 1949)*
Emma Venora Arnold Stone (1875 - 1966)*
Lucinda Victoria Arnold Blankenship (1878 - 1898)*
James Dowdney Arnold (1880 - 1954)*
Telitha Arnold Garrett Shuttlesworth (1882 - 1929)*
Alsey A. Arnold (1828 - 1891)*
Lorenzo Dow Arnold (1829 - 1881)*
William Arnold (1845 - 1925)
Maintained by: Betty Arnold Henderson
Originally Created by: SnL Roots
Record added: Mar 11, 2008
Find A Grave Memorial# 25197859