SANFORD A. ARNOLD, now living retired at Larned, belongs to the pioneer element in Pawnee County. He went through and shared the period of toil, hardship, poverty and adversity which afflicted this country for many years. It often happens that adversity and suffering are factors in endearing localities quite as much as pleasure and success, and with all the vicissitudes of existence in those early days Mr. Arnold never seriously considered leaving Western Kansas. He endured to the end, and in the course of time reached a position where his material circumstances were all that he could desire, and there are few men in Larned who control more extended landed possessions than he.
Not long ago Mr. Arnold reached the seventieth milestone on life's journey. His career has been not without eventfulness as well as substantial achievements. He is an Ohio man by birth and early training and was born in Licking County February 14, 1846. His forefathers were English people. His grandfather, William Arnold, was a farmer, and early in the last century he took his family from Maryland to Ohio, locating in Muskingum County and later in Licking County, William Arnold had children named Moses, William, John T. and Rachel.
John T. Arnold, father of Sanford A., was born in Maryland, went with his parents to Ohio, was a proficient mechanic and spent most of his active career as a bridge contractor. He was a democrat in politics, a member of the Masonic order and faithful in attendance to his religious duties as a Methodist. John T. Arnold married Sarah M. Athey, a daughter of Hezekiah Athey, who moved to Ohio from Virginia. Mr. Arnold died at the age of seventy-six, and his wife passed away several years later. Their children were: William M., who spent his life in Fairfield County, Ohio; Elizabeth A., who married James Palmer, and died in Greene County, Wisconsin; Nancy Ellen, wife of A. J. Baughman, of Larned, Kansas; Almyra, who died in Fairfield County, Ohio; and Sanford A.
Sanford A. Arnold grew up in the Town of Hanover, Ohio. He attended the public schools there but never acquired a liberal education because the atfractions of life outside the schoolroom were too strong for his studious attention to books. He was fifteen years of age when the war broke out. From that time forward he eagerly longed to get into the ranks and do his duty to his country. His father was opposed to his going into the army, but the boy kept up his urgings persistently until he finally won the consent of his parents. The critical period of the war had passed and the Union forces were entering upon their final great drive through the South when he donned the uniform of a soldier. He joined Company F of the Ninety-Fifth Ohio Volunteer Infantry. In the matter of height he was not quite up to the standard, but he got himself enrolled, and served faithfully and well as a member of the regiment until the close of the war. His company was first commanded by Captain Thomas and last by Captain Davidson. The regiment was commanded by Colonel Brumback. When he got to the front the great Atlanta campaign had closed and General Thomas was in hot pursuit of Hood's army through Tennessee. He had his first experience and baptism of fire in the great battle of Nashville, December 15-16, 1864. His regiment then was engaged in the siege of Spanish Fort, around Mobile Bay, Alabama, from March 27th to April 8, 1865, and there he was wounded in the calf of the leg. After being in camp for a time at Enterprise, Mississippi, the regiment went to Meridian, where it secured the release of Federal prisoners. The war having closed, Mr. Arnold was discharged at Louisville, Kentucky, August 14, 1865. In the battle of Nashville he had received a wound in the hip, but that soon healed. Mr. Arnold has always felt a keen interest in his old comrades of the war, and after coming to Larned he joined the Grand Army of the Republic and has attended several national encampments.
He was still under age when he came out of the army, and he then took up the trade of stone cutter. He followed it for several seasons in Ohio but the only work of that character he did in Kansas was laying the foundation of the schoolhouse in District No. 12, Pawnee County.
When Mr. Arnold came to Western Kansas he had a wife and five children. He had married in Coshocton County, Ohio, December 15, 1867, Miss Margaret A. Swihart, daughter of Andrew D. and Leah (Baker) Swihart. Her grandfather, Frederick Swihart, was a Pennsylvania German, and died November 24, 1849, at the age of sixty-eight years and eleven months. He was twice married, his two wives being Saloma Gintner and Maria Ridenour. The children born to his first marriage were: George; Andrew D., born October 26, 1808; Susanna, born October 21, 1810; and David, born December 18, 1812. By his second union the children were: Sarah, born December 17, 1815; Elizabeth, born June 17, 1817; Eva, born August 28, 1820; Isaac, born February 23, 1822; Maria, born October 12, 1824: Frederick, born August 23, 1826; Anna, born December 17, 1828; and Jacob, born June 12, 1831. Of these children those who reared families were: Frederick; Mrs. Elizabeth Shalter; Mrs. Sarah Wealty; David; Mrs. Susanna Walters and Andrew D.
Andrew D. Swihart was a native of Pennsylvania, as was also his wife. He became a farmer and was married after moving to Ohio. He and his wife had the following children: Mary C., who married John Lewis and died in Tuscarawas County, Ohio; Philip, who also died in that county; William, who died in Tuscarawas County; Amanda, who married Hosea Fisher and died in that section of Ohio; and Mrs. Arnold, who was born December 9, 1846.
It was on the 20th of March, 1875, that Sanford A. Arnold first arrived in Pawnee County. The next fall he bought a relinquishment of the northeast quarter section 4, township 22, range 18. On that place he established his first permanent home in Kansas. His wife and children came to Kansas in May, 1875, by railroad. For all his efforts in Ohio he had not accumulated any capital, and only by dint of constant effort and exercise of considerable ingenuity and enterprise was he able to make a living in Kansas for several years. He tried buying a team of government horses at Fort Dodge. These animals were almost worn out, but someone else wanted them worse than he did, and failing of that resource he bought a yoke of Texas steers. These served him as work animals for three years. He used them for other purposes, and when the family went visiting they got into the lumber wagon and were slowly conveyed to their destination behind the patient oxen. The pioneer home of the Arnolds was a two-room frame house with a basement. There they lived not without happiness and some degree of comfort for about fifteen years. In that time Mr. Arnold was able to situate himself somewhat more fortunately as to material circumstances, having in the meantime worked both as a farmer and stock raiser. There were many lean years. In 1878 his efforts at planting produced abundant returns, but that year was followed by two very meager crop seasons.
Again and again famine threatened to devastate the country and drive the population out, and in fact hundreds of settlers who came here in the flush of hope and enthusiasm did leave. Mr. Arnold tided over that period chiefly as a freighter. He hauled goods from Dodge City to that famous old cattle town of the Texas Panhandle, Tuscosa, and also from Salina to points along the road to Larned. He acted as salesman for the goods he transported, selling them to the farmers and ranchers along the way. This occupation he continued intermittently for several years. There were other sources of employment which he tried and which yielded him sufficient cash to buy groceries and other supplies. He dug wells, picked up buffalo bones from the prairies where they were bleaching in the sun, and all his fuel for a number of years came from the buffalo chips. These lines of work were only a means to an end, and they merely sustained him until he was well fortified in his enterprise as a farmer and stockman.
Mr. Arnold remained on his homestead six days beyond the time when he was required to prove up. His application for proof of title was turned down by the Land Office authorities. He then sent an appeal to Washington, and after a considerable unwinding of red tape, which always complicates government business, he received his patent.
Mr. Arnold had lived five years in Kansas before he started to increase his land holdings. The first quarter section he bought cost $800. After that he bought other tracts from time to time until he owned ten quarter sections in Pawnee County, a section in Haskell County, a section in Ford County near Dodge City, and a half section in Gray County. All these extended possessions are the fruit of Mr. Arnold's well directed efforts on Kansas soil. He showed his good judgment by not tying himself exclusively to one crop. Besides grain growing he kept increasing his herds of live stock almost from the first, and has dealt extensively in stock. Of the many years he has lived in Western Kansas he records only four total wheat failures. He has been both conservative and progressive, and altogether his management of affairs has been successful. As a wheat raiser he has been able to thresh as much as fifty bushels from a single acre. His best average yield was twenty-eight bushels to the acre. The banner wheat crop was harvested in 1914, when he threshed 18,000 bushels. That was the most profitable of all the years, although in 1916 a combination of high prices with a fair crop brought wealth to thousands of Kansas wheat growers.
In coming to Pawnee County Mr. Arnold brought his children to a community that was practically without schools. The district was sparsely settled, and the most of his neighbors were Germans who believed in short terms and cheap teachers. Mr. Arnold helped organize district No. 12. and Mrs. Arnold was a member of its board for fifteen years. His own inclinations have been decidedly averse to holding public office. He has voted his sentiments as he thought just and right, and in matters of national politics is a democrat.
Mr. Arnold moved into his comfortable home at Larned on April 14, 1896. Besides his extensive interests as a farmer he is a stockholder in the Farmers Grain Company. When the Jetmore branch of the Santa Fe was built he showed his encouragement of the enterprise by housing and boarding and transporting the staff of surveyors, and also exercised his influence and tact and diplomacy to the advantage of his neighbors by securing the location of the line in such a way as to cause the least inconvenience to the people. Near his home a station was established on the railroad and was named in his honor, Sanford. He responded to this honor by erecting a private elevator as the first building on the town site. Mr. Arnold wears the jewel significant of twenty-five years of faithful and active membership in the Independent Order of Odd Fellows.
In the meantime Mr. and Mrs. Arnold's children have grown up and most of them are now established in homes of their own and there is a troop of grandchildren. Their oldest child, Jessie, is the wife of Charles Axx, of New Philadelphia, Ohio. John T. is a farmer at Sanford, Kansas, and by his marriage to Elzena Hendrickson has four children, Margaret, John, Irene and Vera. William M. is a business man at Blackwell, Oklahoma. He married Rhoda S. Stites, and their children are Flossie and Fern. Frank M. is a farmer near Rozel, Kansas, and by his marriage to Florence Tuttle has three children, Ralph, Nellie and Harold. Charles H. is an engineer with the Santa Fe Railway Company and his headquarters are at Bakersfield, California. Maude M. is the wife of E. W. Fromong, of Rozel, Kansas, and they have a household of children named Laura Fern, Lola May, Bernice Grace, Hazel Irene and Margaret Emma. Grace A. is the wife of Jesse Shackelford, an employe of the Santa Fe Railway also living at Bakersfield, California. Edward A. is a successful farmer near Dodge City. He married Ella Salmans and has children named Erma, Charles and Sanford.
Transcribed from A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans, written and compiled by William E. Connelley, Secretary of the Kansas State Historical Society, Topeka. [Revised ed.] Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co., 1919, c1918. 5 v. (xlviii, 2530 p.,  leaves of plates): ill., maps (some fold.), ports.; 27 cm.
Tom & Carolyn Ward
Home Page for Kansas
Search all of Blue Skyways
The KSGenWeb Project