History of Woonsocket
by E. Richardson
Woonsocket: S. S. Foss, Printer, Patriot Building, Main Street, 1876.
HISTORY. CHAPTER III.
Of John Arnold I have been able to learn but little. If we judge of him from documents of his time, which allude to his father as 'Captain' Richard Arnold, to his son as William Arnold, 'of Smithfield, Esq.', and to himself as simply John Arnold, 'yeoman', we may regard him as simply a connecting link between his ancestors and his descendants. It will, therefore, be pleasant to remain in his company, because we know so little of him. And yet, from positions which he held among his fellow-countrymen, and from works which he has left behind him, he seems to have been a man of more than ordinary parts.
He was one of the organizers of the Society of Friends in Northern Rhode Island, and built their first meeting-house at this place. He was one of the committee who run our northern boundary line in 1718, and when Smithfield became a town, in 1731, he was the first President of the Council. He was born in 1671. Tradition fixes the time of his coming to take up his permanent abode upon his father's lands at this place in 1695, and the records show that this was about the time of his marriage.
The maiden name of his first wife was Mary Mowry, a daughter of Nathaniel Mowry, to whom I have introduced you in a previous chapter. She presented him with ten children, namely - William, John, Israel, Daniel, Anthony, Seth, Anne, Marcy, Susanna and Abagail. Mary died January 27, 1742. He remained a widower but a short time, and although arrived at the mature age of three score years and eleven, he again put on the yoke of matrimony. The name of his second wife was Hannah Hayward. There were no fruits to this union. He died October 27, 1756, in the eighty-sixth year of his age. His remains now repose in the burial-ground on the Vose farm at the Globe Village. His will was written May 5, 1753. The following is the
Abstract of Will of John Arnold.
'To his wife, Hannah, one-half of the incomes and profits of the homestead farm. Also, one-half of the meadow and upland at the Little Cedar Swamp.
'To his son, William, thirty pounds of current money.
'To his three sons, Daniel, Anthony and Israel, five pounds each.
'To his three daughters, Mary Lapham, Abagail Bartlett and Susanna Melvory, one hundred pounds each.
'To his grandson, Moses Arnold, five pounds.
'To his grandson, Noah Arnold, forty pounds.
'To his grandson, David Arnold, ten pounds.
'To his grandson, Arnold Paine, the remaining half of the homestead, and of the meadow and upland at Little Cedar Swamp. Also, the reversion of the other half of same at the death of his wife. Also, one-half of farm stock. Also, two hundred pounds current money.
'To his grandson, Nicholas Lapham, his French gun.
'To his son, Seth, his part of the saw-mill and appurtances.
'The remainder of his estate to be equally divided among his eight remaining children.'
Before his death John Arnold presented or sold the larger part of his real estate to his sons - William, John, Israel, Daniel, Anthony and Seth. The reader must pardon me if, in giving the sub-divisions of his estate, I get ahead of my story at times. The excuse which I have to offer is that it would have been much easier for me to tell my story chronologically, and I have chosen another course for the reader's convenience, instead of mine.
BURIAL: Was buried in the ARNOLD-VOSE CEMETERY, WOONSOCKET, EAST ORCHARD ST.