GEORGE B. ARNETT. The name of George B. Arnett in business circles of Carlinville is a synonym for enterprise and progressiveness and, as he has been remarkably successful in a number of business ventures, he is well and favorably known in other parts of the state outside of Macoupin county. He was born in Bird township, Macoupin county, February 16, 1868, a son of George W. and Serena E. (Lasiter) Arnett. The father was a native of Tennessee and the mother of Illinois. In their family were four children: Viola A., the widow of E. P. Deeds, of Carlinville; Horace W., who died in 1880; Lilly M., who married H. C. Wilhite, of Greenfield, Illinois; and George B. of this review.
The father of our subject was brought to Macoupin county by his parents when he was four years of age and has ever since made his home in this county, being now eighty-two years old. He engaged successfully in farming and accumulated about two hundred and fifty acres of land in Bird township, which he developed into a valuable property. In 1889 he took up his residence at Carlinville, where he and his wife are now living. He was formerly actively interested in local affairs and for a number of years was supervisor of Bird township, serving in that capacity for a number of years. He and his wife are members of the Baptist church.
Thomas Arnett, the grandfather of our subject on the paternal side, was born in Tennessee, the family originally coming from Virginia. He married a Miss Reader and they both passed their declining days in Macoupin county, the grandfather dying when he was about sixty-five years of age. Their children were: George W.; William D.; John H.; Paschal L.; Thomas; Martha, who married John Wiggins; and Nancy. The grandfather on the maternal side was also a native of Tennessee and was an early settler of Greene county, Illinois. He married Charity Hill. He was killed accidentally in middle life by the running away of a team which he was driving. In his family were five children: Eliza, who married Joseph Bird; Serena E., the mother of our subject; Mary, who became the wife of W. R. Fitzgerell; Myra, who married Joseph Casteel; and Jennie, who married Horatio Peebles. Mrs. Lasiter, the mother of these children, was married again, her second husband being John Courtney, and they had two children, Carroll and Cyrus B.
George B. Arnett was reared on his father's farm and possessed advantages of education in the district schools. Later he attended Blackburn University and the Northern Indiana Normal school at Valparaiso, Indiana, completing a business course at the latter institution He paid his expenses at the higher institutions by teaching school and, being a young man of ambition and energy, it did not require him long to secure a position in the business world. He began his active career as a traveling man for D. M. Osborn & Company, selling binders, mowers, reapers, etc., and later was employed in expert work by the company for a year. He was then appointed general agent of the same company for Kentucky, Tennessee and southern Indiana, with headquarters at Louisville, Kentucky, and continued in that position from 1890 to 1895. In the latter year he accepted appointment as manager of the office of the Smith Premier Typewriter Company at Louisville and six months afterward was promoted to the Cincinnati office, which controlled a number of other city offices. He spent a year at Cincinnati and then, in 1896, came to Carlinville and accepted a position as traveling man for the Parlin & Orendorf Company, in which capacity he continued for five years. During this time he also was at the head of a retail implement and vehicle business in this city. In 1903 he bought out R. R. Simmons, of Greenfield, who was the owner of one of the largest hardware stores in Greene county, and conducted the store until 1908, when he disposed of it to the Melvin Hardware Company. He continued in Greenfield for a year, being engaged in the real estate business, and then purchased a beautiful residence at Carlinville, which was known as the W. O. Steimeyer property. He has since lived in this city and gives his attention to the real estate, loan and insurance business. He owns eighty acres of land in Mississippi county, Missouri, and also the Greenfield Opera House and other property in Greenfield and Carlinville.
On the 19th of October, 1892, Mr. Arnett was married to Miss Olive J. Sangbush, a daughter of Henry and Mary (Cutler) Sangbush. Six children have been born to this union, Irene Esther, George Clifford, Henry Howard, Olive Adaline, Cleo Frances and Thomas Russell. Mrs. Arnett was born in Woodford county, Illinois. Her father was born in Germany and came to this country as a boy, while her mother was born in Woodford county. The mother died in 1906, but the father is still living and makes his home at Washburn, Illinois. They had three children, Mrs. Arnett being the only one now living.
Mr. and Mrs. Arnett are valued members of the Methodist church. He is identified with the Knights of Pythias and during his life in many ways has practically exemplified the beneficial teachings of that order. In politics he is in close sympathy with the principles of the democratic party. He has never sought to avoid responsibility and in the discharge of his duties has shown clearness of judgment and a knowledge of conditions which have been productive of generous financial returns. Hence, he ranks as one of the leaders in business circles of this section - a position which he has attained by methods entirely legitimate, as he has never sought to advance his own interests to the injury of others.