Lafayette Arnold grew up to manhood on a farm, and secured a very good education when his advantages for procuring such are considered. He worked on the farm until Aug. 8, 1862, when he enlisted in the 129th Illinois Infantry. His regiment was mustered in at Pontiac, and went immediately to the front, where it was soon engaged in the stern realities of war. Mr. Arnold was engaged in many battles, among some of which may be mentioned Crab Orchard, Buzzard's Roost, Snake Creek Gap, Chattahoochie River, Resaca, Peach Tree Creek, Kenesaw Mountain, Atlanta and Jonesboro, and was under Hooker when Sherman left Atlanta and marched to the sea. On his return from the sea the battles of Bentonville, Goldsboro and Averysboro were participated in by Mr. Arnold, and later he was present at the surrender of Johnson, which was one of the closing scenes of the war. He marched to Washington City, and there took part in the grand review. He was mustered out at Chicago in June, 1865, and thus closed a most brilliant war record.
After the war was over Mr. Arnold accepted a position as clerk in the general store of John C. Hagler, of Exeter, a business in which he continued for three years, when he was offered a school to teach, which offer was accepted, and he continued teaching for four or five years. He then purchased a small farm near Exeter, and beginning in a modest way, he soon accumulated enough to purchase his present property, a beautiful farm of 160 acres of well-improved land. He has done the most of the work of improving his farm with his own hands. He has erected buildings that are a credit to the place, his house being notably roomy and convenient. Upon his farm are springs which supply clear, sparkling water the year around, and lovely groves and orchards assist in making up a grand landscape. Small fruit in abundance and of the finest quality is produced on this farm; indeed, it possesses all the requisites that the most exacting farmer could desire. He takes great pride in raising the different varieties of wheat, thus benefitting his brother farmers, as by so experimenting he is enabled to ascertain the seeds which are best adapted to this part of the country. He has produced seven varieties of wheat, finding a market for it in different States, and from which he has made money. He has a fine herd of cattle, and raises many hogs.
Mr. Arnold has been married twice. His first wife was Miss Maggie D. Creel, a native of Green County, Ky. They were married Aug. 29, 1867, and she died Aug. 6, 1873. To this union was born one child - Cordell. Mr. Arnold was married a second time, July 11, 1876, to Miss Mamie Thompson, a native of this county. This marriage produced three children - George, Clyde and Fannie.
Mr. Arnold ranks among the prominent and influential farmers of Bluffs, and is at present at the head of the School Board, and has been for years. He has also been Superintendent of roads. He is a prominent member of the I. O. O. F., and has been since 1861. He is Post Commander of the G. A. R. at Bluffs, and takes great pride in this organization.