Among the enterprising horsemen in this part of Ohio few are better known than the Arnold brothers, Cyrus Clay Arnold and Edgar James Arnold, proprietors of the old William Moore farm in Cedarville township, this county, rural mail route No. 2 out of Xenia, and for years engaged there in the breeding of pure-bred Percheron horses, as well as being engaged in the raising of cattle and hogs. The Arnold brothers are bachelors and are natives of old Virginia, born in that part of the Old Dominion now comprised in Marshall county, West Virginia, sons of Vanlaer and Mary (Blevins) Arnold, the former of whom was born in that same state and the latter in County Armaugh, Ireland. Mary Blevins was but a child when she came with her father, James Blevins, and her three sisters to this country. Her mother had died in Ireland and when her father arrived in this country with his motherless daughters he settled in Marshall county, Virginia, where he spent the rest of his life. The other daughters were Mrs. Jane Majors, Mrs. Elizabeth Collins and Margaret, wife of William Moore.
Vanlaer Arnold was born in the vicinity of Wheeling, in Ohio county, Virginia, son of John Arnold, a millwright, and became a boatbuilder and riverman, making many commercial trips down the river, often going as far south as New Orleans. He later bought a farm of five hundred acres in Marshall county, Virginia, and there established his home. He was a Presbyterian. Politically, he had been reared a Whig, but upon the organization of the Republican party became affiliated with that party and was strongly interested in the movement which led in 1863 to the severance of the civic ties which bound western Virginia to the Old Dominion and the creation of the new state of West Virginia. He gave public service as county assessor and while thus serving secured the revaluation of the lands of his home county. Vanlaer Arnold was twice married and by his marriage to Mary Blevins was the father of six children, of whom the brothers whose names appear as the caption of this biographical sketch were the two last born, the others being the following: Wylie, a veteran of the Union army during the Civil War, who died on his farm in Guernsey county, Ohio, in 1885; Augustus, who became a merchant in his home county and who died there on December 30. 1916; Elizabeth Gertrude, who married Miles B. Pierce and lives on a farm in Marshall county, West Virginia, and Franklin, unmarried, who is now living with his brothers in Greene county. Franklin Arnold spent his early life farming in his home county and then moved to Somerset county, Maryland, where he bought a farm, which he still owns, and which he continued to operate until his retirement and reunion with his brothers in this county. The mother of these children died in 1862 and Vanlaer Arnold later married Sallie Ann Barnes, who survived him, her death occurring in 1905. Vanlaer Arnold died on his old home place in Marshall county, West Virginia, in 1892, he then being past eighty years of age.
Cyrus Clay Arnold and Edgar James Arnold were reared on the home farm in Marshall county, West Virginia. They were but small children when the new state was created. There being no public schools in their home neighborhood at that time, they were instructed by private teachers employed by their father for five terms, and after the establishment of the free schools they became attendants in the latter. From boyhood they were well trained as practical farmers and have always remained together in their farming operations. When their father died in 1892 they inherited two hundred acres of the home place and there they continued their farming operations until 1898, when they came to Ohio and took possession of a farm of three hundred and thirty-seven acres they previously had bought in Harrison county. There they remained until 1908, in which year they disposed of their interests in that county and came to Greene county. In 1910 they bought the William Moore farm of two hundred and forty-seven acres in Cedarville township and are still making their home there. For years the Arnold brothers have been engaged in the breeding of pure-bred Percheron stock and their horses have been exhibited at county fairs and horse shows. They also carry on general farming and are likewise engaged in the raising of cattle and hogs. The Arnold brothers are members of the First Presbyterian church at Xenia. Politically, they are Republicans.
From History of Greene County Ohio, Its People, Industries and Institutions, vol. 2. M.A. Broadstone, editor. B. F. Bowen & Co., Indianapolis. 1918