1826 – 1897

From History of Texas Published in 1896

Joseph Edmond Arrington dates his residence in Hood county from its early pioneer epoch. Long before the county had a separate existence – while it was yet a part of Johnson county – he established a home upon an unbroken tract of land within its borders and has since been closely identified with its interest. He has taken an active part in its progress and development and given substantial aid to the enterprises calculated to aid in its upbuilding. Thus his name has become indelibly inscribed on the pages of its history, and it is therefore with pleasure that we present his sketch to our readers as that of one of the representative and prominent citizens.

Mr. Arrington was born in Scott county, Arkansas, September 26, 1826 and belongs to a family that was founded in America by his great-grandfather, a native of the Emerald Isle, whence he sailed to the New World. His parents, Claiborn and Nancy Elizabeth (Fisher) Arrington, removed from Arkansas to Texas in December 1839, and in 1855 came to Hood county, which was then a part of Johnson county. Here the father located one hundred and sixty acres of land, whereon he followed farming and stock-raising until his death, which occurred in 1885. His wife had long preceded him to the final home, passing away in 1865.

Mr. Arrington was reared on the home farm, and received but meager educational privileges, attending a private school for a short time. His training at farm labor, however, was not limited, and he also learned all about the care of stock. The country abounded in wild game and furnished ample opportunity to indulge a taste for hunting, while the gun of different members of the family frequently supplied the table with meat. Our subject shared with the others in the hardships and obstacles of pioneer life, and as he grew up took his part in the farm work. The Indians were troublesome in those earlier days and like many other settlers he suffered the loss of some of his property – cattle and horses – at their hands.

On the 28th of December, 1854, was celebrated the marriage of Mr. Arrington and Miss Louisa Newby, a native of Clinton county, Missouri, born August 24, 1838. The wedding occurred in Hillsboro, Hill county, Texas. Mrs. Arrington is a daughter of Jonathan and Dorothy (Debury) Newby, both of whom were natives of Illinois, and were among the first settlers of Hill county, where they removed from Lavaca county, Texas, being also pioneers of that place. They had eleven children, but the only ones living are Mrs. Arrington; John, a resident of Young county, and Mrs. Martha Rice, of Collin county. Our subject and his wife were parents of six children, but the third child, Claiborn Alfred, died at the age of twenty-one, and another died in infancy. Those still living are Nancy Elizabeth, wife of Joel C. Orchard [should be Joel C. Archer], a farmer and stock-raiser of Hood county; Hannah Lucretia, wife of D.J. Williams, of Wichita county, Texas; Charles Henry, a resident farmer of Hood county; and Louise Melissa, living at home.

Upon his marriage, Mr. Arrington bought a certificate and located one hundred and sixty acres of land five miles west of Granbury, also secured another forty-acre tract. During the civil war, he served in the home guards in Carmichael’s brigade. During all these years, he has followed farming and stock-raising and now has a good farm, highly cultivated and well improved. In his political view he is a Democrat, but has never sought or desired public office. He and his wife are members of the Christian Church.

A tombstone at Friendship Cemetery in Hood County, Texas reads: “The arm of J.E. Arrington amputated October 11, 1897.” Joseph Edmond Arrington died two months later on December 21, 1897 and was buried in Friendship Cemetery near his arm. His tombstone reads, “Came to this Co. September 11, 1856.”


History of Texas, 1896, Chicago: The Lewis Publishing Co.