A pioneer resident and office holder in Covington. James G. Arnold was born on January 10, 1792 near Paris, Kentucky. His father was Elisha Arnold. As a child, the family moved to North Bend in Boone County and later to Washington in Mason County, Kentucky. While in Washington, he and his brother established the Washington Male Academy. He also married his wife in Mason County, Margaret Dalton Strain.
In 1818, James G. Arnold and his wife moved to Covington. For a number of years, he operated a hotel in the city. Arnold also became involved in the tobacco industry, in which he was very successful. Arnold acquired a considerable fortune, which he invested in Covington real estate.
James G. Arnold held a number of political positions in Covington. He was the postmaster, town clerk, justice of the peace, mayor and president of the town council. Arnold was also an active member of the Christian Church and Masons.
James G. Arnold Died on November 16, 1876 at the home of his daughter, Mrs. Joseph B. Boyd (southeast corner of 6th and Philadelphia Streets). He was survived by his widow and four children: Rev. Thomas N. Arnold, Mrs. Joseph B. Boyd, Mrs. C.D. Foote and Mrs. James Willis. At the time of his death, Arnold’s estate was conservatively valued at $400,000.
Ticket, November 17, 1876, p. 3; The Biographical Encyclopedia of Kentucky (Cincinnati: J.M. Armstrong & Company) 1878, p. 422.