John H. Arnett. Among the public spirited men of Southern parentage who have helped to make Macoupin County what it is today, we are pleased to note the gentleman whose name appears at the head of this sketch, who is now Postmaster of Delay and was for some time Supervisor of Bird Township. His father, Thomas Arnett, was born in North Carolina, and his mother, Elizabeth Reader, was a native of Tennessee, where they were married and made their first home in Overton County. At that time many residents of Tennessee and Kentucky were emigrating to Illinois, and they followed the tide. Coming hither in 1834, after living for a few months in Morgan County, they settled in the spring of 1835, in Bird township, this county. This they made their permanent home until their death. The mother was called from earth in August, 1864, and her loss was deeply felt, not only by her husband and children, but by her friends and neighbors. Her bereaved husband survived her for nearly ten years, passing away in February, 1874.
Our subject is one of a large family of seven sons and five daughters, of whom he was the seventh in order of birth. His birth took place in Bird Township, this county, September 28, 1838. Here he grew to manhood and has made Bird Township his home continuously, with the exception of a short time spent on the Pacific Coast. In 1863 he went to California and was absent in that State and Oregon until 1865. He has made farming his chief business in life and adhered to it until 1888, when he rented his farm to a tenant and came to Delay, where he engaged in the business of general merchandising. In the spring of that year he received the appointment of Postmaster, which office he still fills. He owns a fine tract of three hundred and nine acres, most of which is in Bird Township.
Mr. Arnett was married May 21, 1874, in Memphis, Tenn., to Miss Hannah Mills, who was born in Carlinville. Her parents were Charles and Mary A. (Castle) Mills, natives of England. Mr. Mills was a blacksmith by occupation and an expert in his calling. He and his good wife are now residents of California. Mr. Arnett is a public spirited man and is ever alive to the interests of the community, and especially active in forwarding all movements which he believes to be for the best good of the agricultural community. He has filled for three terms the office of Supervisor of Bird Township, and has been Treasurer of the township for twelve years, and Justice of the Peace for two terms. Political affairs interest this gentleman deeply and in them he takes an active part, working earnestly for the prosperity and progress of the Democratic party.
Source: Chapman bros. Portrait and biographical record of Macoupin county, Illinois. Chicago: Biographical publishing company, 1891.