Pictured: Ripley Allen Arnold and Mrs. Catherine L. Bryant Arnold, daguerreotype, circa 1852
Summary: Formerly a part of the Applewhite-Clark Collections, the items related to Major Ripley Arnold and his family were acquired by Tarrant County with generous funding provided by the Fash Foundation.
Following Ripley Arnold's death in 1853, it is reasonable to believe that his wife, Catherine Bryant Arnold held these belongings until her death in 1894. The artifacts were then passed down to their daughter, Kate Arnold Parker. The items were then likely inherited by Major Arnold's grandson, Ripley Arnold Hanrick who probably held them until his death in 1953. The provenance of the collection remains unclear until it was purchased by W. O. Clark in the early 2000s from an individual who insisted on remaining anonymous. The Major Ripley Arnold Collection then became part of the Applewhite-Clark Collections in 2006.
Major Ripley Allen Arnold (1817-1853) was born in Pearlington, Mississippi. He began attending the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1834. During his West Point career, he was court-marshaled three times and received 199/200 demerits before graduating in 1838. On August 26, 1839, Arnold married Catherine Bryant (1824-1894). During the Second Seminole War in Florida, Arnold was assigned to the 2nd Dragoons Regiment under Lieutenant Colonel Wm. S. Harney. Arnold remained in Florida until he was posted to Fort Jessup in Baton Rouge, Louisiana in 1842. From 1846-1848, he served in the Mexican-American War with Zachary Taylor's army in Northern Mississippi as Quartermaster and aid to Brigadier General Twiggs, Company H, 2nd Dragoons. During the war, Arnold joined Company F, 2nd Dragoons, and was promoted to Captain. In October 1848 Arnold arrived in Texas and established Fort Graham the following year. In 1849, Arnold was appointed Brevet Major and was ordered by Colonel Harney to establish a post on the Trinity. By June of 1849, Arnold began construction on Camp Worth, later changed to Fort Worth, named in honor of General Worth. In 1851, Arnold returned to Fort Graham. He was killed by Dr. Josephus Steiner on September 6, 1853. The killing was ruled self-defense and Steiner was acquitted. Major Arnold's body was brought back to Fort Worth and buried at Pioneers Rest Cemetery beside two of his children, Sophia and Willis.
Artifacts - currently housed in 1895 Room of Tarrant County Courthouse
Pictured: George Preston "Press" Farmer, Fort Sutler/Merchant, and Second U. S. Dragoon Trooper Christian Bohrman, circa 1852
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