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13. The Jonathan Arnold House

Lot #17 on Jacob Street (northwest corner of Main and Bridge streets) changed hands several times in the early years. The first mention of a house was in 1818 during a transaction between Samuel Morrison and Archibald Earle; at that time, the land held a home and a hatter's shop. According to Mrs. Lucy Brown McCrum in "Beverly Recollections," Robert McCrum, her grandfather-in-law, built the brick building. This places its construction in the 1820s unless he built it for Samuel Morrison earlier. The first mention of a brick house was in an 1831 deed when Robert McCrum sold the property to Robert Chenoweth for $405.

In 1845, Jonathan Arnold bought the property from William C. Haymond for $1500. Mr. Arnold's wife was Laura Jackson Arnold, sister of Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson. They lived in the house throughout the Civil War. Mrs. McCrum described the house at that time as a two story building with a double portico in front and a small wing at each side with a two story ell running back, containing perhaps three or four rooms with a long porch at the side. In the north wing, children of the Arnolds, Browns, Hamiltons, and Rev. Thomas went to school with a governess, who was hired by these parents and housed at the Arnold home. jonathan_arnold3.jpg (25331 bytes)

"Stonewall" Jackson was known to have visited here a number of times before the war. The Arnolds were initially Whig in their politics, but Jonathan came to be a southern sympathizer. His wife Laura remained a staunch Unionist, but she offered care to the wounded soldiers of both sides. After every raid or skirmish near the town she would be seen tending the wounded, with a roll of bandages in one hand and a pot of coffee in the other.

jonathan_arnold1.jpg (37768 bytes) Jonathan and Laura Arnold's son Thomas J. Arnold, has written an excellent account of "Beverly in the Sixties." Among his many Civil War tales, he mentions:

“General McClellan, during his brief stay in Beverly, called at our house on at least two occasions to see my parents, my mother's brother having been a classmate of his at West Point. Also to see Major Pegram, who had been permitted to stay at our home under parole, awaiting orders from Washington as to disposition of his case.”

Their house continued to be used to house officers.

“We generally had in the house some sick Federal officers, as did a number of other families in town. . . the invalid's meals being supplied by the family. Aside from a natural feeling of humanity to aid the sick . . . it saved a family from being annoyed with soldiers. Then again soldiers were entitled to draw several rations in proportion to their rank . . . in flour, meats, etc., from the United States Commissary, at wholesale cost. Families could in that way obtain supplies that were sometimes difficult to get.”

Their differences in war-time sympathies apparently led to family dissension, for Jonathan Arnold and Laura Jackson Arnold divorced after the war. She moved to Buckhannon and Jonathan stayed in the house in Beverly, living there until his death in 1883.

A. D. Barlow bought two lots from the heirs of Jonathan Arnold in 1883 for $3500. He built a store over the south wing and made other modifications.

In the 1940's, fire damaged the south wing (where the store had been) and A. D. Barlow's daughter, Miss Mary B. Barlow, had that wing removed. She built a large columned porch across the five-bay front of the now L-shaped two-story house. The window openings have also been altered, and an original 2nd-story door has been bricked closed. Four of the original rooms remain.