A.F. Arthur, who is a well-known and successful contractor and builder of McMinnville, is one of the native sons of the Golden West, his birth having occurred in this city May 23, 1865. That seemed an early epoch in the history of this section of the country, and yet, twenty-two years before that time, his father, William Arthur, had come to the Sunset state. He was born in Missouri and is a brother of Mrs. Mahala Cozine of this place. It was in the year 1843 that William Arthur crossed the plains, accompanying his parents. In early life he learned the carpenter's trade and for many years followed the building business. In the early '60's he was a farmer in Clackamas county, Ore., and then came to McMinnville, where he began contracting and building, and many of the substantial structures of the city are the visible evidence of his life of thrift and industry. He is now living in McMinnville, enjoying a rest which he has truly earned. His wife bore the maiden name of Margaret Easton and died when A.F. Arthur was but a year old, leaving two children, the elder being Milton, who is a carpenter of Ione, Ore. The father is a member of the Baptist Church and his Christian faith has been manifest throughout his upright career. As an honored pioneer he certainly deserves mention in this volume for he belongs to that class of heroic early settlers who laid broad and deep the foundation for the present prosperity and development of this section of the country.
In the public schools, A.F. Arthur acquired his early education and afterward spent a short time as a student in McMinnville College. From early youth he worked at the carpenter's trade, which he learned under the direction of his father, and he always followed this pursuit, with the exeption of a few years spent in farming. He owned a place of four hundred and eighty acres four miles west of McMinnville and thereon engaged in the raising of stock, making a specialty of sheep and cattle. In 1894 he returned to McMinnville and rented his farm, which in 1899 he sold. Upon again locating in his native city he began contracting and building and has erected many fine residences here. He is now in parternership with J.W. Cook, under the firm style of Cook & Arthur, and they rank among the leading builders of this part of the state, having a liberal patronage, which is indicative of their excellent workmanship and their enterprise. They live faithfully up to the spirit as well as to the letter of the contract and in the execution of the work entrusted to them they show that they are masters of the building art.
Mr. Arthur is a man of resourceful business ability, who has not confined his attention alone to one line, for in the summer seasons he is engaged in threshing, being a partner of C.J. Skinner in that enterprise. They operate the Russell thresher, which is run by steam, Mr. Arthur having been in this business for fifteen years. In all branches of his work he is progressive, keeping abreast with the latest improvements.
In this county Mr. Arthur was united in marriage to Miss Emma Huguelett, a native of Virginia City, Nev., and unto them have been born five children - Austin, Roy, Clara, Walter and Ernest. Fraternally Mr. Arthur is connected with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and with the Woodmen of the World, and he belongs to the Baptist Church. His political support is given to the Democracy and he has served as a member of the Democratic county central committee, doing everything in his power to advance the growth and success of the principles in which he believes. In business he has achieved success through honorable effort, untiring energy and capable management, while in social life he has gained friendship and favor because of qualities which everywhere command respect - a genial disposition, and deference for the opinion of others.
"Portrait and Biographical Record of the Willamette Valley", pages
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updated: November 8, 2008