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A Tale of Two Families – Arnold and Rolo – Larned Cemetery, Larned, Pawnee County, Kansas

“At the age of twenty-three John Arnold enlisted in the British army to engage in the Crimean war, remaining until peace was declared, re-enlisting in the regulars for five years, during which time he was sent to Canada.1

John Arnold was born in England on July 3, 1831. Since he was already in Canada and was intrigued by the opportunities in America, he came to Poughkeepsie, New York. He found work as a wagon and carriage maker. When the US Civil War broke out, John enlisted in Co. C NY 1st Mounted Rifles as a wagoner. He served for three years and was honorably discharged in 1864.

John’s wife, Mary Porter, was born in New York in 1825. It is unknown when the two were married. The couple was blessed with seven children, however, only one son and three daughters survived to adulthood. The Arnold family came to Pawnee County in 1874. They settled in Pleasant Valley Township south of Larned.

Mary contracted typhoid fever and died on November 1, 1881. She is buried in Larned Cemetery. John remarried Ann Lee Maytham Rolo.

Ann Lee Maytham’s first husband was Francis A. Rolo. They both were born in Ohio and were married in 1864. Frank brought Ann and their three children to Pleasant Valley Township in 1879. Francis developed consumption (tuberculosis) and passed away in 1882 at the age of 38. He is buried in Larned Cemetery.

Ann was now a widow with three children the youngest being five years old when she married John Arnold.

John and Ann Lee continued to live on the homestead south of Larned. John had been ailing for some time and he died in 1899. Ann Lee passed away in 1923. They are all buried in Larned Cemetery.

Note: The Crimean War was fought from October 1853 to February 1856. An alliance between France, Ottoman Empire, the United Kingdom, and Piedmont-Sardinia defeated the Russians. The causes stemmed from a religious controversy involving Christians and Eastern Orthodox

The war did not directly affect the United States, however, one individual’s crusade to provide better sanitation and treatment of individuals in hospitals- - - - - Florence Nightingale. She and over 30 nurses were sent to a British hospital in Constantinople She is given credit for the founding of modern nursing and public health pioneer.

The role of a wagoner was to transport the supplies needed by the army. He was responsible for driving the wagon and maintaining it, feeding and caring for the mule team that pulled it, ensuring that it was loaded properly, and seeing that its cargo reached its destination safely. The cargo could be anything that an army of that time required; food, medicines, weapons, ammunition, clothing, shelter tents, tools, the soldier’s knacksacks, officer’s luggage, to name a few.2

1Larned Chronoscope (Larned, Kansas), 18 Aug 1899 p. 3

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