John Arnold was born in 1769 in Perth Amboy of the New Jersey colony that was later to become part of the United States. John Arnold Senior fought on the side of the British in the New Jersey forces during the American Revolution. When their land was confiscated in New Jersey in 1784, John Senior, with his wife and ten children, was granted 1000 acres in Nova Scotia. However, by 1797 the Arnold family, attracted by the land offers of John Graves Simcoe had settled in the York area.
On 22 December 1802 John married Elizabeth, daughter of Abner Miles at St. James Church in York. At first, they lived at the corner of Yonge Street and John Street in Thornhill. With the death of Elizabeth’s father Abner in 1806, they moved to the property in Miles Hill that Elizabeth inherited. They had eight children. Until the Church was built in Miles Hill, Elizabeth used to ride on horseback to Thornhill each Sunday to play the organ in the Trinity Church there.
General Isaac Brock, commander of British forces and acting Lieutenant-Governor of Upper Canada, ordered a muster of all available men in the Miles’ Hill area. The militia gathered at Lot 43 East, the farm of James Fulton, and were inspected by General Brock himself and formed into a company of the 1st Regiment York Militia.
John Arnold was named captain and commanding officer of the company. Arnold’s brother-in-law, James Miles, was lieutenant and second-in-command. John Langstaff, another brother-in-law, was one of four sergeants.
During the War of 1812 the York Militia was engaged with General Brock at Fort Detroit and then Queenston Heights. As the war continued, they saw action at Fort Niagara, Chippewa, Lundy’s Lane and Fort Erie. While defending Fort York on 27 April 1813 John Arnold was captured as a prisoner of war and later released.
With the end of the war, John Arnold was granted lands in Markham for his military service and settled down to managing these land holdings and those of his wife, until he died in 1855. His wife, Elizabeth, followed him in 1858.
John Arnold acquired Lot 46 Conc 1, Vaughan, though his wife, Elizabeth who inherited the property from her late brother James. Originally, Arnold Street ran only as far west as Elizabeth Street, but in the late 1940s it was extended, curving south to intersect with Major Mackenzie Drive. This extension was called Arnold Crescent. Many years later the easterly portion was renamed so that the entire street became Arnold Crescent.
Veteran SummaryJohn Arnold
Colonel, 1st Regiment York Millitia
Place of Birth
Perth Amboy, NJ, USA
Place of Death
Richmond Hill, ON, CAN
Died on: 10 JAN 1855
Reason: Old Age
Location of Grave
Richmond Hill Presbyterian Church, Yonge St
Richmond Hill, ON, CAN
Latitude: 43.872907N Longitude: -79.438754