Willis Fillmore Arnold is a scion of one of the old and honored families of Tennessee and was born in Henderson county, this state, on the 10th of December, 1882. He is a son of Dr. John Martin Arnold and Laura Frances (Dodds) Arnold, both of whom were likewise born in Tennessee, their present home being in the city of Jackson. Dr. Arnold was graduated in the medical department of Vanderbilt University, as a member of the class of 1877, and was for thirty years engaged in the successful practice of his profession in Henderson county, whence he removed to Jackson in 1907. He is a man of high intellectual and professional attainments and has long been recognized as one of the representative physicians and surgeons of Tennessee, He is a stalwart Republican in his political proclivities and his wife holds membership in the Baptist church.
The present postmaster of Jackson gained his early educational discipline in his native county, and after attending the Georgia Robertson Christian College, at Henderson, he finally decided to prepare himself for the legal profession. With this end in view he was matriculated in what is now Union University, at Jackson, in the law department of which institution he was graduated as a member of the class of 1902 and from which he received the degree of Bachelor of Laws, with incidental admission to the bar of his native state. In 1904 he engaged in the active practice of his profession in Jackson, where he soon gained secure vantage ground as an able advocate and well fortified counselor. He built up a substantial practice and continued to give his attention to the same until he was appointed postmaster of Jackson, on the 16th of April, 1911. From 1905 until 1911 he also served as deputy clerk of the United States district court.
Mr. Arnold has taken a specially deep interest in political affairs in his native state and has been prominently identified with the maneuvering of political forces to his home county. That he is here a leader in the ranks of the Republican party needs no further voucher than the statement that he has served consecutively as chairman of the Republican committee of Madison county since 1906, and that his ability in directing the affairs of the local party contingent has been proved in a most effective way, the while he has created the minimum of antagonism and has gained the confidence and good will of the representative members of the opposing party as well as of those of his own party. His term as chairman of the committee will expire in 1914. He is affiliated with the Modern Woodmen of America and the Tribe of Ben Hur, as well as other representative civic organizations in his home city, and both he and his wife hold membership in the Baptist church. It has consistently been said that Mr. Arnold is "a man of large views and conservative and dependable judgment."
On the 24th of April, 1904. was solemnized the marriage of Mr. Arnold to Miss Johnnie Johnston, daughter of John N. Johnston, a prominent citizen of Jackson, and she is a popular factor in the social activities of her home city. They have one son. Willis E.
Source: A History of Tennessee and Tennesseans By Will Thomas Hale, Dixon Lanier Merritt
Transcribed and Submitted by Barb Z.