John Hunter Arnott1

M, #15, b. 6 March 1865, d. 18 August 1923
Last Edited=27 Jan 2012
Photo taken probably for his funeral.
     John Hunter Arnott, son of James Arnot and Ann Hunter, was born on 6 March 1865 at Steeland, Saline, Fife, Scotland, His death certificate says October 6, 1865, but the birth records reports this March date. The family Bible also lists the March 6 day.2,3,4 John Hunter Arnott was the son of James Arnot and Ann Hunter.

John Hunter Arnott appeared on the Scotland census of 1871 in the household of James Arnot at Saline, Fife, Scotland.5

In 1881, John Hunter Arnott appeared on the Scotland Census, at Fossoway, Kinross, Scotland, This is most likely John Hunter Arnott. There is only one other John Arnott born in 1865 in Fife, Scotland, in the whole 1881 British census. The other is with a grandparent of the wrong name. He is listed as a farm servant with Alexander Blackwood and another farm servant, James Miller.6

John Hunter Arnott immigrated to the United States in 1888. Researcher Peter Arnott, who lives in Scotland hea where all of the Arnotts lived, states "Have you ever been to Steelend? We often passed by in the bus when visiting our grandfather Peter at Saline, next stop. I think that if I had lived in Steelend, I would have tried my luck in the Wild West too."7

John Hunter Arnott was naturalized on 26 October 1894 at Gunnison, Gunnison County, Colorado.8

John Hunter Arnott married Helen Monro, daughter of Joseph Monro and Mary Smith, on 25 September 1891 at Crested Butte, Gunnison County, Colorado, This marriage was performed by Edwin Martin, a Congregational Clergyman.9,10,4

In 1900, John Hunter Arnott appeared on the United States Census, at Crested Butte, Gunnison County, Colorado.11

John Hunter Arnott was was a coal miner for much of his life, at least between 1901 and 1923 at Crested Butte, Gunnison County, Colorado.12,13

In the January 11 - January 18, 1901 issue of the Elk Mountain Pilot: "John Arnott resigned his office as Town Marshal to accept the position of Master Mechanic at the Big Mine. Arnott settled in Crested Butte in 1890. The public recognized his service as Marshal, noting that he was both obliging and efficient. However, the opportunity to be the Master Mechanic called to him since the new job was considered a better position."14

In 1910, John Hunter Arnott appeared on the United States Census, at Crested Butte, Gunnison County, Colorado.15

In the Jan 19, 1917, Gunnison Empire, on page 6, we read: 'Supt. John Arnott of the Horace Peanut Mine is getting that property into excellent condition and is steadily increasing the production. About 55 men are employed at present."

In 1920, John Hunter Arnott appeared on the United States Census, at Crested Butte, Gunnison County, Colorado.16

In the Gunnison Empire, Vol IV, Thursday, December 20, 1920, we read: "Mr. and Mrs. John Hunter are expected in today (Wednesday) for a short visit with Mr. and Mrs. John Arnott. Upon their return to their home at Walsenburg they will take the little Hunter baby, which Mrs. Arnott has been caring for the past year."

Elsie Arnott Welch recalls that John Hunter was a cousin of her father's and that they had a son, Tom, a daughter Famie, and an adopted son John. She believes that eventually this family moved to California.After further reserch this has proven to be the case in most respects. John Hunter was the son of Thomas Hunter, John Hunter Arnott's uncle. The family did ultimately move to California.17

John Hunter Arnott died on 18 August 1923 at Crested Butte, Gunnison County, Colorado, at age 58.18,19 and was buried at Crested Butte Cemetery, Crested Butte, Gunnison County, Colorado. The obituary read as follows:
John Arnott passed over the great divide on Saturday night at 8:25 o'clock and our whole city has been grief stricken over the passing of a beloved citizen.

He had been ill for several years but bedfast for only a few weeks.

Born March 6, 1865, at Steeland, Fife Shire, Scotland, Mr. Arnott was 58 years, 5 months, and 12 days of age at the time of his death.

On September 25, 1891, he was married to Mill Helen Monroe at Crested Butte and had resided here ever since. Thirteen children blessed the union, eleven of whom survive. Mr. Arnott also leaves four brothers in Scotland and six grandchildren at this place.

He served as Mayor and city marshal of Crested Butte, for a number of terms and filled the offices with credit to himself and his town.

Mr. Arnott was a staunch Mason, having been initiated into that order October 31, 1898. Crested Butte Lodge, No. 58, A. F. & A. M. had full charge of the funeral arrangements and services, several members from Gunnison and Trinidad being in attendance. Loads of beautiful flowers covered the casket.

Besides Mrs. Arnott the children are John H. and Helen M., both dead. James H., Joseph M., Thomas H., Mary, Anna, Euphamia, Robert, William A., Henry G., John Angus, and Elsie Isabelle.

Sympathy of the entire community goes out to the grief stricken family..."20,21


This Researcher's family always referred to John Hunter Arnott as "Pa Arnott." He came from Scotland to work in the coal mines and in the 1910 census was reported to be a mechanic in the mine. According to Pa's grandson, Thomas Ellsworth Arnott, Pa was ultimately the superintendent of the three mines owned by Colorado Fuel and Iron: Persing Mine, the Big Mine, and Smith Hill. The death certificate reports that his occupation was coal mine superintendent.

In the 1900 census, John was listed as the City Marshall of Crested Butte, and, according to the Elk Mountain News, John was also mayor of Crested Butte in 1919.

The Arnott family played a significant part in the life of the small town of Crested Butte. With 13 children, many of whom went on to have families of their own and stayed in Crested Butte, the family would have made their mark. The local paper was the Elk Mountail Pilot and issue after issue refers to the activities of the Arnott family.

John was a Trustee on the Crested Butte Town Council during the period of 1894 to 1903 approximately. He even was the Clerk Pro-Tem for several meetings. Most of the business covered was rather mundane: town bills; reports from the Police Magistrate; repair of town property such as fire hoses; saloon licenses and liquor licenses repeatedly. They condemned a building that was partially destroyed by fire; purchased a fire truck; built a bridge on Maroon Ave. Snow removal was also a recurring topic of discussion as was the hiring of town employees such as doctors, night watchmen, marshalls, etc. At times there were infectious diseases like diptheria that required action by the marshall to quarantine and fumigate.22,23

A "family story," as yet unconfirmed, is that while Pa was working as a marshall in Crested Butte, he shot and killed a man, possibly on Whiterock Avenue. Elsie (Arnott) Welch wrote in October, 2001, that she believes this is false, as she never heard the story and thinks she would have if it had been true.

Elsie and her husband Art did relate another story that may have been the truth behind the above. "There was a man from Smith Hill cheating men at a poker game in the Crested Butte city hall. This resulted in a quarrel between the men. One man's body was found (dead) near the Matt Savoren home, a half block from the Catholic church. The shooter's body was found in the back of the Catholic church...This shooter, the word was passed around, had committed suicide. This was the laugh of the town as the man was supposed to have shot himself then placed his hat over his hand holding the gun. Being that the posse was gathered in front of Ma and Pa's house would indicate that Pa was still marshal. The posse was called off...Another story connected to the poker game, a man by the name of James Snyder left his hat in the city hall in the poker game. His wife, thinking her husband might be implicated, removed his hat from the hall."

Or perhaps the story refers to this one from The Elk Mountain Pilot in 1900: "...the residents of Crested Butte were startled awake by a large amount of gunfire near the intersection of Elk Avenue and Third Street. The trouble began at Lacy's Saloon on Saturday just before midnight. Peter Rollo, a well-known Italian who worked at the coke ovens, became involved in an argument with William Gibson. Rollo then stabbed Gibson in the arm so deeply that he hit bone. No one in the Saloon besides the two men initially involved saw the stabbing take place. A few moments later, when the other patrons became aware of what happened, they threatened Rollo and told him to leave while he was still able. Rollo took their advice, however, on his way out, he received a sharp hit to his head with a pool stick. Apparently the blow infuriated the already agitated Rollo, and after a bit of time he returned to Elk Avenue with a gun. As a group of men emerged from the Saloon, Rollo opened fire on them. The men ran and ducked for cover. Mike Enright ran back into the Saloon where he grabbed a revolver and then exchanged fire with Rollo. Rollo then ran toward his home on Third Street. The Police Magistrates and the Marshal attempted to apprehend Rollo at his home. Rollo and the police exchanged fire. Bystander George Ball received a hit to his calf. Evidently deciding that the situation was hopeless, Rollo stopped shooting and ran off into the night. Search parties had no luck in locating him. The searchers believed that Rollo had been hit and escaped from town."13,24

Family lore has it that Pa was a policeman in Scotland before he came to Crested Butte. The pay was so poor that the policemen would stop at people's homes for meals. That is how Pa met Ma. He stopped for a meal either at her own home or at the home where she worked as a domestic. (James Daniel thinks that my father, Thomas Elsworth Arnott told him this.) It is certainly true that Pa must have known Ma in Scotland because the story is that he picked her up in New York when she arrived from Scotland and they were married as soon as they got to Crested Butte.13

Some other interesting anecdotes: According to Elsie Arnott Welch there is a violin in the home of Ma and Pa Arnott which originally belonged to William A. (Toots) Arnott until he purchased a better one. Tom Arnott purchased the piano that is still in the front room of the home in which the Arnott family of 13 was raised. All or most of the family were good musicians. Art and Elsie (Arnott) Welch say that there was a Bob Hunter that lived with John and Helen (Monro) Arnott for a period of time. They say that Mrs. Arnott did not like this man who later moved to Kansas City.13

Children of John Hunter Arnott and Helen Monro

Citations

  1. [S179] Interview with Alice Joyce Stevens Arnott (informant address private) , by this researcher, 1996. Notes of this interview are in the personal records of this researcher (Florence, Pinal County, Arizona).
  2. [S7] Death Certificate photocopy or digital copy is in the personal records of this researcher, Florence, Pinal County, Arizona.
  3. [S4] Birth Record photocopy or digital copy is in the personal records of this researcher, Florence, Pinal County, Arizona.
  4. [S414] Arnott Family, Family Bible - Arnott Family (n.p.: n.pub., unknown publishing information); Noreen Welch, Lakewood, Colorado. Hereinafter cited as Arnott Family Bible.
  5. [S31] 1871 Scotland Census, Saline, Fifeshire, Scotland; digital image by subscription, General Register Office for Scotland, Edinburgh, Scotland http://ancestry.com; The Generations Network, Inc.. Photocopy or digital copy is in the personal records of this researcher.
  6. [S32] 1881 Scotland Census, ED2, p. 5.; digital image by subscription, General Register Office for Scotland, Edinburgh, Scotland http://ancestry.com; The Generations Network, Inc.. Photocopy or digital copy is in the personal records of this researcher.
  7. [S416] Peter Arnott, "Correspondence with Peter Arnott Regarding the Arnott Family in Scotland," (author E-Mail address private) at Fife, Scotland, to this researcher, March 2009 and following. Hereinafter cited as "Correspondence - Peter Arnott."
  8. [S17] Naturalization Certificate photocopy or digital copy is in the personal records of this researcher, Florence, Pinal County, Arizona.
  9. [S131] John Chandler Clement, Colorado Marriages 1859-1939 (Denver, Colorado: John Chandler Clement, unknown publish date), License # 525, certified by Edwin Martin, Pastor, Congregational church, Crested Butte, Colorado.
    . Hereinafter cited as Colorado Marriages 1859-1939.
  10. [S16] Marriage Record photocopy or digital copy is in the personal records of this researcher, Florence, Pinal County, Arizona.
  11. [S1] 1900 United States Census, population schedule, Supversion District 2, Enumeration District 140, Sheet 8, Line 1.; digital image by subscription, The Generations Network (http://www.ancestry.com); from the National Archives microfilm. A printed copy is in the personal records of this researcher.
  12. [S2] 1910 United States Census, population schedule; digital image by subscription, The Generations Network (http://www.ancestry.com); from the National Archives microfilm. A printed copy is in the personal records of this researcher.
  13. [S84] Interview with Art and Elsie Welch (informant address private) , by this researcher, Various meetings and correspondence. Notes of this interview are in the personal records of this researcher (Florence, Pinal County, Arizona).
  14. [S160] Unknown author, Elk Mountain Pilot, Crested Butte, Colorado: January 11 - January 18, 1901 issue.. Hereinafter cited as "An article in Elk Mountain Pilot, Crested Butte, Colorado."
  15. [S2] 1910 United States Census, population schedule, Supervision District 2, Enumeration District 63, Sheet 6, Page 4, Precinct 4.; digital image by subscription, The Generations Network (http://www.ancestry.com); from the National Archives microfilm. A printed copy is in the personal records of this researcher.
  16. [S3] 1920 United States Census, population schedule, Maroon Avenue. John listed as Superintendent of the mine.; digital image by subscription, The Generations Network (http://www.ancestry.com); from the National Archives microfilm. A printed copy is in the personal records of this researcher.
  17. [S84] Interview with Art and Elsie Welch (informant address private) , by this researcher, Various meetings and correspondence. Notes of this interview are in the personal records of this researcher (Florence, Pinal County, Arizona), Conversation with Elsie Welch in March, 2005.
  18. [S7] Death Certificate, Colorado #SL01113609 photocopy or digital copy is in the personal records of this researcher, Florence, Pinal County, Arizona.
  19. [S36] Newspaper Obituary, unknown newspaper, Gunnison News-Champion, Gunnison, Colorado, Friday, August 24, 1923, page 1., photocopy or digital copy is in the personal records of this researcher, Florence, Pinal County, Arizona.
  20. [S12] Daughters of the American Revolution Gunnison Valley Chapter, Gunnison County Cemetery Records (Gunnison, Colorado: Gunnison Daughters of the American Revolution, 1974). Hereinafter cited as Gunnison County Cemetery Records.
  21. [S160] Unknown author, Elk Mountain Pilot, Crested Butte, Colorado: Obituary, August, 1923. Hereinafter cited as "An article in Elk Mountain Pilot, Crested Butte, Colorado."
  22. [S160] Unknown author, Elk Mountain Pilot, Crested Butte, Colorado. Hereinafter cited as "An article in Elk Mountain Pilot, Crested Butte, Colorado."
  23. [S113] Interview with Thomas Ellsworth Arnott (informant address private) , by this researcher, 1996 to present. Notes of this interview are in the personal records of this researcher (Florence, Pinal County, Arizona).
  24. [S160] Unknown author, Elk Mountain Pilot, Crested Butte, Colorado: August 31 - September, 1900 issue.. Hereinafter cited as "An article in Elk Mountain Pilot, Crested Butte, Colorado."