JESSE ARNOT – MATERNAL FIRST COUSIN, 4X REMOVED

Jesse Arnot was the son of William Truesdale Arnot & Mary Garten and was my maternal first cousin 4x removed. He was born November 15th, 1812 and died May 11th, 1896.

The family lived in Monroe Co. Virginia.

Another fact of interest is that after Jesse’s mother died, His father married Lucinda Handley. She was the daughter of William Hanley and Margaret Henderson. When Jesse married, he married the sister of his step-mother, Elizabeth Mary Handley.

Elizabeth’s father was devoted to the study of the planets and taught her about the mysteries of astronomy. At the time, this was not a subject that was commonly studied.

Mary worked tirelessly for the Methodist Episcopal Church. She was an asset to ministers and other important people. It was said that she was wise in her judgements. She, along with her husband, Jesse, were instrumental in the establishment of the Methodist Orphans Home in 1865. She devoted much of her time and energy to this cause for the remainder of her life.

Jesse and Mary were married in Monroe County, Virginia. They had three daughters:  Mary (Alfred Bradford) Ann (Michael Murphy and Margaret (Samuel Hendle).

Jesse and his brother Anderson left Virginia and relocated to St Louis, Missouri, where they opened a livery business. They had the only four-horse hearse in the Midwest.

When President Abraham Lincoln was killed, the mayor of St Louis asked Jesse to lend his hearse for the funeral.

The hearse carried the body of the assassinated president from the train station through Springfield, Illinois to Oak Ridge Cemetery.

It is said that Jesse wanted to drive the four horses with just one hand and tied the reigns to enable that. He also tied his tie in the same way; this is now known as the four-in-hand knot. As time has passed, Jesse, who was always an ordinary business man, became a folk character.

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