Arnold immigrated from England with his parents to Paris, Ontario, in 1833. In 1845, Arnold bought land, where he established the Paris Nurseries in 1852. A self-taught hybridist, he was an early reader of Charles Darwin and Charles Lyell. Arnold was for many years prominent in agricultural and scientific associations. In 1872, he won the gold medal at the Hamilton [Ontario] Exposition for a new, hardy white wheat. In 1876, he won the Philadelphia Centennial Medal for a superior exhibit of fruits. He originated several varieties of grapes and also hybridized wheat, strawberries, raspberries and peas.[i] An American firm paid him $2,000 for the right to sell his ‘American Wonder’ pea.[ii] Arnold was one of the first directors of the Fruit Growers’ Association of Ontario, a position he held until he died. His obituary praised his contributions to Canadian horticulture, noting “His success as a nurseryman is a fine example of the happy results which follow when a man of great enthusiasm tempered with good judgment finds himself free to pursue the kind of work he loves best.”[iii]
[i] “In Memoriam [Charles Arnold],” Canadian Horticulturist (May 1883): 101.
[ii] “Some Prominent Canadian Horticulturists—XII. Mr. Charles Arnold, Paris, Ont.,” Canadian Horticulturist (October 1890): 282. See also, “Arnold, Charles,” in, Liberty Hyde Bailey, ed., The Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture, Vol. F-K (New York: The Macmillan Co., 1922), 1564.
[iii] “In Memoriam [Charles Arnold],” 101.