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Ripley A. Arnold (1817–1853) was a major in the United States Army and founder of Camp Worth in 1849, later renamed Fort Worth, Texas.[3] In 2014 a 22-foot statue was dedicated to Arnold.[4] It was erected along the Trinity River below the army camp site he established and named after one of his military commanders.[5]

Ripley A. Arnold
Birth nameRipley A. Arnold
Born(1817-01-17)January 17, 1817
Pearlington, Mississippi, U.S.
Died1853(1853-00-00) (aged 35–36)
Fort Graham, Texas
Pioneers Rest Cemetery in Fort Worth, Texas
AllegianceUnited States
United States Army
Years of service1838-1853
UnitSecond Dragoons[1][2]
Battles/warsBattle of Big Hummock[1]
ChildrenWillis, Florida Belle

Early lifeEdit

Arnold was born in Pearlington, Mississippi on January 17, 1817 to Willis Arnold.

Army lifeEdit

He was appointed to West Point in 1834 and graduated thirty-third in his class. He was sent to the Second Dragoons in Florida in 1838 and brevetted captain in 1842 for gallantry in the Seminole War and major in 1846 for his role in the battle of Palo Alto.[3] After the Mexican-American war, he was given command of Company F of the Second Dragoons and sent to Texas to establish a military post close to the Trinity River. After locating a suitable site, Arnold left Fort Graham with 42 dragoons to establish Camp Worth, named after his former commanding officer, who had recently died of cholera in San Antonio. It was completed by the winter of 1849 and later renamed Fort Worth.[3]

Personal lifeEdit

He eloped with Catherine Bryant on August 26, 1839.[3]


Ripley Arnold was killed by Josephus Steiner in a duel at Fort Graham, Texas, where Arnold was the commanding officer and Steiner the physician[1]. He was buried at Fort Graham, and was reinterred and reburied in Fort Worth[3] at Pioneers Rest Cemetery.[4]


  1. ^ a b c Selcer, Richard (2009). Fort Worth Characters. University of North Texas Press. ISBN 9781574412741.
  2. ^ Collum, George Washington (2009). Biographical Register of the Officers And Graduates of the U. S. Military Academy from 1802 to 1867. Applewood Books. ISBN 9781429022101.
  3. ^ a b c d e CUTRER, THOMAS W. (June 9, 2010). "ARNOLD, RIPLEY ALLEN".
  4. ^ a b Xaykaothao, Doualy. "'He Wanted To Be A Peacekeeper:' Bronze Statue Honors Man Who Founded Fort Worth".
  5. ^ Board, The Star-Telegram Editorial. "At last, Brevet Maj. Ripley A. Arnold receives fitting tribute". star-telegram.