Carl F. Arnold, whose talents lie along mechanical lines, has worked for many of the leading automobile manufacturers of the country, constantly broadening his knowledge and augmenting his skill, and is now classed with the most successful dealers of Watsonville, where he also operates a well equipped repair shop. Fortune has not always bestowed her favors upon him, but adversity has spurred him on to renewed effort, and by hard work and perseverance he has conquered every impediment in his course, pressing steadily onward to the goal fixed by his ambition.
Mr. Arnold was born June 29, 1879, in Battle Creek, Michigan, and is a son of Fred and Pauline (Bender) Arnold, both natives of Germany. The father came to California in 1888 and is now engaged in the dairy business in Santa Clara county. He has wisely conserved his powers and although he has reached the age of seventy-five years is still vigorous in mind and body.
Carl F. Arnold attended the public schools of San Jose, California, and during vacation periods worked as an errand boy for the Home Union Company, hardware dealers of that city, thus earning his first money. He learned all branches of the trade of an automobile machinist in Battle Creek and Detroit, Michigan, and was employed in some of the largest factories of those cities. He helped to make and assemble one of the first gas engines in this country and a year was consumed in the work, which was performed at Battle Creek in 1902. While in Detroit he built the first four-cylinder crank shaft ever constructed and was personally acquainted with Henry Ford when he was experimenting on his automobile. Mr. Arnold took a thorough course in mechanical drafting with the International Correspondence Schools of Scranton, Pennsylvania, and when a resident of Detroit worked for the Reliance Company, the Griffin Wheel Company and also in the tool rooms of the Cadillac and Packard factories. In 1904 he was employed in the tool shop of the Hetterman & Cramer Company, whose factory was situated next door to the Ford plant, and in 1907 he again came to the Pacific coast, opening an automobile repair shop in San Jose. In 1910 he returned to the east, working for some time in the Durant and Buick factories in Flint, Michigan, and in 1915 he came to Watsonville. He obtained a position in the Covell repair shop and has also been employed in shops in Los Angeles. He has made one trip around the world and five across the United States, working at his trade. Mr. Arnold is the most experienced mechanic in his line in this section of the country and a recognized authority on matters pertaining to automobile construction. In 1922 he located permanently in Watsonville, purchasing an automobile repair shop. His capital at that time amounted to three hundred dollars, and he owed seven thousand dollars. The business was a small one, only one man being at first employed, but under Mr. Arnold’s progressive management it has developed rapidly and he now requires the assistance of three experienced mechanics. He has met nearly all of his outstanding obligations and his affairs are in a very prosperous condition. He recently acquired the local agency for the Overland and Willys-Knight automobiles, two of the most popular cars on the market, and also handles the Philadelphia storage battery.
In 1916 Mr. Arnold married Miss Gertrude Angel, of Wells, Nevada, who has been of great assistance to her husband in the up-building of the business. He is identified with the various branches of Masonry and belongs to Watsonville Lodge, No. 110, F. & A. M., and to Aahmes Temple of the Mystic Shrine at Oakland. He is also connected with the Eastern Star and with Watsonville Lodge, No. 1300, of the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks. He lends his support to every project destined to prove of value to his city and is accorded the respect which is the just prerogative of the self-made man who fights life’s battles single-handed.
Source: History of Monterey and Santa Cruz Counties, California : cradle of California’s history and romance : dating from the planting of the cross of Christendom upon the shores of Monterey Bay by Fr. Junipero Serra, and those intrepid adventurers who accompanied him, down to the present day. Chicago: S.J. Clarke Pub. Co., 1925.