Born in Rhine, a province of Bavaria, he was apprentice to the trade of designing and building furniture. In 1882, at the age of 17, he came to America going first to Cincinnati. He then moved to Canal Dover where he obtained work in a furniture factory. Several years later he organized a retail furniture firm in Zanesville. Early in 1888, he came to Canton and purchased the Undertaking and furniture establishment owned by the Shearer Bros. Eleven years later, with H.D. McCrea, he formed the Canton Home Furnishing Co. After 12 years, Mr. Arnold sold out his interest in the furniture business and established the Arnold Funeral Home.
Mr. Arnold was one of the organizers of the Citizen's Building & Loan Company, now First Merit Bank.
J.L. served as both president and secretary on the Ohio State Board of Embalming Examiners, receiving appointments from three governors. He was a member of the Canton Board of Health and one of the original organizers of the Canton Chamber of Commerce.
He was a 32nd degree mason and his affiliations included McKinley Lodge #431 F&AM, Knights Templar, Scottish Rite, Nazir Grotto, Al Koran Shrine, and the Masonic Veterans Association. Other memberships included National Funeral Directors Association, Ohio Funeral Directors Association and First United Church of Christ. He was a charter member of Congress Lake Club and held a life membership in Canton Lodge of Elk's.