Was born in Columbia County, State of New York, April 5, 1814. He lost his parents in infancy, and is a self-educated man. He became a professional teacher in early life. He came to Clearcreek Township as early as 1838, where he taught school. In 1839 he located in Ashland, where he taught several sessions. In 1843 he acted as deputy sheriff under Sheriff Kerr, of Richland County. After the erection of Ashland County, he served a number of years as constable for Montgomery Township, and as superintendent of the county infirmary. He studied law with Gates & McComes, and was admitted in 1853. He married Eunice Cornell, of Elyria, in 1842. He removed to Troy in 1854, and became a farmer-lawyer. During the war of 1861-5, he served in Tennessee. Since his return he has been elected justice of the peace. He is now farming one-mile southeast of the center. He is the parent of three girls and two sons, one of who fell in the late war. The other members of his family are married. As the name denotes, Mr. Van Arnan is a descendant of the original Hollanders, of New York.