NORTHWESTERN IOWA ITS HISTORY AND TRADITION VOLUME III 1804-1926
B. F. ARP
Among those who have achieved success in their respective lines of business and have also contributed in a very definite measure to the general prosperity and development of the community in which they live, Ben Franklin Arp, member of the grocery firm of Arp Brothers, at Spirit Lake, is entitled to specific mention, for he has shown an enterprising and progressive spirit that has gained for him a high reputation in the business circles here. Mr. Arp was born in Spirit Lake on the 1st of June, 1884, and is a son of Peter and Mary Dorothea (Bluedorn) Arp, who were natives of Germany. They came to the United States with their respective parents, the voyage of six weeks being made in a sailing vessel. Both families settled in Scott County, Iowa, among the early pioneers. The father was a ship carpenter by trade and bought a boat house and built boats for the trade. In 1882 he came to Spirit Lake, bought a house on East Okoboji lake and built and operated pleasure boats. He died in 1891, or the following year, and was survived many years by his widow, whose death occurred in 1918.
Ben F. Arp secured his education in the public schools of Spirit Lake and, his father being in moderate circumstances, was compelled at an early age to earn money. When a lad of thirteen, he went to work in a clothing store, where he remained eight years, when, concluding it was time for him to begin working for himself, on November 1, 1905, in partnership with his twin brother, Walter Leonard Arp, he established the present grocery firm of Arp Brothers. During the twenty-two years that they have been in business they have not only enjoyed a gratifying measure of prosperity but have at the same time commanded the confidence and respect of all who have dealt with them, for they have conducted their business according to the highest standards of ethics, square dealing, prompt service and uniform courtesy marking their relations with their patrons.
In 1907 Mr. Arp was united in marriage to Miss Pearl C. Swailes, of Spirit Lake, daughter of James A. Swailes, one of the well known farmers, cattle buyers and business men of Dickinson county. Mr. Arp is a member of Twilight Lodge, No. 329, A. F. & A. M.; Spirit Lake Chapter, No. 132, R. A. M.; Sioux City Consistory, No. 5, A. A. S. R.' Abu-Bekr Temple of the Mystic Shrine; Twilight Chapter, No. 59, Order of the Eastern Star, of which he is worthy patron and Mrs. Arp worthy matron; and Calvary Shrine, No. 18, Order of the White Shrine of Jerusalem, of which Mrs. Arp is a past high priestess. Mr. Arp has taken deep interest in everything pertaining to the progress and prosperity of his city, being president of the Spirit Lake Commercial Club and active in educational and civic work. His business activity and helpful interest in civic affairs has made him a valuable asset in community progress.