Arthur was born in Wheeling, W.Va. Grew up in Ohio. He studied engineering at Ohio State and in the U.S. Air Force, becoming an Aircraft Performance Engineer. In 1956 Arthur married Rilla Maxwell, who attended Bliss Business College.
He flew B-36 bomber during the cold war as a deterrent to Russia, and attained the rank of a Captain. After the war, he bought a farm near Perrysville, Ohio, and studied Business Administration at Ashland, University.