Mary Ann Ritter Arnold was born April 25, 1927. She graduated from Stephens College with an AA in 1945 and from the University of Missouri with a BS degree in Home Economics in 1948. She married Sidney W. Arnold in 1948. He graduated from the University of Arkansas Medical School in 1956.
In 1975, she moved back to Marked Tree and became president of E. Ritter & Co. from 1976-1992. She and her husband had three children — Melissa, Ritter, and Paul - who have given them seven grandchildren and two great granddaughters.
Arnold became active in the Agriculture Council of Arkansas, National Cotton Council, Cotton Board, US Rice Council, Arkansas Telephone Association, US Telephone Association, Crittenden Hospital Board, State Chairman of Farm Services Agency Committee, Arkansas Children’s Hospital Foundation, ASU Museum Advisory Committee, ASU Business School Advisory Committee, ASU Foundation, Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce, Rotary, Marked Tree Chamber of Commerce, Poinsett County Justice of the Peace, a strong supporter of the Marked Tree Museum-Library, the Marked Tree School system and Girl Scouts and a member of the Marked Tree First United Methodist Church serving on the PPR and Trustees committees.
She was elected Mayor of Marked Tree, to fill the remaining term of Wayne Nichols in September 2013 — becoming the first female mayor of Marked Tree. Arnold was re-elected to the mayor’s position in November 2014.