The first settlers in the Pole Canyon area were Isaac and Catherine Woolverton, along with their four children, who arrived in 1868. By 1881, around fifty people lived in the area and nine children attended a one-room schoolhouse. That year, a post office opened with Arthur Gedney as postmaster. The post office was named Arthur - either after Gedney or Chester Arthur, who was president at the time. Gedney, aside from ranching, ran a freight line from Wells to Eureka and died June 22, 1882 after being kicked in the head by a mare he was riding.

A new school was completed in 1884, but soon proved inadequate and replaced in November 1886. Balls, dances, and other entertainment were hosted at Bachman Hall in Pole Canyon, which was presided over by Sam Bachman. Arthur also became a stop on the Ruby Valley stage line, which was run by Kelly and McCain, and a Good Templars Lodge was organized in the early 1890s.

Today Arthur remains a small ranching community and many pre-1900 buildings are still in use, although the post office closed in 1951.