BLACK, James, formerly a prominent and successful farmer of Bushnell Township. McDonough County, Ill., where he is now living in comfortable retirement, was born in Clark County, Ohio, on June 3, 1828. His parents, James and Catherine Black, were natives of the State of Virginia, and were born in 1789 and 1790, respectively. James Black, Sr., went from Virginia to Ohio in 1811, and followed farming there until his death.
The subject of this sketch was reared on his father's farm and in boyhood attended the public school. In 1849 he came with his brother to McDonough County, Ill., traveling on horseback by way of Chicago and Rock Island. Mr. Black purchased 260 acres of land in Bethel Township, on which he followed farming for eleven years. In 1865 he sold this farm, and in 1866 bought 160 acres in Bushnell Township, on which he built and followed farming and stock-raising until 1899, when he retired from active life. For a time he worked at the carpenter's trade near Macomb.
Mr. Black was first married in Ohio, in 1852, his wife dying January 20, 1853. One child, Cyrus, was the offspring of this union. On July 4, 1854, he was married to Mary Alexander, who was born and reared in Virginia, and eleven children were born of this union. Mr. Black's children are: Cyrus (born of the first marriage), who is in the newspaper business at Hickman, Neb.; Ida (Mrs. Morris), of Bradshaw, Nebraska: C. A., land appraiser for the Union Pacific Railroad Company at Omaha, Neb.: Mattie (Mrs. McNaughton), of Bushnell Township: Catherine Swisher, a widow living in Bushnell: and George, who is on a farm in Bushnell Township: four who died in infancy; Anna (Mrs. House), now deceased, and Marie, also deceased. The subject of this sketch was the first Town Clerk of Bethel Township, on its organization, and served two terms as Supervisor tor that township. In his long and busy life, Mr. Black has been faithful to his conception of the requirements of duty, and has done his full share in promoting the material prosperity of McDonough County.
Source: The Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois and History of McDonough County, compiled by Dr. Newton Bateman, and Paul Shelby, 1907, volume 2, pages 826-827, extracted 19 Nov 2018 by Norma Hass.