|James M. Black
From: "Biographical Review of Cass, Schuyler and
Brown Counties, Illinois 1892", by Biographical Review Publishing
Company, Chicago, Illinois; pages 174, a reprinted by Stevens
Publishing Co., Astoria, Ill., 1971, is sold by the Schuyler County
Historical Society, Rushville, Illinois.
James M. Black, dealer in hard coal and wood, was born in
Indiana county, Pennsylvania, October 12, 1835. He was the son of John
W. Black of the same county, who was one of thirteen children. All grew
to maturity, and the sons were mechanics by trade. After he came West
he was foreman of the Boyles Scales Company of St. Louis, Missouri, for
some years, and, later came to Beardstown and established himself with
Mr. T. A. Fisher, another old blacksmith. He was later with Messrs.
Milner and Hill. He did business as a smith and a manufacturer of
wagons and buggies. He went to Pile's Peak in the early sixties and was
a miner there for some time. He secured his claim, but later came back
to Vandalia and died there, about fifty years of age. He was married in
his native county, to Margaret A. Shankle, of early English ancestry.
She was born in Indiana county, Pennsylvania, where her parents lived
and died. She died when in St. Louis, after the birth of five children,
when she was in the prime of life.
James M. Black came to this town, Beardstown, in 1851. From here
he went to Iowa, and after residing there for six years came to
Beardstown in 1861 and engaged in teaming until 1870, when he
established his coal business.
He was married in Polk county, Iowa, June 11, 1857, to Miss Mary
Shepherd. She was born in Kentucky and came with her parents, Benjamin
and Minerva Shepherd of Kentucky, to Polk county, Iowa, and for some
years following the marriage of their daughter. Mr. Shepherd died in
Peoria county. Mrs. Shepherd still lives there, about ninety years of
age. Mrs. Black died at her home in Beardstown, in 1878. She had three
children, namely: Francis Ellen, born January 21, 1862, died May 6,
1864; Edward Franklin, born March 1, 1865, married Grace Putnam, and
now lives in Virginia, where he is agent for the Quincy & Missouri
Railroad; and Harry L., born October 6, 1870, who is still at home and
assists his father. Mr. Black is a Republican and is chairman in one of
the local district Republican central committees. He is a member of the
Methodist Church. He is a working member of the A.O.U.W., and has
managed their financial affairs for six years. He has been the
representative to the Grand Lodge.
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