Richard Springs Black II
Biography

From: "Biographical  Review of Cass, Schuyler and Brown Counties, Illinois 1892", by Biographical Review Publishing Company, Chicago, Illinois; page 616-617; a reprinted by Stevens Publishing Co., Astoria, Ill., 1971, is sold by the Schuyler County Historical Society, Rushville, Illinois.
  Richard S. Black, an intelligent, progressive and highly esteemed citizen of Mound Station, Illinois, and a representing one of the best families of Schuyler county, was born in Woodstock township, this county, May 28, 1832.
  His father, Richard Black, was a native of Mecklenburg county, North Carolina, where he attained to manhood.  Of an adventurous and progressive disposition, he removed from his native county to Hancock county, Kentucky, in an early day.  The spirit of emigration, however, was too strong for him to resist, and after a few years' sojourn in Kentucky, we again see him moving Westward.  His second settlement was made in Dubois county, in what was then Indiana Territory.  In 1826, he again moved toward the setting sun, moving by team overland to Schuyler county, Illinois, accompanied by his wife and four children.  Arrived at his destination, he purchased of Willis O'Neil a claim to the land which is now the site of the city of Rushville.  On the organisation of Schuyler county, this claim was selected as the county seat, and it was consequently taken from Mr. Black, the county afterward reimbursing him in part.  Thus deprived of his home, he removed five miles southward, near the present sit of Bethel Church, where he bought a tract of patent land.  He erected on this a log cabin sixteen feet square, for the roof of which he rived clapboards, and split puncheon for the florr, while he made his chimney of sticks and clay, called in those days a"cat-and-stick chimney."  He, later, built an addition, making a double log cabin with an entry between, at that time a very pretentious residence, where he dwelt until his death, in 1853.  The maiden name of his second wife was Elizabeth Fowler, a native of Jefferson county, Kentucky.  She reared eight children, two of whom were her husband's by his former marriage.  These children were: Elizabeth, William, Isaac, Cecelia, John L., Richard S., the subject of this sketch; Austin S., and Monroe.  The devoted wife and mother survived her husband and spent her declining years in comfort with her son Isaac.
  Richard S., whose name heads this biography, was reared and educated in Schuyler county, where he was born.  He attended the pioneer schools, which were held in log houses without any floors.  The seats were made of small logs, slit and hewed smooth on one side, with wooden pages for legs.  A piece of puncheon, supported by wooden pins inserted in the sides of the building, served as a writing desk for the larger scholars. the country was sparsely settled, all land that was not patent or soldier's land being owned by the Government.  The country was mostly inhabited by wild Indians, while game abounded in great profusion, such as deer, bear, rabbit, turkey, prairie chicken, grouse, etc., and the streams were alive with the choicest fish.  No mills were in the country at that time, and all grain was ground by hand.  The pioneers subsisted on wild game, fish, and such products as they raised on their land.  All clothing was of homespun, which was manufactured by the women of the family, who carded and spun the materials and afterward cut and made garments, and that at a time when sewing machines were unknown.
  The subject of this sketch resided with his parents until he attained his majority, when he commenced farming for himself on rented land in Bainbridge township.  After a few years of industry and careful management, he had sufficiently prospered to be able to buy land, which he accordingly did, purchasing a tract in the same township.  He continues to farm this land until 1869, when he sold out and bought another tract in Brown county, on which he remained for three years.  This, he also sold, and removed to Adams county, purchasing a farm in Concord township, where he resided until 1884.  He then again disposed of his interests and removed to Lawrence, Kansas, where he engaged in the manufacture of cider and vinegar for eight months.  The climate there not agreeing with him, he returned to Mound Station, and entered the mercantile business, which he successfully continued for five years.  For the last two years he has been prosperously conducting the principal hotel of Mound Station.
  Mr. Black was first married, in 1857, to Harriet Terrill, an estimable lady, daughter of Andrew and Elizabeth Terrill, who were early and prominent settlers of Bainbridge township, where their daughter, Harriet, was born.  This marriage was dissolved by death in 1883, the devote wife and mother going to her reward.  Matilda, the only surviving child, is now the wife of John M. Anderson, a well-to-do farmer of Huntsville township, Schuyler county.  They have three children: Hattie, Ora and John Richard.
  In 1887, Mr. Black was again married, his second wife being Mary M. McBrackney, a native of Clayton, Adams county, Illinois.  Her parents were Robert and Elizabeth (Marshall) McBrackney, both born in Ireland, of Scotch ancestry.  Her parents resided in their native country until 1834, when they removed to Clayton, Adams county, this State, where the father purchased and improved land, on which he resided until his death.  Both parents were devout members of the Presbyreian Church, in which faith they reared three children.
  Mr. Black is, politically, a Democrat, and has been elected by his constituents to various offices of trust.  He was for seven years an efficient member of the Adams county Board of Supervisors, and for the past two years has represented Lee township on the Brown County Board.  He and his worthy wife are esteemed members of society, being as widely respected as they are known.
 
1861 Militia Roll


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