Biography of David Black

It is gratifying to have the pleasure to grant space to an esteemed gentleman, such as we now speak of, in the volume of the annals of Nez Perces County, since he is a man of ability and influence and has done a commendable part in the substantial up building of the newly opened reservation.

David Black was born in Northumberland County, Pennsylvania, on October 3. 1849, being a son of James and Mary (Carter) Black. The father was born in 1808, being one of a family of five children, Jeremiah, William, Mary and Elizabeth, besides James. Jeremiah was for year’s supreme judge in Pennsylvania. William was a large farmer in Michigan. James passed away when he was eighty-two. Our subject’s father was educated for a lawyer and a Catholic priest. Not liking the priesthood, he then turned his attention to medicine and graduated from the leading colleges of his time. His trend was rather for quiet retirement and therefore he did not press for personal recognition, but he was a man of deep erudition, with a masterful mind, well cultured and refined and he could have easily won professional distinction, had his taste been in that direction. He compiled, but did not publish, two large volumes on the forecasts of the weather, which covered a period of sixty years and was a work of great labor and worth. Our subject’s paternal grandfather, John Black, ran away from Ireland when fifteen and came to America. He married a Scotch girl in Pennsylvania and settled down to shoemaking .

Our subject grew up on a farm and was well educated both by the constant training of his father as well as in the schools of the day. He remained with his parents until he was thirty-three and then went to Missouri. His marriage occurred on September 10, 1883, Miss Eliza M., daughter of Larkin and Minerva (Parker) Cleveland, mention of whom is specially made in this volume, then becoming his wife. The following children have been born to them: Corda G., Robert, William A., George O., Ralph E. and Orval C. Mrs. Black was born on July 4, 1862, in Monroe County, Tennessee. Mr. Black has one brother, William, living in Missouri, and one brother, who died in infancy. His sister, Mary Ann, who was born March 7, 1855, died March 20, 1888, in Barton County, Missouri, was the wife of Samuel Heverling, a prominent farmer. He was a member of the United Brethren church and a good man. Mr. Black’s brother, William, enlisted in Company I, Illinois Light Artillery, and was transferred to Battery F, Heavy Artillery, of the Fifteenth Corps. He served the’ entire war without a scratch, was in many battles and saw much hardship.

Mr. Black came to Colfax, Washington, in 1891 and for four years he tilled the soil there and then came, in 1895, to the reservation and the day following his arrival he filed on his present place. Politically he is a Populist, but is not active at the present time.

His estimable wife is a member of the Baptist church and they are among the most substantial and worthy people of the community. Mr. Black is a generous man, well liked by his neighbors and is always ready to give the helping hand to one in need, while his integrity, uprightness and sound principles are manifest to all.

Back to: Nez Perce Biographies

Source: An Illustrated History of Northern Idaho, Embracing Nez Perce, Idaho, Latah, Kootenai and Shoshone Counties, Western Historical Publishing Company, 1903

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