Portrait & Biographical Record Winnebago & Boone Cos., IL. Chicago: Biographical Pub. Co., 1892, pp 1008-1009
Alexander BLACK, who was one of the well known citizens of Rockford [Winnebago County, IL] for many years, was born in New Brunswick, at St. Johns, in Mar 1810, and was a son of Dr. Daniel BLACK, a native of Paisley, Scotland, who came of a prominent and noble family of the Highlands. The Doctor was a fine scholar and well known physician, also a prominent member of the Masonic order. When a young man, he emigrated to New Brunswick, opening an office in St. Johns, where he wedded Miss Mary McCARTNEY, by whom he had eleven children. The Doctor was drowned while crossing the St. Johns River on skates, at the age of 54 years. In 1825 his widow removed with her family to Canada, where she married George CALVERT and spent the remainder of her days.
Our subject was reared in Toronto, and in 1849 during the gold excitement, went to CA by way of Cape Horn on a sailing vessel, where he made about $5,000. He then returned to Toronto by water, and after spending some time with his family in Canada, went back to the gold diggings in CA, but found that the mine was then exhausted. He afterwards went to Australia, where he spent about a year and a half, returning with about $20,000. It was in 1854 that he came with his family to IL and purchased land in what is known as the Big Bottoms, in Guilford Township, Winnebago County, where he engaged extensively in farming and stock raising, and in importing horses. For some years he was owner of Royal George, one of the finest horses ever brought to the county. His farm comprised 200 acres of good land in Guilford Township, and he also owned property in Rockford. He spent the last 15 years of his life in the city, living in retirement.
While in his native land, Alexander BLACK participated in the McKenzie Rebellion, of which he was one of the leaders. He had many narrow escapes, and finally had to flee to the U. S., for a price was placed on his head. In politics he was a stalwart Republican, and was a member of the Methodist Church. He lived an honorable, upright life, true to every trust reposed in him, and when called to his final rest many friends mourned his loss. He passed away at home in Rockford on 30 Oct 1883.
Mr. BLACK was twice married. His first wife died young, leaving a child who died in infancy. He then married Mrs. Orpha (SMITH) BLACK, also a native of Canada. Her first husband was Dr. D. N. BLACK, a brother of our subject. Shortly after his graduation from medical college and only a few months after his marriage, he died of cholera in Toronto, Canada. Unto Alexander and Orpha BLACK were born seven children, six of whom are yet living. The mother was a true and faithful helpmate to her husband. She survived him about three years, and died on 03 Feb 1887, at the age of 77.
Mrs. Mary McDONALD, a daughter of this worthy couple, is now living at No. 209 North Second [p 1009] Street. She is a worthy lady and a member of the Methodist Church. Her husband, Dr. James L. McDONALD, died in Pittsburg [Pittsburgh, Allegeny County, PA] on 09 Apr 1891 of la grippe. He was reared in that city, and graduated in the Medical College of Cincinnati, OH, after which he made his home in Pittsburg. Throughout the Rebellion he served as a member of a PA regiment. By a former marriage the Doctor had two children: Rachel, wife of Dr. SOUR, of Milwaukee, and Jennie, wife of Ernest GODFRY, of Chicago. By her former marriage Mrs. McDONALD has two children: Louis Nicholas, who married Lydia NELSON, and resides in Rockford; and Eliza, now the wife of T. O. LARGENT, proprietor of a river boat, "The Queen." They reside in Rockford and have two children: May and Lee.
Submitted by Cathy Kubly.