BLACK, SAMUEL, (deceased), pioneer farmer of Morgan County, was born in Augusta County, Va., on July 4, 1798. His father, also named Samuel, was descended from Scotch ancestry. The place of his birth is not known, but the family records show that he fought as a soldier in the Revolutionary War, probably with the Virginia troops. He removed from Virginia to Christian County, Ky., when his son Samuel was twelve years of age. The latter reached manhood in Kentucky, where he married Mildred Gaines. In 1825 he removed to Illinois with his wife and two children, locating in Sangamon County. In 1828 he came to Morgan County and purchased a farm which was situated about six miles northeast of Jacksonville, where he spent the remainder of his active life in agriculture and stock-raising. Upon his abandonment of active life he made his home with his children, dying in August, 1887.
The home which mr. Black established in Morgan County was the first place in that neighborhood where preaching services in the Methodist Episcopal Church were held. Mr. Black himself was a devoted member of that church, and throughout his life actively supported not only the society with which he was identified, but also all other like organizations within a radius of many miles. He was one of the founders of Shiloh Methodist Episcopal church, which was organized by the pioneer inhabitants who first gathered at his home for the purpose of worshiping, and during the remainder of his life was actively identified with this society as Steward and Trustee. He also assisted in the organization of several Sunday schools in his community, and evinced a hearty interest at all times in their advancement. In the cause of education he also took a lively interest, serving as School Director for a long period, during an era when a man possessed of progressive spirit was greatly needed in the post which he occupied. In early life a Whig, he became a Republican upon the organization of that party, voting for General Fremont for the Presidency. He became well acquainted with Lincoln, of whom he was a great admirer and friend. Mr. Black was highly esteemed by an extensive circle of friends and acquaintances, who honored him for his splendid Christian life, his public spirit, his unquestioned integrity and his disposition to do all in his power to advance the welfare of the community in which he lived. He died August 14, 1887.
To Mr. Black and his wife the following children were born: Eliza, deceased, wife of George Reagan; James Richard and William, both deceased; John M., Sarah (widow of Tillman Sharp), Martha G. and Samuel W., all of Jacksonville; Amy Clay, deceased; Mary Jane, wife of William C. Self, and Mildred, wife of Samuel T. Maddox, both residents of Jacksonville. Mrs. Black, who is deceased, was a daughter of Richard Gaines, a pioneer preacher in the Methodist church, who died prior to 1850. She was also a niece of the wife of the Rev. Peter Cartwright, the famous pioneer "circuit rider" and one of the most conspicuous and picturesque figures in the Methodist church, in pioneer days in Illinois.