BLACK, SAMUEL WEBSTER, retired farmer, Jacksonville, Ill., was born on a farm about six miles northeast of that city, on June 27, 1837, and is the seventh child of Samuel and Mildred (Gaines) Black. (A record of his father's life will be found elsewhere in this volume.) He was reared on the farm and educated in the common schools of the county. Remaining on the homestead, he assisted his father in the management of his property until 1860, when he rented a tract of land in the neighborhood and began independent operations. For five or six years he cultivated leased land, the proceeds from which enabled him to purchase 66 acres located in the same vicinity. This he sold a few months later at a large profit, and for four years thereafter operated rented land. At the expiration of this time he purchased 100 acres, and since that time has accumulated valuable property aggregating over 700 acres of fertile and productive land, the returns form which have brought him a fortune. His active life has been devoted exclusively to agriculture and stock-raising, but since 180 he has resided in Jacksonville.
Like his father, Mr. Black has been intimately identified with the Methodist Episcopal Church, and has taken an active interest in the promotion of its welfare. Soon after his marriage he united with Shiloh Church, in which he held office during the years of his residence on the farm. For seventeen years consecutively he served as Collector, and for most of that period was the sole person to fill that office. When he removed to his farm nearer Jacksonville he united with Ebenezer M. E. Church, and since locating in the city has identified himself with the Centenary M. E. Church, in which he has served both as Trustee and steward, at the present time occupying the former office. He has been deeply interested in the cause of education, and for many years served as School Director. Though a stanch Republican he has never sought political office.
On December 2, 1860, Mr. Black was united in marriage with Mary J. Self, a native of Morgan County, and a daughter of John Self, an early inhabitant of the county. She died in 1888, the mother of four children, as follows: William Edward, who operates the farm formerly owned by his grandfather; James Alpha, who died in infancy; Charles S., who resides on his father's farm; and Effie, wife of Dr. George E. Baxter, of Jacksonville. On August 24, 1890, Mr. Black married Addie Angel, a native of Morgan County, and a daughter of John Angel, who came from Virginia and settled in the county at an early day. They have a daughter, Irene.