The Black family and Black's Grove
(Editor's note: This is the first in a series of articles about the Black family and the park now known as Black's Grove.) With the coming of this beautiful snow and wonderful winter weather, I think of skiing and the Black's Grove ski trails. So...
(Editor's note: This is the first in a series of articles about the Black family and the park now known as Black's Grove.)
With the coming of this beautiful snow and wonderful winter weather, I think of skiing and the Black's Grove ski trails. So maybe a little background would be interesting.
Captain John Black was a captain in the British Merchant Marine and captained a British clipper ship, The City of Glasgow. In those times it was proper for a captain to take his wife and family with him. He did this, taking his wife and two older children with him on one voyage. In all, he sailed around the world four times. After suffering a heat stroke on one of his voyages he quit the sea on the advice of his doctor. He then wrote to a cousin, a member of the Furness Colony which had settled in Compton Township, Otter Tail County in 1873, namely William Anderson, who advised that a farm adjacent to his was for sale. John Black bought the farm, in section two and three of Compton township, from John Valentine -- sight unseen -- and he and his son, Jack, arrived in Wadena in early 1888, the year of the big blizzard to find snow to the top of the fence posts. Mrs. Black and the other five children arrived later that year. The Blacks had eight children, two dying in infancy. The other six children were Isa, John (Jack), Effie, Lillias, Mina and Angus.
The family settled in section two and three of Compton Township. It is doubtful that John Black was much of a farmer, but evidently he did quite well. However, he suffered from Bright's disease (a staph infection of the kidneys) which in those times was incurable. Evidently this was a very painful affliction and in 1891 he took his own life.
Effie married James P. Jamieson, an architect in St. Louis.
Isa married Arthur Davis and they had one son, Frank, the only one of that generation to reach maturity.
Jack married Rebecca Merwin, a sister of Mrs. Asher Murray and resided at Ingleside, (by the brook) the name given to the farm at Black's Grove.
Lillias married John Stewart, a blacksmith at Deer Creek. Sadly, he died in 1899 and their infant son died before the year was out. She later married Wm. Davidson, Dorothy Anderson's father.
Mina married Dr. Fred W. Patton and they lived in Mount Vernon, Ill.
Angus never married and lived his final years in the cabin in the Grove.
After John Black Sr.'s death Annie continued to live on the farm until her death in 1933.
Next week: "An ideal site for a picnic."