|A native Kansan, grew up and received his education in this
state, and is now one of the capable oil inspectors under the state government, with
headquarters and home at Coffeyville.
He traces his ancestry back to a family of Scotch origin, and one that was planted in
Virginia during colonial days. His grandfather Andy Black, was born in Pulaski County,
Virginia, in 1814, was reared and married in that state, and in 1838 went to Western
Indiana, where he followed farming and stock raising until his death. He died at
Greencastle, Indiana, in 1872. He was a democrat and a member of the Baptist Church. Andy
Black married Clara McCammack, who was born in Virginia in 1816. and died in Indiana in
1878. Their children were: James, mentioned below; Jackson, who served with a Kansas
regiment in the Civil war and has since followed farming in this state; Seleta, who died
at Welda, Kansas, the wife of H. T. Hill, also deceased, who was a farmer and stock
raiser; Robert, who lives at Welda, Kansas, was with an Indiana regiment in the Civil war
and is a farmer; Thursa, who died at Welda Kansas, unmarried; and Nellie, who died, at
Welda, also unmarried.
James Black, father of the deputy state oil inspecter, was born October 12, 1835, in
Pulaski County, Virginia, and was about three years of age when his parents moved to
Indiana. He grew up in that state, and in 1855 came as a pioneer to Kansas Territory,
locating first at historic Ossawatomie, and in 1857 locating at Garnett. Settlers were
just beginning to come into that section of Kansas, and James Black secured a homestead of
160 acres. A few years later he took his place in the ranks of the state militia and was
in service in repelling Price's raid through Kansas and Missouri.
From pioneer times until advancing years compelled him to lay aside active
responsibilities he was a farmer and stock raiser. In April, 1913, being an invalid, he
went to the home of his son Will and died in Coffeyville January 3, 1916, when in his
eighty-first year. While living in Anderson County he served two terms as county
commissioner. He was a democrat and a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows.
James Black was married in 1858, the year after he located on his homestead at Garnett, to
Ellen Norris, who was born in Ohio January 18, 1838, and is still living, making her home
with her son Will. The children were: Albert L., who was born in 1861, was a cigar
manufacturer at Garnett for several years and later farmed near Texarkana, Texas, where he
died in 1906; F. J. Black is a newspaper man, connected with the Kansas City Star and
living at Coffeyville; Nellie N. is the wife of John W. Hedley, a jeweler at Altus,
Oklahoma; Ella M. married Charles H. Paxton, a jeweler at Paola, Kansas; Osroe died in
Garnett, Kansas, in 1889, and was born in 1872; the sixth and youngest of the family is
Will R. Black.
Born at Garnett April 17, 1878, Will R. Black received his early education in the public
schools of his native town, and left high school in his junior year to begin life on his
own responsibilities. He found plenty to do and a means of making a satisfactory
livelihood as a farmer and stock raiser near Garnett. In 1913 he was called from his farm
by appointment from former Governor G. H. Hodges as a deputy state oil inspector. Mr.
Black is now filling the office of oil inspector under civil service rules. He is a
On May 8, 1899, at Garnett he married Miss Rhoda I. Ellis, daughter of H. M. and Cynthia
mother now deceased. Her father served as a soldier in the Civil war in the Ninth Kansas
Cavalry, and is now living retired at Garnett, KS.