Ancestor of Earliene Kaelin
CHARLES W. BLACK - Success and failure are equi-distant from every man at the onset of his career and it depends upon the individual in which direction his progress will be made. Difficulties and obstacles confront every one, but possibilities and opportunities also surround mankind and it is the man who is capable of recognizing an opportunity and of taking advantage of it that progresses on the road to success. Charles W. Black traveled a considerable distance on the road to prosperity, although he is yet but a young male.
He was born in Clear Lake township, Sangamon county, October 6, 1870, and is a son of George W. Black. His paternal grandparents were natives of Scotland. The grandfather, William Black, was born in Edinburg in 1793 and when a young man crossed the Atlantic to the new world, landing in Philadelphia. He was a stone-cutter by trade and was employed on some of the banks and other public buildings of that city and completed his work there in the execution of a contract in connection with the building of Girard College. His wife, Ann Young, was born April 6, 1798, in Philadelphia, and they were married on the 7th of December, 1820. Nine children were born unto them in that city, but one died in childhood. In l839 they left Pennsylvania, taking up their abode in Springfield, and ll April, 1840, they settled upon the farm which the grandfather purchased. His death occurred December 15, 1858, and his wife passed away July 25, 1874, on the farm which had been her home for thirty-four years. Both were members of the Scotch Thistle Society and they were buried in the German Prairie cemetery. Their children were as follows: John, the eldest, went to California in 1849; William was drowned in the same year in a slough where the Gilman & Clinton Railroad crossed the Sangamon river; Henry was married in 1871 to Mrs. Artenecia A. (Bradshaw) Chambers and lived in Humboldt, Kansas; James was married in 1852 to Amanda Cartmell and lived on the farm settled by his father; George W. became the father of our subject; Anna E. was married in 1852 to M. F. Whitesides; Francis G, born in 1835, was married in 1859 to Elizabeth Hammond: He enlisted in 1862 as a member of Company G, One Hundred and Fourteenth Illinois Infantry and died of heart disease at Vicksburg, just after the surrender of that city on the 4th of July, 1863. His widow afterward married A. R. Welsh. Walter C., born in 1837, enlisted in Company G. One Hundred and Fourteenth Illinois Infantry in 1862 and was twice wounded. He was discharged in 1865 and in 1866 he married. Pernelia F. Cartmell. The only members of this family now living are James and Walter.
George W. Black, the father of our subject, was born in Philadelphia, August 5, 1830, and was about nine years of age when his parents came to Sangamon county. He was reared here on the old home farm and on the 21st of September, 1858, he married Sarah A. Mann. By occupation he was a farmer and resided on Round Prairie east of Springfield, where he carried on agricultural pursuits for many years. He died in 1890 in Clear Lake township and was laid to rest in Oakhill cemetery. His wife has since removed to Springfield and now resides on North Third street. They were the parents of nine children, of whom two died in infancy and one at the age of fourteen years. Six of the family are still living: Mary Ella, who is with her mother; Elizabeth, at home; Annie, the wife of William Mellinger, a farmer of Menard county; Henry F., a farmer residing in Springfield; Charles W., of this review; and Agnes, the wife of James Van Meter, a mechanic of Springfield. The father of this family was a Republican in his p olitical views and held a number of township offices. He owned and operated eighty acres of land in Fancy Creek township and at one time was the owner of a farm in Clear Lake township. He held membership in the Christian church and his wife is still identified with that denomination.
Charles W. Black, like the other members of the family, pursued his education in the schools of Clear Lake township. At the age of sixteen years he put aside his text books in order to give his entire attention to the work of the farm. He remained with his father until the latter's death, at which time the family came to Springfield and here Mr. Black of this review entered The employ of Fred Gehlman, one of the old contractors of this city. He completed his three years' term of apprenticeship and then worked for his employer for three years as a journeyman. In 1896 he began contracting on his own account and has since carried on a general building business in this way, his efforts being confined to the erection of dwellings. He started on a small scale, but gradually his patronage has increased and he has taken some large and important contracts. He is now numbered among the representative business men of the city and is meeting with creditable success in his undertakings.
In December, 1897, in Springfield, Mr. Black was united in marriage to Miss Anna M. Duncan, who was born in Sangamon county in 1870, a daughter of William and Jane Duncan. Mr. and Mrs. Black now have a daughter, Gladys. Their home is at No. 1029 North Second street and was purchased by our subject in 1898. He votes, with the Republican party, but has never taken an, active part in politics. He belongs to the Christian church and takes an active part in its work. Fraternally be is connected with Sangamon Lodge, No. 6, 1. 0. 0. F., and with the Prairie State Encampment and he is a charter member of the lodge of Loyal Americans in Springfield. He represents one of the leading families of the county, a family that for more than sixty years has been found active in support of everything pertaining to the general good and to the progress and improvement of this section of the state along educational, social, material and moral lines.