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Francis Black, Sr
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Birth: Feb. 20, 1815
Worcester County
Massachusetts, USA
Death: Nov. 9, 1910
Rock Island County
Illinois, USA

Francis Black- A well-known merchant and prominent citizen of Hampton, has for the long period of fifty-six years been connected with the history of this county, and few, if any, have done more for its upbuilding. He has been a champion of every movement designed to promote the general welfare, a supporter of every enterprise for the public good, and has materially aided in the advancement of all social, industrial, educational and moral interests.

Mr. Black was born February 20, 1815, in Barre, Worcester county, Massachusetts, and is a son of Hon. Archibald Black, a native of the same state, as was also the grandfather, Captain John Black, who commanded a company of minutemen at the battle of Bunker Hill. The great-grandfather, Marmaduke Black, was a native of Scotland, whence he came to America about 1731.

In the state of his nativity, Hon. Archibald Black grew to manhood and married Miss Sophia Caidwell, also a native of Barre, Massachusetts, and a daughter of Seth Caidwell. Her ancestors were originally from the north of Ireland or Scotland and were Protestant in religious belief. The founder of the family in the new world was William Caidwell, who crossed the broad Atlantic and became a resident of Massachusetts as early as 1684. After his marriage Archibald Black located on a farm in Barre, where he reared his family and spent his remaining days. He was one of the leading and influential citizens of the community and was called upon to serve in a number of official positions of honor and trust, including those of sheriff and representative to the state legislature. In his family were three children, two sons and one daughter, but our subject is the only one now living.

The common schools of his native state afforded Francis Black his educational privileges, and he began his business career as a clerk in a country store at. the age of thirteen. When twenty he started for New York, and from there proceeded to Chicago, where he arrived in 1836, and for about five years engaged in the auction and commission business. In November, 1841, he first set foot in Hampton, Illinois, which at that time was the second best town in Rock Island county, and at once established a store, which he conducted alone for some time. Later he admitted S. L. Bretton to a partnership in the business and together they carried on operations for several years, during which time his present store building was erected. Mr. Bretton sold his interest to his son-in-law. Milton Cropster, who was a member of the firm during the year 1858, but since that time Mr. Black has been alone in business. He is one of the oldest merchants in the county, and from the public has always received a liberal patronage, his straight-forward and honorable business methods gaining him the confidence of all with whom he came in contact.

In 1847, in Hampton, occurred the marriage of Mr. Black and Miss Charlotte C. Brettun, a native of Maine, who died in 1861, leaving one son, Charles C., who is married and is a leading attorney of Kansas City, Missouri, There was also another son, Archibald L., who died in infancy. On the 9th of October, 1862, Mr. Black was again married, his second union being with Miss Philena Luce, who was born and reared in the Pine Tree state, and when a young lady came to Rock Island county. Four children blessed this union, namely: Sophia, now the wife of William Conant, of Iowa City; Francis C., who died in infancy; Theodosia, wife of Morris Heagy, of Rock Island; and Walter L., who is clerking in his father's store. Though not members of any religions denomination the parents attend the Congregational church and give an earnest support to all objects which they believe calculated to benefit the community or advance the welfare of their fellowrnen.

Since the organization of the party Mr. Black has been a stalwart Republican, and was originally a Whig. Although he has never cared for political honors he has most creditably served in a number of official positions, being postmaster at different times and serving in all several years. When he was first appointed to that posi­tion, only two mails were received at Hampton each week and these were brought by wagon. He has also been treasurer of both the village board and the school board for many years, and has faithfully discharged every duty devolving upon him, whether public or private. lie has witnessed almost the entire growth and development of the county and has ever borne a prominent part in promoting its welfare, doing all in his power to advance its interests. Today he is not more honored on account of the enviable position which he occupies in business circles than on account of the many kindly deeds of his life, which have ever been quietly and unostentatiously performed.

[Source: Biographical Record of Rock Island County, 1897; page(s) 280- 281 ]


In 1841 Francis Black, age 26, arrived in Hampton and opened a general store in the above mentioned frame building.

In 1846 Brettun and Francis Black erected the large two-story brick building on the northwest corner of River and Oak Streets and together entered a general merchandise business. Steamboat transportation was important and vital to the growth of the town, and a wharf was needed. Eight of the property owners deeded to Mr. Bretton certain lots for him to sell. The proceeds of these lots were to be used to build the Hampton public wharf where boats could land in all stages of water.

Mr. Brettun decided to quit the mercantile business and sold his interest in the stock to his son-in-law, Milton H. Crapster. The business continued for a number of years when Mr. Black bought full interest and continued alone.

In 1858 Mr. Black sold to Francis Black his interest in the store building together with the warehouse on the wharf and all the wharf privileges which they had enjoyed together. Along in the early '70s the old warehouse was sold to August Anderson who utilized the material to build a barn.

Maverick Wright was 22 when he came to Hampton in 1837. In 1850 Mr. Wright purchased lot 1 block 30 and built his two-story brick store building and engaged there in general merchandise business. Mr. Black's and Mr. Wright's stores were considered large, and their customers came from Whiteside and Henry counties and also from out in Iowa.

Both Black and Wright engaged in the pork packing business and did all large trade with the steamboats the packing was done in the fall and winter and was so extensive that their business hired 16 Coopers in eight shops to make the necessary pork barrels and lard tierces.

Mr. Black and Mr. Wright had paid as high as16 and 18 cents a pound for their holdings and probably gave their notes until the river opened up in the spring so they could ship and sell their product. The war closed and pork took a heavy drop, and Mr. Wright, unable to meet the loss, went broke and went out of business. He sold out to Frank Wells and Bares Shurtliff and moved to Iowa. His health failed him and he returned to Hampton where he died April 14th, 1876.

Mr. Black was financially better off than Mr. Wright and was able to continue in business. He had the larger stock of goods carrying everything from the spinning wheel to silk for a lady's dress, harness, saddles, farm implements, and articles too numerous to mention. He bought coal and wood and sold to his steamboat trade, who loaded the fuel while taking on his freight which also included the grain and corn which he purchased from the farmers. He continued actively in business until he was past 90 years of age-retiring in 1903. His son Walter took over the store and ran it for a number of years.

In addition to his store business Francis Black had held many office. He was Hamptons' second postmaster and for 10 years was township school treasurer. For a time he served as a village treasurer. He never aspired to any office, the office sought him. Early on he had acquired Block 36, which he had surveyed and platted in 1855 for burial purposes. The 30 by 30 ft. lots were sold for $1 each. Later he quit claimed his interest in Block 36 to the trustees of Hampton Cemetery Association which later incorporated.

Mr. Black married Charlotte Brettun, who died May 20th, 1861. They had one son, Charles. Mr. Black later married Philena Luce on October 9th 1862. Together they had Sophia, Theodosia, and Walter. Frances Black was an ideal man. He left a blameless record, was loved and respected by all who knew him. He died November 8th, 1910 and was followed in 1919 by Mrs. Black.

(Source: East Moline Herald June 2, 1938, "History of Hampton" by George McNabney)


BLACK FRANCIS, Merchant; Hampton; born in Barre, Worcester Co., Mass., Feb. 20, 1815; left there in 1825 for New York, and then to Chicago in 1836, and to Hampton, IL, Nov. 20, 1841; has been in business here 35 years; has all his life avoided office as much as possible; has held some minor offices here years ago, but only when they were forced upon him. Married Charlotte E. Brettun, who was born in Guilford, Maine, and died in Hampton, May 20, 1861; one son, Charles C. Black, now married and living in Kan­sas ; married Oct. 9,1862, Philena Luce, who was born in Farmington, Maine; three children, Sophia, Theodosia and Walter L.

(Source: Past and Present Rock Island County, IL, 1877)

Name: Francis Black
Birth Date: 20 Feb 1815
Event Type: Birth
Event City: Barre
Father Name: Archibald Black
Mother Name: Sophia

(Source: Massachusetts, Town and Vital Records, 1620-1988)

Name: Francis Black
Spouse: Charlotte E. Brettum
Date: 31 May 1848
County: Rock Island
State: Illinois
Source: Family History Library, Salt Lake City, UT
Microfilm: 1428580

(Source: Illinois Marriages, 1790-1860)

Name: Francis Black
Age: 34
Birth Year: abt 1816
Birthplace: Maine
Home in 1850: District 37, Rock Island, Illinois
Gender: Male
Family Number: 716
Household Members:
Name Age
Sorannus Barthen 44
Margaret Barthen 42
Caroline S Barthen 13
Clarance S Barthen 4
Francis Black 34
Charlotte E Black 19
William Carleten 17
Doris Past 28

(Source: 1850 United States Federal Census)

Name: Francis Black
Issue Date: 1 Sep 1853
Acres: 40
Meridian: 4th PM - 1815 Illinois
State: Illinois
County: Rock Island
Township: 18-N
Range: 2-E
Section: 5
Accession Number: IL4860__.134
Metes and Bounds: No
Land Office: Dixon
Canceled: No
US Reservations: No
Mineral Reservations: No
Authority: April 24, 1820: Sale-Cash Entry (3 Stat. 566)
Document Number: 33192

(Source: U.S. General Land Office Records, 1796-1907)

Name: Francis Bluck
Age in 1860: 45
Birth Year: abt 1815
Birthplace: Massachusetts
Home in 1860: Hampton, Rock Island, Illinois
Gender: Male
Post Office: Hampton
Value of real estate: View image
Household Members:
Name Age
Francis Bluck 45
Charlotte E Bluck 29
Charles C Bluck 7
Elona Eckhart 22
Samuel Hengy 21

(Source: 1860 United States Federal Census)

Name: Francis Black
Post Office Location: Hampton, Rock Island, Illinois
Appointment Date: 19 Mar 1861
Volume #: 32
Volume Year Range: 1865-1878

(Source: U.S., Appointments of U. S. Postmasters, 1832-1971)

Name: Francis Black
Gender: Male
Spouse Name: Philena Luce
Marriage Date: 9 Oct 1862
Marriage County: Rock Island
Comments: This record can be found at the County Court Records, Film # 1428580 - 1428581.

(Source: Illinois, Marriages, 1851-1900)

Name: Francis Black
Age in 1870: 55
Birth Year: abt 1815
Birthplace: Massachusetts
Home in 1870: Hampton, Rock Island, Illinois
Race: White
Gender: Male
Post Office: Hampton
Value of real estate: View image
Household Members:
Name Age
Francis Black 55
Philena Black 32
Sophia Black 6
Theadosia Black 3
Walter L Black 10/12

(Source: 1870 United States Federal Census)

Name: Francis Black
Age: 65
Birth Year: abt 1815
Birthplace: Massachusetts
Home in 1880: Hampton, Rock Island, Illinois
Race: White
Gender: Male
Relation to Head of House: Self (Head)
Marital Status: Married
Spouse's Name: Philena Black
Father's Birthplace: Massachusetts
Mother's Birthplace: Massachusetts
Neighbors: View others on page
Occupation: General Merchant
Cannot read/write:
Deaf and dumb:
Otherwise disabled:
Idiotic or insane:
Household Members:
Name Age
Francis Black 65
Philena Black 42
Sophia Black 16
Theodosia Black 12
Walter L. Black 9

(Source: 1880 United States Federal Census)

Name: Francis Black
Age: 84
Birth Date: Jul 1815
Birthplace: Massachusetts
Home in 1900: Hampton, Rock Island, Illinois
[Rock Island]
Race: White
Gender: Male
Relation to Head of House: Head
Marital Status: Married
Spouse's Name: Philena Black
Marriage Year: 1862
Years Married: 38
Father's Birthplace: Scotland
Mother's Birthplace: Scotland
Occupation: View on Image
Neighbors: View others on page
Household Members:
Name Age
Francis Black 84
Philena Black 62
Walter S Black 30

(Source: 1900 United States Federal Census)



Capt. John Black FAG #99938027
Birth: 11 Sep 1737 in Barre, Worcester, Mass., USA
Death: 7 Jan 1797 in Barre, Worcester, Mass., USA

Elizabeth Caldwell
Birth: 29 Jul 1746 in Rutland, Mass.

Major Seth Caldwell
Birth: 1758 in Massa.
Death: 2 May 1805 in Barre, Worcester, Mass., USA

Mary "Polly" Jones
Birth: 1763 in MA
Death: 30 Jan 1828 in Barre, Worcester, Mass., USA


Archibald BLACK
Birth: 28 JUN 1774 in Barre, Worchester, MA
Death: 5 OCT 1839 in Barre, Worcester, Mass., USA

Birth: 1 JUN 1785 in Barre, Worchester, MA
Death: 1866

Brothers and Sisters:
Charles BLACK (1807 – 1885)
Harriet BLACK (1809 – 1891)
Francis Black (1815 – 1910)

Francis Black and Charlotte C. Brettun (1831- 1861) had two children:

*Charles Clarence Black (1853- 1933) married Marion Elizabeth Braidwood (1852- 1927)
*Archibald L. Black (1861- 1861)

Francis Black and Philena Luce (1837- 1919) had four children:

*Sophia Black (????- 1861) married William Conant
*Francis C. Black who died in infancy
*Theodosia Black (1866- 1928) married Morris Heagy (1866- 1928)
*Walter L. Black (????- 1959)

Family links: 
  Archibald Black (1774 - 1839)
  Sophia Caldwell Black (1785 - 1866)
  Charlotte Elizabeth Brettun Black (1831 - 1861)
  Philena Luce Black (1837 - 1919)*
  Charles C Black (1853 - 1933)*
  Archibald Leonard Black (1861 - 1861)*
  Sophia Black Conant (1863 - 1960)*
  Francis C. Black (1864 - 1864)*
  Theodosia Black Heagy (1866 - 1928)*
  Walter Luce Black (1869 - 1959)*
*Calculated relationship
Hampton Township Cemetery
Rock Island County
Illinois, USA
Created by: Bob & AJ
Record added: Sep 29, 2012
Find A Grave Memorial# 97993066
Francis Black, Sr
Added by: Bob & AJ
Francis Black, Sr
Added by: Bob & AJ
Francis Black, Sr
Added by: Bob & AJ
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