|Birth: ||Sep. 9, 1863|
|Death: ||Jul. 30, 1923|
The Civil War was being waged when William was born the youngest of fifteen children. His father Patrick was 52 and his mother Elizabeth was 45 at that time. William had 6 siblings and 8 step-siblings at birth. He was called Patrick, named after his father while he lived at home, but began using his first name William when at age eighteen he moved out on his own. The oil fields were a very strong attraction to a young man in 1881 and William moved to Bradford, Pennsylvania to begin his career. His first job was dressing the tools for drillers. Soon he began to drill wells on his own volition. Five years later he moved to Marietta, Ohio where he continued to drill oil wells for two more years before joining his brothers Joseph and John in Findlay, Ohio. The first oil well in Findlay, the Mathias, had been drilled in 1885. A gas well, the Osterlan, was drilled only the year before, and Findlay quickly became a bustling oil and gas town.
It was in Ohio that he met Ora Williams and asked her to marry him. They were united in marriage on July 3, 1888 in Allen County where Ora was born and raised, but they set up housekeeping on East Lincoln Street in Findlay, Ohio. In 1891 his 80 year old father Patrick visited William and his brothers Joseph, James, and John who were all living in Ohio and working in the oil industry. Patrick died during his visit with John and William in Findlay. Two years later his brother James died.
William manifested a comprehensive grasp of the drilling business and was now constantly engaged not only in drilling for others, but in production of his own oil wells. He began leasing and drilling for oil in the Hancock and Wood County areas and was a successful businessman. Remembering his first seventeen years growing up on a farm he chose to associate with the Farm Bureau as time would permit.
Within a few years William owned a home at 722 South Main Street. Findlay was growing rapidly and became home to several newspapers and glass manufacturers, woodworking firms, woolen mills and brick manufacturing companies, among others. A new high school and library were built. William and Ora's home welcomed visitors as they entered the home through a huge ornate cut glass door. Upon entering the home, visitors were ushered to the parlor for entertainment that on occasion included Ora playing her magnificent harp. Their home radiated a sense of grace and elegance. That home was later razed and today the Findlay Fire department has an impressive building that lies on the property.
In the mid 1890's Williams sister Agnes moved to Findlay with her husband Timothy who also worked in the oil fields. William's mother Lizzie lived with Agnes and Timothy after her husband Patrick died and she moved with them to Ohio. In the late 1890's his step-brother Joseph moved his family south to Lima, Ohio where Benjamin Faurot had discovered oil on May 19, 1885. Lima's oil field was the largest in the United States for about a decade. In the early 1900's his brother John had moved his family on to Kansas. Shortly after their mother Lizzie died in Findlay in 1905 his sister Agnes would move with her husband to the Oklahoma Territory. In 1907 Oklahoma would become the 46th state to enter the union. William and Ora elected to remain in Findlay. Although they had chosen to move on, he maintained a close relationship with his brother John and his step-brother Joseph throughout his life.
The song "Down By The Old Mill Stream was written in 1908 by Tell Taylor after fishing on the Blanchard River that flows through Findlay. In 1913 that same river crested at 18.5 feet, the highest ever recorded and the flooding was extensive. About this time William became a partner opening the firm Wood and Black, an electrical business. Ill health forced his retirement when he was only 58 years old.
William and Ora never had any children. I have noticed that many childless couples included one party that was born after the father turned 50. Although he was born and raised a Catholic, his funeral services were at the First Methodist Church. William was 59 at the time of his demise.
Patrick Black (1811 - 1891)
Elizabeth Shields Black (1818 - 1905)
Ora Williams Black (1867 - 1927)*
Sylvester John Black (1836 - 1905)**
Margaret Alice Black (1838 - ____)**
Mary Black (1840 - ____)**
Anna Philamina Black Nugent (1842 - 1924)**
Isabel J. Black Wilkinson (1845 - 1932)**
Joseph James Black (1847 - 1931)**
Katherine Black (1848 - 1916)**
Michael F. Black (1850 - 1928)*
James S. Black (1852 - 1893)*
Mary Alice Black Bostaph (1853 - 1938)*
John Francis Black (1855 - 1916)*
Margaret Black McKeever (1857 - 1913)*
Agnes Sarah Black Griffin (1859 - 1930)*
William Patrick Black (1863 - 1923)
Maple Grove Cemetery
Plot: Block d lot 15 grave 11
Created by: Susan Roach
Record added: Jul 25, 2012
Find A Grave Memorial# 94196318