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William's History of Frederick County

William A. Black

William A. Black, a leading merchant of Rocky Ridge, Frederick County, Md., son of Joseph H. and Matilda C. (Norris) Black, was born in Oakhill, Md., November 19, 1869.

William Black, grandfather of William A. Black, was German by descent. He was one of the early settlers of Frederick County, and was a prominent farmer among the men of his generation. He owned a fertile farm of 175 acres in Emmitsburg District, and spent his whole life in improving this property. He was a Republican, interested in county affairs. William Black was married to Barbara Martin. Their children were: 1, Joseph; 2, Mary (Mrs. Reuben Ovelman), deceased; 3, Lizzie, married Calvin Caine, a retired merchant, dealer in lumber, of Washington, D. C.; 4, Julia, de-ceased. He was a member of Mt. Tabor Lutheran Church at Rocky Ridge, and is buried in the cemetery adjoining that church.

Joseph H. Black, father of William A. Black, received his education in private schools and, in early manhood, taught school for fifteen years. He remained at home assisting his father until he married, when he began farming for himself in Woodsboro District. He cared for his land in summer and taught during the winter months. He was also a surveyor and was frequently employed in that business. After some years of successful farming, Mr. Black sold his land and purchased the establishment of Joshua Dutson, general merchant, where he carried on a lucrative business for a number of years, after which he sold the property and bought the "Old Grocer's Stand," at Rocky Ridge. Here, too, he met with success and built for himself a comfortable home ad-joining the store.

Finding that his health would suffer if he remained in the store, he sold his property and removed to his father's farm, the old Black homestead. After his father's death, Mr. Black moved to Waynesboro, Pa., where he spent the rest of his life. Mr. Black was a Republican, interested in all that concerned the well-being of the country. Joseph H. Black was married to Matilda, daughter of Amon T. and Mary ( ) Norris, descendants of one of the old families of Rocky Ridge. Their children are: 1, Rose, deceased; 2, William A.; 3, Edith, of Baltimore City; 4, Harry M.; .5, Daisy, married Ira Valentine, a merchant of Rocky Ridge; 6, Howard J., of Rocky Ridge; 7, Lulu, married J. Baumgartner, manufacturer of stamps and seals, of Baltimore City, Md.

Mr. Black and his wife were members of the Lutheran Church in Emmitsburg, but afterwards transferred their membership to Mt. Tabor Church at Rocky Ridge. Mr. Black was superintendent of the Sunday School for many years, and served the congregation as deacon and as elder; he was also a member of the building committee that built the Mt. Tabor church at Rocky Ridge. Mr. Black died in Waynesboro, Pa., and is buried in the cemetery adjoining Mt. Tabor Church. After Mr. Black's death, his widow and family returned to Rocky Ridge, where she spent the remainder of her life. She rests beside her husband in the graveyard at Mt. Tabor Church.

William A. Black received his education in the public schools of the district, and remained on the homestead assisting his parents. After his father's death, he secured a position as clerk in the store of J. B. Black, in Rocky Ridge, with whom he remained for some time. In 1890 he accepted a position with H. Enstee & Sons, of Baltimore, and remained with that firm until the members retired from business. Mr. Black then went to Sparrows Point, Md., to assume the management of the drygoods department in the "Sparrows Point Store Company." Under his careful supervision trade increased rapidly, hut after four years of close application to business, his health failed, and he was compelled to resign his position and re-move to the country.

For a short time, he engaged in business at Point of Rocks, Md., and in 190%, purchased the stand of J. B. Black, general merchant, at Rocky Ridge. Mr. Black does a large and increasing business in his new establishment, and ascribes all his financial success to hard work and close attention to business. He belongs to the Independent party and is interested in county affairs. He is a member of the Royal Arcanum of Sparrows Point.

William A. Black was married to Mary C., daughter of Henry and Ann M. Peier, of Baltimore, Md. They have one son, W. Henry R., at home. Mr. Black and his wife are members of the Lutheran Church.

Return to index on Emmitsburg names in William's History of Frederick County

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