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Below is a family biography included in Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Calhoun County, Arkansas published by Goodspeed Publishing Company in 1890.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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Dr. Thomas A. Black, an old and highly respected citizen of Hampton, was born in Dixon County, Tenn., June 10, 1833, the third in a family of eleven children born to A. L. and Mavel (May) Black, the former a native of Kentucky and the latter of Tennessee. His maternal ancestors were English. The Mays were an extensive family of Tennessee, and a number of that family were in the early wars, serving at New Orleans with Jackson. His father moved to Tennessee when about twenty years of age. His paternal grandfather was a pioneer of Kentucky, traveling over the State on hunting expeditions, and was often the companion of Daniel Boone. His paternal grandmother came with her parents from Ireland before the Revolutionary War and settled in Maryland, where they were compelled to submit to many privations and much trouble from the Tories during that war. Six months after the birth of our subject his father moved to Arkansas, settling in Johnson County, where he entered 200 acres and engaged in farming. He was one of the first settlers in this section, and took an active part in all affairs of the county; he was elected coroner and served for a time as sheriff of that county. He cleared up a large tract of land and made money and became independent. In 1849 he moved to Bradley County, bought a farm near the Moro Bay, and became identified with the political affairs of Bradley County, but would not accept office. In 1858 he sold his farm and moved to Calhoun County, where, in 1859, he erected the only hotel in Hampton, a large frame building, which is still the only hotel in the place and is now owned by his son, the subject of this biographical mention. In 1870 his excellent wife, who had shared the vicissitudes of his pioneer life, died, and in 1871 he married a lady in Holly Springs, Dallas County, whither he removed, and resided there until his death in July, 1886, at the age of eighty-four years. The direct cause of his death was a sunstroke, which he received in 1885, from the effects of which he never fully recovered, and which finally caused his death. He had enjoyed good health all his life. He was a well known character throughout this section. The subject of this sketch was reared on a farm and attended a private school a few months in Johnson, but when the family moved to Bradley County he had no educational advantages, so at the age of nineteen years he concluded to leave home and seek his fortunes. He saddled his horse and rode to Van Buren, where he sold his horse and attended school as long as the money lasted; he then engaged as clerk in a hotel for six months, and then went to school again until the money was exhausted, then traded to some extent, and came to Chambersville, where he attended school for ten months. Next he went to Bradley County and taught school for one term, and at the same time began the study of medicine. In 1856 he moved back to Chambersville and continued the study of medicine under Dr. William Brooks, at that time an eminent physician in this county. He then borrowed a little money and went to Louisville, where he attended a course of lectures at the University of Louisville, studying privately during this time under Prof. D. W. Yandell. In March of 1857 he came back to Arkansas, settling in Dallas County, and began the practice of his chosen profession. During this summer he married Mrs. Stevenson, who lived only two years, dying in July, 1859, leaving one child, a boy, Andrew L., who is now married and resides in Texas, where he is engaged in speculating. Mr. Black made Dallas County his home until January, 1861, when he removed to Clarendon, Monroe County, remaining there one year. In April, 1862, he enlisted in the Confederate army, acting as assistant surgeon of the Fourth Arkansas Regiment, and was stationed at Corinth, where he remained until the evacuation of that place, when he was ordered to Aberdeen, Miss., to take charge of the hospital there. He remained at this place until the end of August, and was then ordered to the Confederate camp at Knoxville; toward the end of September they were all ordered across the mountain to Kentucky to join Kirby Smith, our subject going with them. He was then placed in charge of the ambulance train of the brigade, but after a short time returned and established a hospital at Tazewell, East Tenn. In December of that year he was ordered to London, Tenn., and was then ordered to join his old regiment, which he accompanied to Murfreesboro. December 25, 1862, he started for Arkansas. In January, 1863, he was ordered to establish a hospital at Camden, Ouachita County, and remained here until November, when the ladies of Calhoun County petitioned that he might be detached and return home to practice there, as there was no physician left in the county. This was granted, and he came to Hampton in November, 1863, and has since made his home at this place. December 25, 1859, Mr. Black was married, the second time, to Miss Marian W. Ford, of Dallas County. She died July 22, 1867, leaving no children. Mr. Black was married, a third time, in February, 1868, to Mrs. Everetts, nee Drake, a native of Alabama. This lady is still living. In 1873 Mr. Black returned to Louisville, where he took another course of lectures, and graduated from the university of that city in 1874. He has always been active, politically, wherever he has made his home, and has done much work for the Democratic party in this county. He belongs to the Masonic fraternity, demitted from the lodge and Chapter. He also belongs to the Odd Fellow’s organization, and is a member of the Wheel and president of the examining board of physicians of Calhoun County.

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This family biography is one of 67 biographies included in Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Calhoun County, Arkansas published in 1890.  For the complete description, click here: Calhoun County, Arkansas History, Genealogy, and Maps

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