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Below is a family biography included in Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Lafayette 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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John K. Black, who, in addition to conducting a very lucrative merchandise business in Mars Hill, is also extensively engaged in agricultural pursuits, is one of the influential and prominent citizens of this county. He owes his nativity to Marion County, Miss., where his birth occurred on January 21, 1846. His father, Alex P. Black, was born in North Carolina, February 13, 1814. When he was a small boy he went from his native State to South Carolina, and later to Alabama. In his sixteenth year he went to Mississippi, and there he made his home for a number of years. He subsequently married, in this State, Miss Caroline M. Drake, a native of North Carolina, and a relative of Sir Francis Drake. February 6, 1854, he landed in Lafayette County, Ark., and immediately after located a farm in the woods, about five miles south of Mars Hill, and being among the very early settlers, he was obliged to cut a road through to his farm. He lived on this farm until 1888, and then moved to Mars Hill, where he passed from life the following year, his wife having previously died in October, 1865. The father was of Scotch extraction, being a son of Kenneth Black, and was highly educated. Of the family of eight children —five sons and three daughters—born to his marriage, four—three sons and one daughter—are still living. John K. Black accompanied his parents to this county in his eighth year, and here he has passed his life. He assisted his father in his farm duties until he attained his majority, and then engaged in farming on his own responsibility. He continued agricultural pursuits until 1888, and then commenced merchandising at Mars Hill, and this latter pursuit is now receiving his attention. His brother, Edgar, was formerly clerk of Hempstead County, but is now a prominent merchant of Hope, Ark.; Alex R. is a resident of Wood County, Tex., and Sarah is the wife of J. Girard. On March 14, 1878, Mr. Black, the subject of this sketch, was united in marriage with Miss Ida Harriss, a native of Columbia County, Ark., born August 13, 1853, and a daughter of Sidney Harriss, a pioneer of this section. Her paternal grandfather, Samuel Harriss, was a prominent Missionary Baptist minister, and established a great many churches of that denomination in this country, where he had come among the very first settlers. He passed away in this county, after living a life of usefulness for eighty-four years. Mr. Black and wife are the parents of six children—four daughters and two sons—Clyde, Lillian, Dick, Capt., Rose and Anna. On May 15, 1888, Mrs. Black was appointed post-mistress of Mars Hill, and she has presided over that office very ably ever since. As mentioned elsewhere in this sketch, Mr. Black opened up his present business in 1888, and he now carries a stock of goods valued at $3,000, and does quite an extensive business. In addition to merchandising, he is also interested in farming, owning three farms, amounting to 275 acres. He also owns one and a quarter acres of land south of the railroad, in New Lewisville, and is numbered among the influential and well to-do citizens of this county.

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This family biography is one of 44 biographies included in Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Lafayette County, Arkansas published in 1890.  For the complete description, click here: Lafayette County, Arkansas History, Genealogy, and Maps

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