Dr. John P. Black, well-known physician and oculist at Greenfield, this county who has been engaged in practice there since the year 1890 is a native Hoosier, having been born in the village of Jay, in Jay county, February 8, 1853, son of Michael and Jeanette (White) black, both natives of Ireland, who later became well-known residents of this county, the former for many years being one of the best-known minister of the Methodist church in this part of the state.
The Rev. Michael Black was a native of County Sligo and he grew to manhood there, being trained in the tailor's trade. He married Jeanette White who also was born n County Sligo, and immediately thereafter he and his wife came to the United States, landing at the port of New York after a three-months trip on a sailing vessel. Upon their arrival in this country, Michael Black and his wife located at Morristown, New Jersey, where for some time he conducted a tailor shop, presently coming to Indian and settling at the village of Pennville, in Jay county. About that time Michael Black has become converted to the Methodist faith and so strongly was he influenced by his new faith that he felt it his duty to become a preacher of the Gospel. He was a man of much reading and of natural eloquence and soon became known as a preacher of power. Upon his admission to the northeastern Indiana conference of the Methodist Episcopal church, the Rev. Michael Black was given charge of a circuit comprising a number of charges in and about Hancock county and he then, in the late fifties, established his home in this county, where his wife died in 1867, she then being fifty-three years of age. In 1870 the Rev. Michael Black left Indiana and went to Florida as a missionary of the Methodist church, where he spent the remainder of his life, devoting his best energies to the extension of the cause of methodism in that state, his memory being cherished there as one of the most active influences in the general establishment of the church in the state. His death occurred in 1887, he then being eighty-one years of age, and he had been active in his ministry almost to the last month of his life. During the Civil War Mr. Black recruited a company for service in behalf of the Union cause, but there was no call for the same. He was an ardent Republican and for years was an active member of the Masonic order. He and his wife were the parents of nine children, namely: William, of Danville, Illinois; James B. a resident of Indianapolis; George W., deceased: Margaret E., widow of W. W. Willing, of Indianapolis; Richard A., deceased; Levi Robert, deceased; John P., the immediate subject of this biographical sketch; Martha, of Indianapolis, widow of F. M. Gipe, and one who died in infancy.
John P. Black received his early education in the old Greenfield seminary and afterward extended his schooling in various other places. He then took a course at Hanover College an later entered the Indiana Medical College, from which he was graduated in 1880, with the degree of Doctor of Medicine. With a view to a further extension of his medical studies, Doctor Black then went to New York City and entered the Polyclinic Institute, from which he was graduated in 1885. Thus equipped for the practice of his profession, Doctor Black located at Peabody, Kansas, where he remained for three years, at the end of which time he went to St. Paul, Minnesota, where he was engaged in practice for two years. He then, in 1890, returned to Greenfield and opened an office in the Lee C. Thayer building, where he ever since has been located and where he has built up a fine practice. Doctor Black, though actively engaged in general practice, makes a specialty of treatment of diseases of the eye, ear, nose and throat and as an oculist has practically all the business in that line in Greenfield. Doctor Black is secretary of the local board of health and is president of the Hancock County Medical Society. During his residence at St. Paul he also was an active member of the Minnesota State Medical Association. The doctor is a Republican and has ever given a good citizen's attention to local political affairs.
In November, 1881, Dr. John P. Black was united in marriage to Clara Hart, who was born at Knightstown, this state, in 1859, daughter of Andrew J. and Viola (Haynes) Hart, the former of whom was a cabinet-maker and photographer at Knightstown until he moved to St. Paul, Minnesota, where he now lives, and to this union five children have been born all of whom are living, as follow: Walter A., an electrical engineer at Indianapolis; James B., a civil engineer at St. Louis; Laura B., who married Virgil Leech and now lives in Boston, Massachusetts; Margaret, librarian of the Brightwood branch of the Indianapolis public library and John Nelson, a student at Purdue University, all of whom were graduated from the Greenfield high school before taking up their more extended studies Doctor and Mrs. Black and their children are members of the Presbyterian church and have ever taken an interested part in the various social and cultural activities of their home and are held in the highest esteem hereabout. Doctor Black is the official physician of the local lodge of the Order of Eagles.
Transcribed from History of Hancock County, Indiana, Its People, Industries and Institutions by George J. Richman, B. L., Federal Publishing Co., Indianapolis, Indiana, 1916. Pages 903-905.
Submitted by Sylvia (Rose) Duda, Laingsburg, MI September 27, 2001.
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