IAGenWeb Project

Audubon County


1915 Bios Index


Few farmers living in Audubon county are better known than Benjamin J. Black, who is at present serving as county supervisor of this county. Mr. Black for years has been prominent in the educational, political and civic life of Audubon county and few of the younger farmers of this county have accomplished more in the same length of time than he and few are more deserving of the confidence and esteem of the people of this county. Mr. Black owns eighty acres of land in Melville township and three hundred and twenty acres in North Dakota, and is farming a total of two hundred and thirty-two acres in Melville township.

Benjamin J. Black was born in Muscatine county, Iowa, on October 8, 1874, the son of James and Mary (Woods) Black, the former of whom was a native of Indiana, and the latter of whom came from Kentucky. When James Black was fourteen years of age he came with his parents from Indiana to Iowa, locating in Muscatine county, where he grew to manhood, remaining there until 1888, when he came to Audubon county, and located on the farm where Benjamin J., his son, is now living. He purchased eighty acres of land and farmed that until his death in 1908. His widow is still living. Their four children were William, Mary, Emma and Benjamin J.

Benjamin J. Black received his education largely in the public schools of Audubon county. After completing the course in the common schools he took a business course at the Capital City Commercial College at Des Moines. Thus admirably equipped for his life's vocation, he returned to his home in Audubon county, and took up farming with his father, and was thus engaged until his marriage in 1903, at which time he rented a farm and farmed rented land for three years. Upon the death of his father, he purchased the home place, and has since been living there. Since buying the farm in 1908, he has invested approximately thirty-five hundred dollars in various kinds of improvements. Mr. Black annually raises eighty acres of corn and feeds at least one hundred head of hogs. He also raises forty acres of hay.

On November 26, 1903, when Benjamin J. Black was twenty-nine years old, he was married to Martha J. Simmons, daughter of Joseph and Mary (Goff) Simmons, to which happy union six children, Howard W., Everett A., Lucile, William, Robert and Martha E. have been born. All of these children are living at home with their parents, and they make a very happy group, in fact one of the most popular families in Melville township.

Mr. Black is popular in fraternal circles of his county and is a member of the Masonic lodge at Audubon and of the Modem Woodmen of America. A Democrat, he is the present county supervisor of Audubon county, and has served as school director and township clerk and as road supervisor.

Few men can be said to have a wider interest in matters which concern the public generally than Mr. Black. Interested in education, in good roads, in politics, and in the improvement of community spirit, he is a worthy citizen of Audubon county and one of the leading farmers and citizens of Melville township.

Transcribed from History of Audubon County, Iowa Its People, Industries and Institutions With Biographical Sketches of Representative Citizens and Genealogical Records of Many of the Old Families, by H. F. Andrews, editor, Indianapolis: B. F. Bowen & Company, 1915, pp. 594-595.