From the Shawano Evening Leader, Monday, Oct. 3, 1938: John C. Black, a pioneer dies today Death ends a long and colorful career
John Black, 80, one of the few remaining pioneers of this community who
devoted his life to the lumbering and timber business, passed the last
mile stone about ten o’clock this morning at this home on North
Franklin street, where he had lived for the past fifty years.
Mr. Black had been in good health during the past years and was always
ready to tell stories of his long and colorful career. His death came
as a surprise and shock to countless friends in this community.
John Black was born in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada on April 9, 1858, and
came here with his parents in 1869 where they settled on a farm near
Angelica. At an early age he left the farm and started the career he
was to follow for more than half a century. He was married to Mary Anne Magee in September 1887. She died in November 1929.
At the age of 14, Mr. Black went to work in the woods. With his brother
Joe, who has been dead for many years, he has tramped through many
miles of woods in northern Wisconsin and upper Michigan during his long
career. Reminiscences of those years include more
than the hardships of being snowed in for weeks on end, and enduring
frigid weather and snow to get the logs out of the woods and to the
river to be floated down stream in the spring.
When a young man, he went into the timber business for himself, and
later on with his brother Joe in partnership, logged on the Wisconsin
river, sixteen miles north of Rhinelander for six years. For the three
years following, he logged in northern Wisconsin and after that in
Michigan north of Watersmeet, for several years. Three years of
lumbering on the Flambeau river in Iron county followed, after which he
spent two years on the Wolf river as a partner in the Shawano Lumber
company. After that he went to Hermansville,
Mich., where he ran camp for Frank Graves, and later came back to log
on the Wolf for Magee and Badger. He also spent some time lumbering for
H. H. Martin on the Chippewa river, and with his brother Joe at
Deerbrook, north of Antigo. Mr. Black once
estimated that he was foreman on the Wolf river for seventeen years,
and spent thirty-five years in all on the Wolf and its tributaries. He
also cruised timber in northern California, Oregon, Idaho, and in the
state of Washington. In the years in which he
logged, Mr. Black once said he had cut or supervised the cutting of 150
million feet of timber. He has logged in most of the more colorful and
picturesque sections of the country, and had some hair raising
adventures he was always ready to tell about.
After concluding his logging activities, Mr. Black was a director of
the Wolf River Paper and Fiber company, and looked after their
extensive land interests. He was later a director in Hayter’s store for
about six years. He was also president of the Shawano Lumber company at
one time. Mr. Black, who has resided at his home
on the corner of Green Bay and Franklin streets for over fifty years,
has been trustee of the Presbyterian church forty years; Alderman from
the second ward for fourteen years; a director of the Wisconsin
National bank here for thirty years, and has held many other
responsible positions. He has also been a member of the Masonic lodge for forty-five years.
The survivors are, two brothers, David and William of Shawano, three
children, Curtis and Charles of Shawano, and Mrs. Steve Miller of
Marshfield; three grandchildren, John Black, jr., Marbeth and Norman
Miller of Marshfield. Funeral services will be
held at 2 o’clock from the home with the Rev. Garth Gee of the
Presbyterian church in charge. Masonic lodge rites will be held at the
Woodlawn cemetery, where interment will take place.