This extract appeared in the History of Allegan County, Michigan. Can anyone help to identify more accurately the birthplace of Peter Black?
The family of Peter Black of Castle Douglas and Michigan
James E. Black, a representative agriculturist of Casco township, who has done effective service in behalf of the cause of education, was born in Kalamazoo, Michigan, June 6, 1850. His father, Peter Black, was born at Castle Douglas, Scotland, and lost his parents when quite young. As a boy he came to the United States, and from New York made his way to Michigan with the Montieths about 1848. He remained a resident of this state until his death, which occurred in 1892, when he was about eighty-three years of age. He was married in New York to Miss Mary A. Edwards, who was born in Birmingham, England, March 24, 1822, and who at the age of twenty-eight years crossed the Atlantic to New York on a visit to her sister. Here she became acquainted with Mr. Black and was married. She was a daughter of Enos Edwards, the chief engineer of the Birmingham (England) fire department, and his father and grandfather held the same position before him, and all three occupied successively the same house. All the members of the Edwards family are mechanics and machinists. Mr. and Mrs. Black were the parents of eight children, but only three reached years of maturity: James E., of this review; John, who died at South Haven in 1880, and William, a resident of Benton Harbor.
James E. Black attended school in his native county until about sixteen or seventeen years of age, when he made his way into the forests of Allegan county with his parents in the fall of 1866. They took up their abode upon the present farm on the 13th of November, and here James E, Black has since resided. The place originally comprised one hundred and seventy acres of rich and productive land, but Mr. Black has since sold all save eighty acres on sections 35 and 36, Casco township. His entire life has been devoted to general agricultural pursuits. All of his farm has been cleared and placed under cultivation by himself, his brother and his father, and the place is now devoted to the raising of cereals and fruit. In the early days Mr. Black worked at lumbering and logging and his life has been a period of earnest and unremitting toil, in which he has made steady progress because he has closely applied himself to the work at hand and has made the best use of his opportunities.
In his political views Mr. Black is a Republican and has served as a delegate to the conventions of his party from his township. He was elected justice of the peace and proved in that office a capable official. He acted as a delegate to both the conventions which chose candidates for the state legislature from Casco township, and his efforts have been far-reaching and effective in behalf of the interests which contribute to the general welfare and improvement in this part of the state.
Mr. Black was married, in 1874, to Miss Elizabeth Bliss, who was born in Chautauqua county, New York, near Dunkirk, in 1856, and who was brought to Michigan when only three months' old by her parents, Joel and Rosetta (Ellis) Bliss, who were natives of New York, but spent their last days in Geneva township, Allegan county, Michigan. To the marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Black have been born four children: Myrtie, who died at the age of thirteen years; Ralph, of Benton Harbor; Minnie, who is a school teacher, and Neila, at home. Mr. Black has ever been interested and active in the support of educational affairs, and for twelve years has been a director of district No. 4. He has also acted as moderator. It was during his administration that the practice of "boarding round" was abolished in the seventies, and he has done much to advance, the system of public education in this locality, there being now between eighty and ninety pupils in the school district.