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GEORGE NELSON BLACK.
The cause of Illinois and western history has sustained a great loss
in the death at his -home in Springfield, on April 22, 1908, of George
Nelson Black, a director in the Illinois State Historical Society since
its organization and one of the founders of the society.
Mr. Black was also at the time of his death a member of the Board
of Trustees of the Illinois State Historical Library, which position he
had occupied for more than ten years, he having been appointed in
1897 by Governor John R. Tanner. Mr. Black deserves a large
measure of credit for the expansion and growth of the historical library
in the service of which he spent much time and labor. He was devoted
to the work of the library and the society and retained the liveliest
interest in both up to the day of his death. About two and a half
years ago Mr. Black had the misfortune to fall over the banisters of
the stairway at his residence and was very severely injured. He
never fully recovered from this accident. A full sketch of the life
and services of Mr. ,Black will be given in the regular transactions of
the society. He left surviving him, of his immediate family, his wife,
a son, John W. Black, and a daughter, Anna Louise, the wife of Dr.
George F. Stericker, of Springfield, three grandchildren, and one
brother, Mr. Alexander Black, of Lee, Mass. He also left a number
of nephews, nieces and other relatives to whom he had been unusually
kind and thoughtful, and a large circle of friends. The funeral oc-
curred at St. Paul's church in Springfield. A number of prominent
citizens of Springfield and neighboring towns acted as honorary pall-
bearers, among whom were Dr. E. J. James and Dr. M. H. Chamber-
lin, Mr. Black's colleagues on the Board of Trustees of the Illinois
State Historical Library ; Capt. J. H. Burnham, of Bloomington, a
director of the Historical Society; Dr. J. F. Snyder, of Virginia, 111.,
former president and director of the society; Dr. Wm. Jayne, and
Dr. A. W. French, members of the society. A committee of the local
members of the society attended the funeral in a body. The members
of this committee were: Judge J. Otis Humphrey, Clinton L. Conk-
ling, Wm. Jayne, E. A. Snively, James H. Matheny, Charles P.
Kane, James W. Patton, James M. Graham, Guy I. Colby, J. H. Col-
lins, E. E. Hagler, George Huskinson, George A. Sanders, Charles
R. Coon, E. S. Walker, H. E. Barker, J. McCan Davis, Lewis H.
Miner, James A. Rose, A. W. French, George T. Palmer, Hugh Gra-
ham, W. L. Gross, Charles E. Hay, John D. Marney, E. S. Scott,
Charles R. Taylor.
After the impressive services at the church the interment was made
in beautiful Oak Ridge cemetery almost under the shadow of the
stately shaft which marks the last resting place of Abraham Lincoln,
whom Mr. Black, as a young man, had had the privilege of knowing
and loving, and whose fame and memory were among the greatest
pleasures of his advanced years. George Nl Black, though largely
self educated, was a man of culture and refinement and of the largest
charity and humanity. He was of a peculiarly gentle and winning per-
sonality and most quiet and retiring in manner and tastes. He was
extremely fond of books and owned a large private library. He was
one of the most active and untiring business men the city of Spring-
field has ever possessed. Many of the principal objects of interest
in Springfield were secured to the city through 'the efforts of Mr.
Black. He was very proud of Springfield and spared no efforts to
promote its interests.
His name is connected with the birth and growth of the Illinois
State Historical Society and his labors for the society and the library
will be remembered as long as these institutions exist.