ITS HISTORY AND TRADITION
T. A. Black
Thomas A. Black, pioneer resident of Sioux City, civic leader, banker, prominent in the commercial development of Sioux City, and president of the Sioux City Grain Exchange and the Sioux City Terminal Grain Corporation, was
seventy-two years of age when called to his final rest on the 31st of August, 1926.
The career of Mr. Black, who lived in Sioux City for thirty-seven years, was conspicuous for his quick rise to a position of leadership in banking and commercial circles of northwestern Iowa, Minnesota and adjoining states. His
birth occurred in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on the 29th of September, 1853, his parents being James and Esther (Service) Black, the former a native of County Antrim, Ireland, while the latter was born in Cazenovia, New York, where their marriage was celebrated in 1852. James Black came to the United States in 1848, locating in Philadelphia, where he established a grocery business
under the style of "James Black, Wholesale and Retail Grocer." He was successful in this enterprise and remained identified with it until his death, which occurred in 1865.
Thomas A. Black, who was twelve years of age when his father died, had attended the public schools of Philadelphia up to that time, when the mother removed with her three children to her native town of Cazenovia. There Mr. Black was reared to manhood on his grandfather's farm. After completing the common school course he taught one winter term in the home district school and subsequently attended Cazenovia Seminary for one year. In 1873 he became a clerk in the banking house of E. S. Card & Company at Cazenovia, where he remained until 1878, when he resigned and started west. He first located at Webster City, Iowa where he became a member of the firm of Kimball & Black, retail druggists, but shortly afterwards retired from that partnership and entered the First National Bank of Webster City as a clerk. In May, 1882, he went to
Pipestone, Minnesota, and organized the Pipestone County Bank in association with Ex-Governor William Larrabee and other Iowa citizens. Mr. Black was made president of that institution and continued its executive head until 1890.
During that period he also assisted in the organization of the State Bank of Slayton, Minnesota, and the State Bank of Jasper, Minnesota, and, in association with E. W. Davies, of Pipestone, laid out and platted the town of Jasper,opening and developing the noted quarries of that place. In 1890 he came to Sioux City to accept the position of cashier of the Sioux National Bank, in which official capacity he remained until 1896. Later he was made cashier of the Farmers Loan & Trust Company and in 1900 became vice president of the Security National Bank and a director of the Woodbury County Savings Bank. In 1920, at the solicitation of a number of Sioux City's leading business men, who were desirous of establishing a grain market here on a scale commensurate with the city's location and the importance of its live stock market, Mr. Black organized the Yerminal Grain Corporation, of which he was elected president and of which he remained at the head to the time of his death. When he passed away, he was serving for the second term as president of the Sioux City Grain Exchange. He was also a director and a former president of the Sioux City Chamber of Commerce and a leading spirit in many of the city's most effective civic bodies. He was a director of the Sioux City Stock Yards Company, a director of the Live Stock Fair Association, a director of the Fidelity Investment Company and a director of the Sioux City Society of Fine Arts. In 1915 he was a member of the Iowa commission to the Pan-American Exposition at San Francisco, and he was a member of the executive committee of the Mississippi Valley Association, the object of which is the development of the waterways of the Mississippi valley.
On May 12, 1880, at Benton Harbor, Michigan, Mr. Black was married to Miss. Georgia Bass, a daughter of Colonel S. S. Bass, of Fort Wayne, Indiana. To this union were born two children, namely: Janey, who is the wife of W. F. Grandy, a well known insurance and real estate man of Sioux City; and Thomas Bass, who was for some years secretary of the Fidelity Investment Company of Sioux City and is now a member of the Black & Cornell Mortgage and Loan Company
of 208 South LaSalle street, Chicago, Illinois. Mr. and Mrs. W. F. Grandy are the parents of two children, W. F. Grandy, Jr., and Louise Grandy, both of Sioux City.
Fraternally Mr. Black was a member of the Sioux City Lodge, No. 112, of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks. He was president of the Knife and Fork Club, one of whose aims is to bring into Sioux City some five or six of the big men of the country. He also belonged to the Rotary Club, to the Sioux City Country Club and to the Riverside Boat Club. Persistent and indomitable energy, supplemented by the application of mental qualifications of a high order to the affairs of business, constituted the keynotes to his success and he stood in the front rank of those who conserve the city's interests. Personally he was a man of pleasing address, easily approached, and was eminently
public spirited, giving his support to every enterprise or measure having for its object the betterment of the community along material, civic or moral lines.
posted here with Debbie's permission
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