After serving valiantly in the commercial army of Rhode Island for more than thirty years, during which he contributed much to the general prosperity through his activities, David C. Black, of Warren, interested himself in realty development and upon that feature left a deep and favorable impress. The labor of his latter years he pleases to call by the name of retirement, but to one of less energetic nature it would be classified as work. He, however, is a descendant of a line of sturdy forebears whose careers have been interwoven with the activities of three centuries of labor that have brought about the present condition of prosperity and made the wheels of commerce hum with productivity. These ancestors knew not the meaning of fatigue, their watchword was to advance and no step backward did any one of them ever make. He holds the high regard of the people of Warren, has filled a number of offices with credit and bears a character that is unassailable. He is deeply interested in all important civic affairs and also in fraternal organizations of merit and ancient record.
Born in Rehoboth, Massachusetts, December 18, 1867, he is a son of Johnstone and Isabella (McIntosh) Black, both of Rehoboth, whose marriage is recorded in 1856. His father was a son of Ralph and Elizabeth (Erwin) Black, and a grandson of William and Rebecca (Hamilton) Black. He was born in Glasgow, Scotland, in 1832 and came to America in 1851. For a time he resided in Lowell, Massachusetts, and in Nashua, New Hampshire, removing to Rehoboth about 1866 and there conducting a general merchandise business. He was appointed postmaster there and held the office for twenty-five years. Disposing of his mercantile business, he established one in the grocery trade in Warren, Rhode Island, taking into partnership his sons, Robert and David. His death occurred in Warren, November 27, 1908. David C. was educated in the public schools of Rehoboth and in the business college in Providence, after which he became a clerk in a grocery store. In 1889 he opened a store of his own in Warren, which he conducted until 1920, when he retired. He has since devoted his attention to real estate development in Warren. For six years he was a member of the town council. He is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church and serves it as a trustee and on its official board. Fraternally, he is affiliated with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, being Past Noble Grand of his lodge. He is also a member of the Masonic body, being affiliated with Washington Lodge, No. 3, Free and Accepted Masons; the Chapter, Royal Arch Masons; St. John’s Commandery, Knights Templar; Rhode Island Consistory, Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite Masons, in which he holds the thirty-second degree; and is a member of the Temple, Ancient Arabic Order Nobles of the Mystic Shrine. He has held a number of offices in his several bodies.
David C. Black married, August 18, 1897. Mary M. Allin, of Warren. Their children are:
- Florence Allin, born July 6, 1898, now a teacher in the Normal School at Castleton, Vermont.
- Gertrude Johnstone, born May 7, 1902; married Henry J. Peterson, and they are the parents of a daughter, Barbara Louise, born February 24, 1930.
Source: Carroll, Charles. Rhode Island: Three Centuries of Democracy, vol 3 of 4. New York: Lewis historical Pub. Co., 1932.