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John Black Collection

Identifier: 2008.025

Scope and Contents

The bulk of the collection is made up of JB’s column "Remember When?" both newspaper clippings and drafts. The collection is organized into five series: Biographical Materials, Manuscripts, Newspaper Clippings, Photographs and Negatives, and Research Files. The collection does not include any materials related to JB's career as an insurance agent or his antique store except for one brochure included in Biographical Materials.

Series I. Biographical Materials; n.d., consists of one file folder of materials about John Black including a portrait.

Series II. Manuscripts; n.d., 1988, include unpublished papers written by John Black and unidentified author(s). Bulk of this series includes drafts of "Remember When?" which are undated and in no particular order.

Series III. Newspaper Clippings; n.d., 1930-1980, include mostly clippings of JB's article "Remember When?" organized chronologically except for undated articles.

Series IV. Photographs and Negatives; n.d., 1911, 1980-1983, consist of photographs and negatives taken by John Black as well as historic photographs, mostly of John Black's ancestors. Historic photographs includes unidentified tintype portraits. Link to items:

Series V. Research Files; n.d., 1914, bulk of the materials are copies of photographs, manuscripts, and newspapers related to Honey Grove history. Research files are organized by materials and subject.


  • 1937-1988


Restrictions on use

Items in this collection are protected by applicable copyright laws.

Biographical / Historical

John Benjamin Black was born in Honey Grove on November 13, 1916 to James F. and Mabel Walcott Black. The youngest of seven children, JB graduated from Lon Morris Junior College in Jacksonville, Texas and received a Bachelor of Science in Government and Economics and a minor in History from North Texas State Teachers College. After graduation, he attended the American Casualty Insurance School in New York City.

JB enlisted in the Army Air Forces in 1942 and attended school throughout his military service, including flight training, Signal Corps, and radio communication school. After he was discharged in 1945, he returned to Honey Grove where he worked as an insurance agent for his father’s business and where he married Thelma Elizabeth Garner on September 16, 1945. John and Thelma Black had one son, Walcott Garner Black.

JB wrote the column, "Remember When?" for the Honey Grove Signal-Citizen beginning in 1974. He was elected President of the Friends of Sam Rayburn Board of Directors in March 1975 for the Sam Rayburn Home Museum’s first year of operation. He was also a member of Fannin County Historical Commission, the American Historical Society, The Kentucky Historical Society, the Antique Automobile Association of America, and the Model T Ford Club of America. In 1976, he served on the Fannin County and Honey Grove Bicentennial Committees. JB opened an antique shop in Honey Grove after acquiring a fire damaged building on the square where his insurance agency was located on Market Street. Named the Mill Grove Store, it was a replica of a mercantile store. JB's largest collection was of medicine patents which were shown in an exhibition at East Texas State University in 1978.

JB died on October 27, 1983 and John Black’s Pictorial History of Honey Grove was completed and published by Thelma Black, James Conrad, and Otha Spencer in the fall of 1986.


John Black OH 947, Oral History Collection, collection 2008.032, Velma K. Waters Library Special Collections, Texas A&M University-Commerce.


2 Linear Feet

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Related Materials

John Black OH 947, Oral History Collection, collection 2008.032, Velma K. Waters Library Special Collections, Texas A&M University-Commerce.

John Black Collection
In Progress
Shanna Strunk
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Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections, Waters Library, Texas A&M University-Commerce Repository