Rock Island County, Illinois Genealogy Trails

Francis Black

In 1841 Francis Black, age 26, arrived in Hampton and opened a general store in the above mentioned frame building.

In 1846 Brettun and Francis Black erected the large two-story brick building on the northwest corner of River and Oak Streets and together entered a general merchandise business. Steamboat transportation was important and vital to the growth of the town, and a wharf was needed. Eight of the property owners deeded to Mr. Bretton certain lots for him to sell. The proceeds of these lots were to be used to build the Hampton public wharf where boats could land in all stages of water.

Mr. Brettun decided to quit the mercantile business and sold his interest in the stock to his son-in-law, Milton H. Crapster. The business continued for a number of years when Mr. Black bought full interest and continued alone.

In 1858 Mr. Black sold to Francis Black his interest in the store building together with the warehouse on the wharf and all the wharf privileges which they had enjoyed together. Along in the early '70s the old warehouse was sold to August Anderson who utilized the material to build a barn.

Maverick Wright was 22 when he came to Hampton in 1837. In 1850 Mr. Wright purchased lot 1 block 30 and built his two-story brick store building and engaged there in general merchandise business. Mr. Black's and Mr. Wright's stores were considered large, and their customers came from Whiteside and Henry counties and also from out in Iowa.

Both Black and Wright engaged in the pork packing business and did all large trade with the steamboats the packing was done in the fall and winter and was so extensive that their business hired 16 Coopers in eight shops to make the necessary pork barrels and lard tierces.

Mr. Black and Mr. Wright had paid as high as16 and 18 cents a pound for their holdings and probably gave their notes until the river opened up in the spring so they could ship and sell their product. The war closed and pork took a heavy drop, and Mr. Wright, unable to meet the loss, went broke and went out of business. He sold out to Frank Wells and Bares Shurtliff and moved to Iowa. His health failed him and he returned to Hampton where he died April 14th, 1876.

Mr. Black was financially better off than Mr. Wright and was able to continue in business. He had the larger stock of goods carrying everything from the spinning wheel to silk for a lady's dress, harness, saddles, farm implements, and articles too numerous to mention. He bought coal and wood and sold to his steamboat trade, who loaded the fuel while taking on his freight which also included the grain and corn which he purchased from the farmers. He continued actively in business until he was past 90 years of age-retiring in 1903. His son Walter took over the store and ran it for a number of years.

In addition to his store business Francis Black had held many office. He was Hamptons' second postmaster and for 10 years was township school treasurer. For a time he served as a village treasurer. He never aspired to any office, the office sought him. Early on he had acquired Block 36, which he had surveyed and platted in 1855 for burial purposes. The 30 by 30 ft. lots were sold for $1 each. Later he quit claimed his interest in Block 36 to the trustees of Hampton Cemetery Association which later incorporated.

Mr. Black married Charlotte Brettun, who died May 20th, 1861. They had one son, Charles. Mr. Black later married Philena Luce on October 9th 1862. Together they had Sophia, Theodosia, and Walter. Frances Black was an ideal man. He left a blameless record, was loved and respected by all who knew him. He died November 8th, 1910 and was followed in 1919 by Mrs. Black.

Information submitted by Mary and Rock Nelson of the Hampton Historical Society
A History of Hampton, Illinois 1838-1938 by George McNabney

 

Brettun and Black General
Brettun and Black General

Seranus I. Brettun

Saranus I. Brettun came to Hampton in 1837. The original owners of the land decided to lay out and plat a town, so they quit claimed their undivided interests to Sarenuss. Bill L. Brettun, who, following the usual custom, platted the town on June 4th 1838. The Post Office Department named these 36 blocks Hampton. The town now being platted, Mr. Brettun proceeded to deed back to each proprietor his proportionate share of lots or blocks. Mr. Brettun was a domineering type hard to work with since he would always insist on having his own way. Few would work with him. Twelve of the landowners were only Speculators and contributed little to advance the town. in 1838 Mr. Brettun disposed of his many lots. He deeded lot 15 block 72 to Henry McNeal who resold it to James Harvey who erected a two-story frame building on the site which lies directly east of Black's old store. Later this building became a hotel, but it burned down in 1863.

In 1841 Francis Black, age 26, arrived in Hampton and opened a general store in the above mentioned frame building.

In 1846 Brettun and Francis Black erected the large two-story brick building on the northwest corner of River and Oak Streets and together entered a general merchandise business. Steamboat transportation was important and vital to the growth of the town, and a wharf was needed. Eight of the property owners deeded to Mr. Bretton certain lots for him to sell. The proceeds of these lots were to be used to build the Hampton public wharf where boats could land in all stages of water.

Mr. Brettun decided to quit the mercantile business and sold his interest in the stock to his son-in-law, Milton H. Crapster. The business continued for a number of years when Mr. Black bought full interest and continued alone.

In 1858 Mr. Brettun sold to Francis Black his interest in the store building together with the warehouse on the wharf and all the wharf privileges which they had enjoyed together. Along in the early '70s the old warehouse was sold to August Anderson who utilized the material to build a barn.

Sarunus Brettun married Margaret Belcher on January 1st 1829. They had three children, a boy and two girls. The boy drowned. (In the June 28, 2002 Argus historical listing of 150 years ago: Sam Brettun, Age 6, drowned in the Mississippi.) Their daughter, Charlotte, married Francis Black who bore him one child, Charles. Carolyn Brettun married Dr. Milton H. Crapster, who, later after leaving Hampton, became Captain of the U.S. Steamboat, "Lilly," a boat which supplied the oil for the lights on the piers on the Mississippi.

Information submitted by Mary and Rock Nelson of the Hampton Historical Society A History of Hampton, Illinois 1838-1938
by George McNabney

 

BACK
Rock Island County, Illinois
Genealogy Trails History Group is a Volunteer Organization Dedicated to providing FREE access to Historical and Genealogical Data.
2006 - 2014 by Genealogy Trails -  All Rights Reserved - With full rights reserved for original submitters.