Name: James Hammond Black
Given Name: James Hammond
Change Date: 1 APR 2012
_PRIM: Y 30 JAN 1902 in Millett, Barnwell, South Carolina
Census: 1910 Bennett Springs, Barnwell, South Carolina
Note: See record of Paul Delacy Black (father).
Census: 1920 Augusta, Richmond, Georgia
Note: Ward 3, ED 76, 1011 Reynolds, 85/136 (boarding house): James H Black, boarder, m, 19, s, SC, SC, SC, stenographer, GA RR
_PRIM: Y 12 MAR 1990 in Bensalem, Bucks, Pennsylvania
Obituary, The Courier Times, Friday, 16 Mar, 1990, Bucks County, PA: James H. Black, of Wood River Village, Bensalem, died Monday as the result of a car accident in Levittown. He was 88. // Born in Millettville, S.C., he was a resident of Bensalem for the past 7 years. // He was a graduate of the University of South Carolina and the New York University Law School. // He formerly practiced law in New York with the firm Affelb, Sowers and Herrick. In 1976, he went into practice for himself in Tappan, N.Y. In 1983, he moved to Bensalem and retired two years ago. // Husband of the late Irma S. Simonton Black, he is survived by a daughter, Constance Black Engle of [sic] Flowerville, Mich.; and two grandsons. // Relatives and friends are invited to his memorial service at 4 p.m. Sunday at the Grace Episcopal Church, 133 Main St., Hulmerville. // Memorial contributions may be made to the Bank Stree College of Education (Irma Black Fund), 610 112th Street, New York, N.Y. 10025. // Arrangements are by the Fluehr Funeral Home, Bensalem.
Note: From memorial marker, Speedwell Church, Millett, SC (Find-a-Grave image): In Memory of / James Hammond / Black / Esq. / Lex Pro / Bono Populi / Jan. 30, 1902 / Mar. 12, 1990 / Ashes in Ferncliff, Hartsdale, N.Y. [ALSO, from Find-a-grave memorial by daughter Connie: James Hammond "Jim" Black; b. Jan. 30, 1902, Millett, Allendale, SC; d. Mar. 12, 1990, Levittown, Bucks, PA; son of Paul DeLacy Black and Pauline Barker Kirkland Black; spouse of Irma Simonton Black; father of Constance Kirkland Black; graduate of University of South Carolina and New York University Law School; attorney in New York City.]
Reference Number: 1293626
Note: From memorial remarks by John H. "Jack" Niemeyer, President Emeritus of Bank Street College of Education, given at the Irma Simonton Black Award Luncheon, 17 May 1990, Harvard Club, New York, NY: James Hammond Black, Esquire, was a product of rural South Carolina whose heart was, from an early age, in the far-away City of New York. His folk (as he would say) were what we might call "landed gentry" whose lives were part of the warp and woof of a fairly self-contained farming society, close to the soil, hard working, hard drinking, church going, and accepting of anyone who didn't fit any of these adjectives. People were individuals, regardless of status, and individuals had the right to be respected as individuals. And all were amusing, and all could teach you something. Jim learned from all of them. One thing he never forgot: you have to look beneath people's puffiness to know what's really there! // He must have soaked up a great deal of learning, too, from Aunt Kootch [ed: he meant Aunt Kate, not Aunt Koonch] who taught all subjects (including life) in the one-room schoolhouse. Of course, he read everything he could get his hands on -- and to the day of his death he was a voracious reader. He zipped through the University of South Carolina and headed for New York to study law at New York University. With his brilliant mind and incredible memory (which even in his latest years was undiminished) he had no difficulty with his studies, a job as a law clerk and then as junior partner in a small law firm. And New York City was all he had hoped for, and Greenwich Village was his home. He always loved his relatives in the South and went back to visit often, but New York and the Village was home. I do not exaggerate when I say that the informal walking tours Rose and I took with him through the Village, in which Jim fascinated us with the lore of personalities, politics, architecture, and history that .he had tucked away in that amazing brain, are among the highlights of our lives. // Of the multitude of his discoveries in New York that shaped Jim's life, I'll mention only two. The first was opera. He loved opera and until only two years ago he held his subscription seats. He was familiar with all the great voices from the twenties on. And he didn't limit himself to grand opera, either. I am convinced that he knew-the words of every Gilbert and Sullivan libretto. // The second great discovery was a young Barnard graduate who was launched on a career as a writer about and for young children and who spent many hours each week observing children in an experimental school run by a place called "69 Bank Street." Her name was Irma Simonton. They courted, married, and settled down in the Village. Among the many joys Irma brought to Jim, I believe, was that of being part of that effervescent, exciting, often bohemian, but creative and productive world of writers, musicians, painters, sculptors in Greenwich Village in the thirties and early forties. We can capture part of the excitement they must have felt if we think of Jim and Irma walking down Beford Street, saying "Good morning, Miss Millay," to a young woman in a big floppy hat, on their way to the Waldorf Cafeteria on Sixth Avenue just below 8th Street, where Irma would talk over with Jim her next columns for Redbook and PM, while at a nearby table argued Franz Kline and deKooning and Noguchi and at a back table sat Anais Nin listening to a rather haughty voluable young writer and editor, Gore Vidal! Jim loved every bit of it, and -- even though he often seemed to hold himself aloof and find mostly amusement in the intensity of the artistic life -- he actually loved being just a little bit a creative bohemian, himself. It was just one of the many facets of his personality that made him such a refreshing, fun friend to have. His outlook on everything had the qualities of a poet and an imp! // I suppose that what I remember the most poignantly about Jim was his friendship with so many people--of all ages, all walks of life. There was something about Jim--his unassuming manner, his wit, his broad knowledge, his interest in everything--that acted as a magnet, drawing people to him. But, then, Jim reached out to people. First of all, he found pleasure in being helpful, whether with pro bono legal help or in turning over his later fees to the Irma Simonton Black Fund or by simply baking a ham and making an apple pie, and having someone he knew was lonely over for dinner. He never forgot old friends and kept in touch with them as long as they lived and wherever they lived. And deeply he cared about his family -- his relatives in the South and, of course, his daughter, Connie Engle, her husband Earl, and two grandsons, Jimmy and Douglas. The way Jim over the years showed his love for Connie, Earl, Jimmy, and Doug reveals, I believe, the very essence of his character, his philosophy of life. For most of us, it is difficult to treat people we love the way we think all people should be treated. Love has a way of taking over, of demanding that those loved forsake their own integrity. But for Jim, even the persons he loved the most had the same right to be themselves as he always felt he had. Not even love could shake that faith. Somehow, that speaks of a person who has made peace with the realities of life. I believe Jim had the inner confidence and humility to make such a peace. // I referred a few minutes ago to the way Jim's personality drew people of all walks of life to him. When Rose and I told the doorman of our building who had known "Mr. Black" for many years about Jim's death, he was visibly shocked, his eyes filled with tears, he shook his head back and forth as if in disbelief. Then he said slowly, almost to himself, "He was a good man. He was a good man." [CDB NOTE: Jack Niemeyer was Jim's very close friend in New York City, and with whom Jim stayed when visiting "The City"]
Note: From his daughter Connie: Daddy loved to mentor/help poor young fellows who had just arrived in NY from some rural place -- just as he had done years before. Ward has been forever grateful to my father for all the help he received. Ward is a couple of years younger than I. Daddy gave them a job if he could, or at least some work to be paid for, helped them find jobs, apartments, friends, introduced them to people and places he thought would interest or help them.
ALSO, Obituary, New York Times, Friday, 16 Mar, 1990, New York, NY: BLACK,- James H., of Bensalem, PA, formerly of NYC, in his 89th year, suddenly on March 12, 1990. Beloved husband of the late Irma S. (nee Simonton) and father of Mrs. Constance Black Engle. Relatives and friends are invited to attend his memorial services Sunday, 4 PM at the Grace Episcopal Church, 313 Main St, Hulmerville, PA. In lieu of flowers, donations to the Bank Street College of Education (The Irma Black Fund), 610 112th St, NY, NY 10025. For further information contact Fluehr Funeral Home, 864 Bristol Pike, Bensalem, PA; 215-639-3130.
Father: Paul DeLacy Black b: 28 MAR 1865 in Eufaula, Barbour, Alabama
Mother: Pauline Barker "Lena" Kirkland b: 17 JUN 1867 in Crane Savannah, Barnwell, South Carolina
Adeline Irma [Le Duc] Simonton b: 6 JUN 1906 in Paterson, Passaic, New Jersey
31 MAR 1934
in , New York, New York
- Abbrev: US Census Records
Title: US Census Records (www.ancestry.com)
Page: 1920; Augusta Ward 3, Richmond, Georgia; Roll: T625_276; Page: 11B; ED: 76
- Abbrev: Findagrave.com
Title: "Find A Grave." Database and images. (www.findagrave.com : 2009.)
Page: (www.findagrave.com); Memorial# 43235084, 18 Oct 2009 by Constance Kirkland Black.