A resident of Wyoming for nearly a quarter of a century and occupying during much of that time a position of commanding influence in the civil and political councils of the territory and state, Hon. Joseph Black, of the Big Piney section of the country, has been a potential force in the settlement and development of his portion of the state, and has exhibited in his work here the self-reliance, strength of mind, courage and general resourcefulness he acquired in a varied and eventful experience elsewhere. On August 23, 1853, in the state of Indiana his life began as the son of B. F. and Louisa (Matthews) Black, the former a native of Kentucky and the latter of Indiana, both being children of ministers in the Christian church and prominent men. The father was also a minister of that faith and a veteran of the Civil War, in which he served as master of transportation in his command. They were the parents of eight children, five boys and three girls, of whom six are yet living. Joseph A. Black was educated in the public schools of Indiana and at a reputable private school in Iowa whither his parents had removed before he was of age. In 1873 he sought the free and adventurous life of the plains in Texas where he rode the cattle ranges and followed trail work, continuing this in every state and territory west of Missouri until 1890, a part of the time serving as foreman in charge of extensive interests. In 1881 he came to Wyoming and within her promising and rapidly improving bounds he has since resided, carrying on a prosperous and extensive stock industry on a tract of 320 acres of land which he owns and has well improved, and on which he has fine herds of graded Hereford cattle and on which he has resided continuously since 1890. Mr. Black is a Freemason, belonging to Evanston (Wyo.)Lodge, NO. 4, and he manifests great interest in its progress, although so situated that he is unable to be a frequent lodge attendant. He was elected a member of the Wyoming legislature in 1900 and was re-elected in 1902. His course in the body was highly commended and his services to his constituents were of great and appreciated value. Although a Republican in politics, he is free from extreme partisanship and sees the interests of his county with breadth of view and in an enterprising spirit.
He was married on January 1, 1887, with Miss Mary Jaycox, a native of Illinois, at the time of the marriage living in Wyoming. They have five children: Ida, Orline, Edna, Joseph A. and Mary. Mr. Black is one of the leading citizens of the state and takes an active and intelligent interest in all her affairs. He has been a resident of Wyoming since 1880 and has made substantial contributions to her development and improvement.