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The University of Iowa Libraries

Guide to the John R. Black Photograph Collection

Collection Overview

Date Span: 1908
Creator: Black , John R. (1908)
Extent: .25 linear feet.
Collection Number: RG30.0001.031
Repository: University of Iowa Archives

Access: This collection is open for research.

Use: Copyright restrictions may apply; please consult Special Collections staff for further information.

Acquisition: These materials were acquired by the University Archives in 2000. Guide posted to the Internet January 2007.

Preferred Citation: John R. Black Photograph Collection, The University of Iowa Libraries, Iowa City, Iowa.

Repository: University of Iowa Archives
Address: 100 Main Library
University of Iowa Libraries
Iowa City, IA 52242
Phone: 319-335-5921
Curator: David McCartney

John R. Black, 1883-1964

John R. Black was born in Jefferson, Iowa, March 15, 1883, living on a farm until his late teens when the family built a home in town. He rode horeseback three miles to high school in town for two years and then drove a small buggy to take his younger sister also. He studied pre-med at the University of Iowa, and graduated from Northwestern University School of Medicine. He returned to Jefferson where he practiced medicine for years in the country doctor manner, making house calls day and night from his office, including Saturday night hours to accomodate his farm families who came to town every Saturday night for their weekly shopping.

He was married to Mary Bussey in 1918, and they were parents to three children named Thomas K, Ruth Elizabeth, and Margaret Louise. He was president of the Greene County Medical Society, and was elected several different terms as Greene County Coroner. From the time he was a student he loved taking pictures, and had his own dark room to develop and print them himself. He was self-taught in all his many hobbies, such as playing five musical instruments, learning lapidary skills, cutting beautiful cabochon gemstones, and later learning to facet precious gems for rings. He was an avid stamp and coin collector also. He spent many years researching family, bought a printing press, and printed his own booklets of geneology for both his maternal and paternal families' histories.

A most important hobby he prefected was wood working on a lathe he designed and built in the basement. He chose to work only with black walnut wood and built twin four poster beds, a dining room gate leg drop leaf table, two small drop leaf living room side tables, an infant's high chair and bow low and high stools. He retired at age 62 and continued his hobbies and travels for many years.

-Mary Kientzy.

One album about 90 images.
See the album digitized on the Iowa Digital Library here:

Browse by Series:
Series 1: GENERAL

  • Series 1: GENERAL
  • Student life, campus, Iowa City, Chicago scenes - 1908
    One photograph album; about 90 images

This collection is indexed under the following subject terms.

University of Iowa Audiovisual Materials