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Carl Jesse Black photoCarl J. Black was born Oct. 2, 1893 in Dothan, Dale Co., AL to the parents of Jacob and Lughenia “Lula” Beazell (Basil) Black. Carl’s mother died in Marion Co. or Citrus Co., Florida after the birth of her second son, Willie in 1896. The two boys are shown living with their grandparents, Peter and Susan in Marion Co. on the 1900 census. Their father is in Citrus Co. with his new wife Alice Martin, but soon sent for his boys. The boys always thought of Alice as their natural mother and treated her with kindness…grateful for her influence in their lives.


Carl married Vesta McKinney, daughter of Aaron and Annie Elizabeth (Shepherd) McKinney in Citrus County on September 16, 1914. Both families were living in Alabama and came to Florida around the same time.


The fishing industry of Citrus Co. provided the Black family well through the years. Carl stood by his father’s side from a very young age learning the family business. It must have been hard on a young lad having to row boats and haul in nets filled with heavy loads of fish. It wasn’t all work though! The family would travel to the islands just to “get away from the sweltering heat in town.” They often camped out overnight; fresh fish frying on an open fire, soft whispers of the distant sound of an owl, crickets chirping and the gentle breeze of the warm salty air. If you could keep your attention away from the blood sucking mosquitoes it would have been quite nice growing into adulthood during those years.


Carl was a commercial fisherman in Crystal River his entire life except for the brief time he moved to Orange Co. to work with his wife’s father on an orange grove driving a truck. That didn’t last long and soon he was back in Crystal River fishing.


When World War I came along, Carl was inducted into the Army at Inverness, Florida Aug. 25, 1918. He spent his Army life at Ft Jackson, SC until his honorable discharge Dec. 9, 1918 due to the Demobilization. His Organization is given as…156 Dep Brig to 8-30/18; Btry B 8 Regt F A Repl Camp Jackson SC to Disol. He was a private.


Carl and Vesta had six children…four girls and two boys, who were all raised in Crystal River.


He died May 18, 1949 at Bay Pines Veterans Hospital, in Pinellas County and is buried west of highway US19 at the old cemetery downtown…Crystal River, Florida.


Author: Linda Flowers

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This page created August 28, 2010
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