James A Black
LTC US Army Retired
Lives in Fayetteville NC
I would like to take this opportunity to thank the members of the Sampson County Historical Society for bestowing on me the honor of being your next President at the 14 Jan 2017 Meeting. While I am originally from LaPorte Pa, I now call NC home. I retired from the US Army in 1990 after 22 years service (nine of which were at Ft. Bragg). I graduated in 1968 from West Point with a BS Degree in Engineering, then from Webster University with a MA in Management and finally from Campbell University with an MBA. I taught Math at Westover Senior HS for 3 years before joining the Business Faculty at FTCC. I taught computer classes and was a Department Chair. I retired from there in 2011 and have been actively researching my family and my wife’s (Elizabeth Porter) family. We currently have a Family Tree on Ancestry.com with over 17,000 ancestors. While in the military we were fortunate enough to visit Scotland for 2 weeks and visit some relatives as well as visit the Archives in Edinburgh.
I am a lifelong resident of the Halls district in Sampson County, North Carolina. Both sides of my Father Gorman Bradshaw’s family (Bradshaw and Royal), were living in Sampson County when it was formed in 1784. I have always loved history, listening to the older people talk and now I am one of that group.
I have been a member of the Sampson County Historical Society since 1979. I didn’t become a really active member until July 2001, when I was asked to take the position of Treasurer of the Book Committee. I became 2nd V.P. in 2004 for 4 years. In 2008, I became Pres. for 4 years. October 2014, I took over as Treasurer for Margaret Wrench. As of Jan 2015, I am Treasurer of Book Sales and Membership. We are now moving into a new era with the beginning of our website, www.sampsonhistory.org.
Here’s where I’ve spent my time and what I was doing: 17 years in Asheboro growing up, with many weeks and weekends spent in Sampson County at my grandparents’ house; 4 years in Chapel Hill studying (and partying) and another 1 commuting to Oxford to teach junior high band; 3 years in Franklinville teaching band 6th through 12th grades and leading a recalcitrant Ramseur Baptist Church choir (they liked gospel, I liked Mozart); 2 years in Miami, FL getting a Master’s degree and another 2 years playing the oboe for a living; 22 years in Richmond, VA playing oboe in the Richmond Symphony and teaching at the colleges in town, and another 2 or 3 being Mr. Mom; 7 years and counting living and working in Sampson County, currently as Reference Librarian for the county library system. I’m most proud of my children, of course – Burt, 34, Charlotte, a construction superintendent with J.E. Dunn; Alex, 28, New York, a Ph.D. student at Columbia University; Claire, 18, at home, teaching in the AVID program at Union High and trying to decide whether to accept Carolina’s offer of admission or stay home working with her horses; Joe, 10, at home, Union Intermediate; and Anna, 7, Union Elementary. My wife, Cindy Shillady, teaches biology and chemistry at Sampson Community College. I love our county and its rich history. My family has been in this area since 1740.