William Morley Black: Father of thousands
As the end grew nigh, he was surrounded by his large family. Some of his last words were “the expulsion from our home is almost forgotten in the joy I find in my affectionate and loving children. It makes me feel that while I may have been a failure financially, yet I have had the power and blessing to found a patriarchal family and a name that shall last in Israel after I have passed away and that knowledge comforts me.”
William’s sixth wife Sarah Marinda Thompson Black passed away in 1914. She is buried in Blanding. William died June 21, l915. His third wife, Annie Maria Hansen, remained in Blanding after his death where three children and many grandchildren resided. She was a plural wife for 40 years and “rejoiced in that order of marriage, glorifying the name of the Lord for that grand principle which gave her a loving husband and a family of noble children which she may not have had otherwise.” She joined her husband in death on March 9, 1920 and is buried in the Blanding City Cemetery.
Although William Morley Black’s days in Blanding were few, his contributions were many. His posterity served the LDS Church as Bishops, Stake Presidents and Patriarchs. They served as President of every organization in the LDS Church and as missionaries taking that “Pearl of Great Price” throughout the world.
His extended family has provided mayors, city councilmen and county commissioners. They have served as sheriffs and police officers. Schools have been improved as his descendents served as superintendents, principals, teachers, students and athletes. Communities have been blessed as his offspring built roads, constructed houses, grew food, operated gristmills, and worked in virtually every walk of life. His seed has defended freedom in the military, some giving their lives.
His vast posterity feels that he truly did find “the gold he was looking for.” San Juan County has been richly blessed by the life and the posterity of William Morley Black.