Black, George, 1872?-1965

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Black, George, 1872?-1965

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George Black was born in Woodstock, New Brunswick in 1872 or 1873. As a young lawyer he left Woodstock in 1897 to join the Klondike Gold Rush. From 1905 to 1911 he served 3 terms as a member of the Yukon Council and in 1912 was appointed Commissioner. In 1916 he formed the Yukon Infantry Company and recruited 275 Yukoners whom he led overseas. George was elected as a Conservative Member of Parliament in 1921 and represented the Yukon until his retirement, due to ill-health, in 1935. His wife, Martha Black, was the Yukon MP from 1935-1940. George Black was again MP from 1940-1949. Martha Louise Munger was born in Chicago in 1866 and married Will Purdy in 1887. They had three sons, Warren, Donald and Lyman, who was born in Dawson City in January 1899. In the summer of 1898 Martha and her brother climbed the Chilkoot Pass and continued on to Dawson City. The following year Martha returned to Chicago but came back to the Yukon in 1900. In 1901 she divorced Will and married George Black in 1904. Martha travelled with George and Lyman to England in 1916 where she was administrator of the Yukon Comfort Fund, which provided packages for the Yukon men in battle or convalescing in hospital. Martha was a keen horticulturist and naturalist. She frequently gave illustrated lectures on the Yukon during her time overseas and upon her return to the north. Martha died in 1957 at the age of 91, George remarried in 1959 and moved to Vancouver, where he died in 1965.

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