By the accidental death of Mr. Archibald John Black, of Mount Noorat, Victoria has lost a pastoralist to whom a great deal of the present prosperity of the Western District is attributable. While motoring from Camperdown to Terang, it is presumed his car overturned on rounding a corner, for he was found some time afterwards lying unconscious on the road, close by the badly damaged motor. He was conveyed to Terang, but died the next morning.
The eldest son of the late Mr. Niel Black, M.L.C., he was born at Mount Noorat in 1859, and spent practically the whole of his life in working at the industries of the land. Mount Noorat was the property of Niel Black and Co. but in 1868 the firm dissolved partnership, and the property was split up, Mount Noorat being taken up by Mr. T. S. Gladstone and The Sisters by Mr. Niel Black. Shortly afterwards the latter gentleman bought out Mr. Gladstone, and on his death the property devolved on his sons, who in 1900 dissolved partnership, Mr. Archibald Black then becoming sole proprietor of Mount Noorat.
In 1895 a commencement was made to cut up the property into dairy farms, and practically the whole of the estate is now in the hands of well-to-do tenants, some holding their land on the share system and others paying a straightout rent. About 1200 acres was sold in 1910, realising good prices. Mr. Black realised that the dairying industry could be carried on more successfully by small holders than by large proprietors, and to him, in a great measure, it is due that the dairy farmers form a prosperous class, that production of butter for export has brought much wealth to the district, and that land has assumed a new and much higher value than it did prior to the introduction of the industry.
Mr. Black was educated at Trinity College, Melbourne, and graduated at Cambridge. He was recently elected chairman of the People's Party, and devoted a great deal of his time to its interests, in fact, he was on his way home from attending a meeting when he met with the accident which caused his death. As chairman of the Western District Butter Factories Cooperative Company and president of the Victorian Dairymen's Association he will be greatly missed. Mr. Black was a keen sport, a good marksman, a fine athlete, and an enthusiastic golfer, filling the position of president of the Terang Golf Club. He leaves a widow (who is the daughter of Dr. Curdie, one of the pioneers of the Western District) and three children. His brother, Mr. N. W. Black, was among the passengers on the last voyage of the lost Waratah.
'Black, Archibald John (1859–1912)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://oa.anu.edu.au/obituary/black-archibald-john-111/text112, accessed 11 March 2014.
from Pastoralists' Review, 15 February 1912