“WILLIAM W. BLACKWELL was born in Henderson on the fifth day of April, 1849, and was educated at the best private schools in the town. In early life he engaged, with his father, in merchandising, and soon displayed remarkable business capacity. There are few men his superior in business intelligence and far seeing judgment, Several years ago he was given a partnership with his father in the hardware business, and the success of the firm testifies to his eminent qualifications as a cool,. clear headed, calculating man.
Shortly after the institution of Ivy Lodge, No. 21, Knights of Pythias, in 1873, Mr. Blackwell became a member, and, from his initiation, evinced a great interest in the order. By a close study of its laws and mystic aims, he soon became one of the best posted members and his opinion was regarded as reliable upon all matters concerning the order. As an evidence how studiously he applied himself, he first entered the Grand Lodge as a Representative of Ivy Lodge (after having presided in his own lodge) in September, 1877, at its session held in the City of Covington, and was, by that body, elected Grand Master of Exchequer for the term following. At the session of the Grand Lodge, held in Lexington in 1878, he was advanced to the position of Grand Vice Chancellor on the first ballot over five com-petitors. At the session held in Henderson, September, 1879, be was unanimously chosen Grand Chancellor of the State for the term following. At the September session, 1880, at Louisville, he received the honorable rank of Past Grand Chancellor for services rendered as Grand Chancellor. At the session of 1881, held at Maysville, he was elected Supreme Representative for four years, from January ist 1881, to December 31st, 1886, to represent the Grand Lodge of Ker-tucky in the Supreme Lodge of the world. Since that time this commis sion has been extended six year’s election to 1889. He represented Kentucky at the Supreme meeting, held at Detroit, Michigan, in August, 1882, and there received the Supreme Lodge Degree, the highest honor in the order. He also represented the Grand Lodge at the Supreme meeting held in New Orleans in April, 1884, and at Toronto, Canada, in July, 1886, and will, nothing preventing, represent Keg-tucky at the Supreme meeting to be held in Cincinnati, in 1888. Mr. Blackwell is the youngest Knight who has ever passed the executive chair of the Grand Lodge of Kentucky, being only thirty years of age when elected Grand Chancellor. He is the only Supreme Representative ever elected south of the Ohio River. As another evidence of his worth, he was presented, at the session of 1880, held in Louisville, with a handsomely engrossed resolution of thanks for services rendered as Grand Chancellor. This was done by a unanimous vote, and is the first and only time the honor has ever been paid a Grand Chancellor. Mr. Blackwell is a member of the Supreme Lodge Finance Committee, composed of five members, and ranks second in the list. He has twice visited Washington City for the purpose of auditing the books of the Endowment Rank. By authority of the Supreme Chancellor of the world, Howard Douglass, on the twenty. fourth day of December, 1886, Mr. Blackwell was appointed aide-de-camp with the rank of Colonel, on the staff of Major General James R Carnahan, Commander in Chief of the Uniform Rank, the grand est body of disciplined soldiers in the world. There are now over five hundred divisions, forty thousand Knights in uniform. It is pre dicted the grand pageant in Cincinnati, in 1888, will surpass any dis play of military, ever witnessed on this Continent. Mr. Blackwell has just completed the compilation of the revised Constitutions of the Grand and Subordinate Lodges, a duty assigned him by the Grand Lodge. His report is a masterly one and has been attended by a multitude of perplexing surroundings. In honor of his distinguished services as a Knight, and high character as a man, on Friday evening, September 9th, 1887, at Marion Ky., Blackwell Lodge, No. 57, was instituted, named in his honor, and composed of the best men of the town and surrounding country. As a speaker, Mr. Blackwell has few superiors, and upon several occasions, has won the plaudits of his fellow Sir Knights, by his sound reasoning, interspersed by wit and humor. The time is not far distant, when he will be exalted to the distinguished position of Supreme Chancellor of the world, a position he is so eminently qualified and fitted for. On Tuesday, October 5th, 1869, at the residence of his wife’s parents, in Evansville Indiana, Mr. Blackwell married Miss Marcia A. Stinson, and unto them has been born one son, Ernest, a bright young man, a chip of the old block.
As Gas Commissioner, Mr. Blackwell has served the city with satisfaction. He is a leading Odd Fellow. On the twenty-fourth day of September, 1887, Mr. Blackwell was tendered the Supreme Secretaryship of the Endowment Rank, K. of P., at a salary of $3,000, but declined it.” -History of Henderson County, Kentucky.

William Blackwell married Miss Irene Long Sample on October 19, 1897 at Calvary Methodist Episcopal church, Allegheny, PA.

“Miss Irene Sample, one of Pittsburgh’s favorite sopranos and daughter of Thomas G. Sample, clerk of the Allegheny fire department, was wedded last evening at 5 o’clock to William Worth Blackwell, a prominent business man of Henderson, KY, in a ceremony … Methodist Episcopal Church, Allegheny, the officiant being Rev. John W. Sayres, of Philadelphia, chaplain of the Pennsylvania department of the Army or the Republic, and a life long friend of the familv. He was assisted by Rev. Dr. Izer, “pastor of Calvary. The bride’s one attendant was Miss Ida Davis, of Pittsburg, and the best man was Dr. Blackwell of Henderson, a brother of the groom. The ushers were Alva Blackwell, also a brother: Dr. Bardauf and Thomas Benner of Henderson; F. Martin. Edward Coll and Samuel H. Sample, of Pittsburg. The church was handsomely decorated with palms and white chrysanthemums, but no special choral services were arranged for the occasion, although the bride has been soprano soloist in the church since its dedication until her resignation a few months ago. The wedding march was rendered by Prof. Theodore Salmon, who presided at the organ.

The bride was conducted by her father who gave her away. Her gown was of ivory white Lyons satin, with full court train; the bodice was low with short sleeves, finished with a ruching of white chiffon. Around her throat she wore a slendtr chain with a diamond pendant and carried a bouquet of bride’s roses. Her tulle bridal veil was fastened with a white aigrette and tiara of diamonds and pearls. The maid of honor wore white organdie over blue taffeta and carried pink roses.

After the ceremony a reception was held at tha Sample home. Monterey street, which was … throughout and decorated with palms and white chrysanthemums. After the wedding supper the bride and groom left for Cincinnati, Chicago and other Western points, and after November 15 will be at home in Henderson, Ky.” -Pittsburgh Daily Post from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, October 20, 1897

William Blackwell lived at 525 N Main Street while managing the P A Blackwell & Co, according the the 1910 Census.

William Blackwell died on 26 Dec 1917 and was buried in Fernwood Cemetery.


History of Henderson County, Kentucky. Starling, Edmund Lyne – Published Henderson, Ky., 1887. Library of Congress Edition

Pittsburgh Daily Post from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, October 20, 1897, Page 4

Find a grave – William Blackwell