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BALL, William C. - 1912 Bio (1845/6-1923)


Posted By: Debbie Nash (email)
Date: 11/4/2002 at 01:45:50

From the History of Jefferson County - 1912, Volume II
Pages 288-290.


Iowa offers excellent opportunities to the agriculturist and the man who owns a tract of Jefferson county's rich land has an excellent opportunity to win success if he will but closely apply himself to the task of cultivating the fields and caring for the harvests. This William C. BALL has done and now is living retired in Fairfield, in the enjoyment of the fruits of his former labor, his rest being well earned and well merited. He was born in Brooke county, Virginia, his natal day being March 27, 1846. His parents were Joseph and Margaret (LENGFITT) BALL, who were married in the Old Dominion, which was the native state of the father, whose birth occurred in Loudoun county, in 1803. His wife was born in Beaver county, Pennsylvania, in 1808, and in March, 1854, they came to Iowa, making their way direct to Jefferson county, where they continued their residence until their death, both passing away in 1875. In his younger days Joseph BALL followed carpentering and afterward engaged in trading on the river, shipping products from Virginia to New Orleans. Subsequently he was identified with farming, which claimed his attention during the period of his residence in Jefferson county. He owned four hundred acres of land five miles west of Fairfield and the care and labor bestowed upon his fields made this a valuable property. Opposed to the system of slavery, he became a stanch abolitionist and when the republican party was formed to prevent the further extension of the slave system into the north, he joined its ranks. His fellow townsmen, appreciating his worth as a citizen, elected him their representative to the state legislature for one term. Both he and his wife were faithful members of the Christian church and he also belonged to the Masonic fraternity. Their family numbered nine children. Sarah became the wife of J. B. FREEMAN but both are now deceased. Martha is the widow of A. D. BURNS and resides in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania. Hannah is the deceased wife of Solomon F. STEVER. Cynthia is the wife of A. R. BURNS, a resident of Wapello county. Anna H., who married Dr. C. D. LEWIS, of Ottumwa, has passed away. John F., who joined Company D of the Nineteenth Iowa Infantry during the Civil war, was killed in the battle of Prairie Grove. William C. is the seventh of the family. Hon. George W. BALL is a resident of Fairfield, and Mary, the youngest of the family, became the wife of Dr. G. A. SPIELMAN, of Ottumwa, but is now deceased.

William C. BALL spent the first eight years of his life in the state of his nativity and then came with his parents to Jefferon county, residing upon the old home farm until 1864, when, at the age of eighteen years, he enlisted for active service in Company I, Forty-fifth Iowa Volunteer Infantry. He served for one hundred days, or until the close of the war and gave ample proof in his service of his valor and loyalty. He afterward attended the law school of the Iowa State University, from which he was graduated in 1869, and the same year was admitted to the bar. He then practiced his profession for two years in Des Moines, but on the expiration of that period returned to the home farm and in addition to the cultivation of the crops best adapted to the soil and climate, he engaged in dealing in live stock, both branches of his business proving profitable. He closely studied the best methods of tilling his fields and kept on hand good grades of horses, cattle and hogs. That his methods were at once practical and progressive is indicated in the excellent results which followed his work. At length he regarded his capital as sufficient to enable him to put aside further business cares and leave the farm, when he took up his abode in Fairfield.

Mr. BALL was married in 1872 to Miss Mary C. CAMPBELL, who was born in Highland county, Ohio, July 10, 1850, but has been a resident of this county since 1856, in which year her parents, John J. and Elizabeth (TEMPLETON) CAMPBELL, brought their family to Iowa. The father, who was a native of Baltimore, Maryland, died in this county in 1870, at the age of fifty-six years. The mother, a native of Highland county, Ohio, who is now living in California, at the advanced age of eighty-nine years, retains all her faculties unimpaired. Mr. and Mrs. BALL became the parents of two children but the son, who was the younger and to whom they gave the name of Frank, died in 1889, at the age of twelve years. The daughter, Cora A., is a vocal teacher, now connected with the public schools of Fairfield.

Mr. BALL votes with the republican party, his study of the questions and issues of the day leading him to the belief that its purposes are best calculated to promote good government. He holds membership with the Christian church and his wife is a member of the Presbyterian church. They have a circle of friends in Jefferson county almost coextensive with the circle of their acquaintance. They have both spent the greater part of their lives here and Mr. BALL has been a witness of almost the entire growth and development of the county, having seen its wild prairie lands converted into good farms, its primitive dwellings replaced by substantial modern residences and its primitive business interests supplanted by large and important commercial and industrial enterprises. He relates many interesting incidents of the early days and is authority upon many points of the history of Jefferson county.

I am copying this information for the benefit of genealogical research and am not related to said individuals.


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