My dear Roy –
Would you like a letter telling a little about the Ballard family? Not for
entertainment but for reference. I have a very limited amount of data, I wish I
knew more, for instance, regarding David Ballard who was born in 1749 and lived
seventy-three years. Whether he was born in England or America and to whom he
was married would interest me. Some day you may hunt it up. This we do know to
a certainty that sometime previous to the Revolutionary War the Ballards migrated
from England to the United States and the head of our family settled in one of the
southern Atlantic Coast States, one of the Carolinas. David Ballard was the great
grandfather of your father and mine. He had a son Joseph who came into existence
the 20th day of December 1770.
Joseph Ballard was our Great grandfather – he married a lady by the name of
Elizabeth. (I have been trying to ascertain her surname as yet have failed). She was
born two later than Joseph, namely the 10th day of February 1772. They passed
away within two years of each other: Great Grandmother died August 2nd 1847 at
the age of 75 years, while Great Grandfather was 78 years old when he died on the 26th
day of July 1848. They died in Indiana and were buried there. It seemed that
these Great Grandparents of ours lived in Grayson County, Virginia when their little son John,
in the twelfth day of December 1793, opened his eyes to this world.
Joseph and Elizabeh Ballard concluded to answer the call of the newer country and
moved to what was then considered “away out West” to Ohio and settled in Green
County. When their son John was a little past his 26thbirthday, on the 24 February 1820,
he was married to Kiddey Mendenhall, a young lady living in the same County. Kiddey was but 19
when they were married, her birthday occurring the following October the 7th
day when she was twenty years old. Green County
was not, however, her birthplace. When she was an infant her father Amos
Mendenhall concluded to leave North Carolina, where she was born, and ry his
fortunes in Green County Ohio. I do not know who her father married or where he
was born: his tombstone relates the bare fact that he came into the world
September 18th 1772 and left it September 20th 1840.
John Ballard, our Grandfather, belonged to the Quaker Church as did his parents.
John went outside the Quaker Church to find his bride, Kiddy was a member of the
Methodist Episcopal Church, he was asked to publicly apologize for breaking the
rules of the Quaker Church, he steadfastly, proudly and emphatically refused to say
he was sorry that he had married young Kiddey Mendenhall, the Methodist,
consequently he was turned out of the Quaker Church. It seems to have been in the
blood of the Ballards to push on to newer Country. John and Kiddey, in 1821,
moved to Hendricks County, Indiana and cleared land for a farm, here they lived
for some time, eight children coming to them during their residence in Hendricks
County. The labor of clearing the land was very taxing to our Grandfather, he also
built them a big house to live in. He was not physically able to meet the demands
made upon his strength for such arduous pioneer work as was required. Perhaps
there was some strain of the lungs, at any rate he was an invalid for some years and
died when he should have been in his prime notwithstanding Dr. Osler’s views as
to when a man should be laid on the shelf. When he died he was fity-two years and
four months old. When your father was fifty-two what was he doing? He was far
from being Oslerized, that would be in 1884, some where near the time the Seattle
Hardware Company was started. I have heard members of the family say that
Grandfather had the stately dignified courage that your father had, they were about
the same height. In those day “My word is law” was the attitude of most
conscientious parents, especially it was that of the father and Grandfather was no
exception to the general rule, his disposition to be autocratic was increased to
unreasonableness by ill health, his strictness made his children fear him and while
they had the utmost regard for him, they did not love him or feel near to him.
Always as men and women they spoke of him with great pride as a man who
meant something in his community, this was especially so with the older children.
That he had an undercurrent of humor as well as sarcasm is illustrated by one of
the many stories I have heard father relate in regard to his discipline. My father
when a small lad ( he was only ten when his father passed away) complained one
night when he was tired and sleepy “Oh I wish I were in bed, I hate to go to bed.”
Grandfather hearing this childish lament, perhaps only a too familiar one, said
sharply “Dayton go to the barn and saddle Billy.” Not daring to question the order
he obediently went to the barn and saddled Billy and brought him around to the
door and told his father the horse was ready for him. Grandfather then said, “I did
not want him saddled for myself, but for you, my son, to ride to bed.” The poor
tired little boy then had to return the horse to the stable – no small job for the little
fellow to go out to a dark barn and lift a saddle off of a tall horse – that was
supposed to be a very impressive lesson to little Dayton. Think you it aroused love
in the heart of the lad? It was a keen sense of injustice that he carried but it served
to relieve the invalid from hearing the complaint a second time and perhaps at the
time worked off a bit of nervousness. About 1838 or 1839 Grandfather bought a
place in Marion County, Indiana and moved his family there. I visited Bridgeport,
Indiana when I was ten years old and I remember seeing the old home near there,
at that time it had passed into the hands of strangers, an oil painting of the old
home hangs on the West wall of Aunt Jane Chilcote’s living room.
The two youngest children Indiana and Ellen were born in Marion County and in
April 1846 Grandfather passed away at the old home, leaving Grandmother at the
age of 45 with the care of a large family. Their eldest child at home was David
Wesley then 22 years old and already studying medicine, so we may well fancy it
to lk[?] good executive ability and much bravery for Grandmother to manage the
farm and her large family. If the face of our dear little Grandmother be an index
she did it cheerfully and with no bitterness. I remember her well and intimately in
the yers between 1870 and 1890 She was always serene, had a happy smiling face,
indeed she must have been a wonderful character when you consider that when she
went to Indiana she was not much more than a slip of a girl. Uncle Joseph was a
baby then. The country was wild and I have heard her say that she feared the
Indians and wild animals before the house was finished and the doors made, they
hung something up to the doorway and kept bonfires all night to keep away the
wolves and other wild animals. When Grandfather went to the Mill it left her alone
with her baby and her fears, fears that were well founded, fears of a strong sensible
woman not imaginary ones of a woman given to hysteria.
About two years before Grandfather died the eldest son Joseph Harris, was married
to Nancy Harris, rather a coincidence that he would have married a Miss Harris
when his middle name was Harris, he had considerable education for those days.
He attended Asbury University of which Mathew Simpson – afterwards Bishop,
was President at that time. He taught school, afterwards, engaged in farming. He
was elected to the State Legislature while a resident of Hendricks County, Indiana.
In the early seventies he removed with his family to Lincoln Nebraska, engaging in
the hardware business with your father , later when my father bought him out he
started a hardware store at Seward , Nebraska. While living in Seward on May 1st
1880 Aunt Nancy died after an illness of fifteen months. In 1884 having sold his
business, he, with James Scanlan, started a bank at Courtland Nebraska that was
his last business venture. Four of their large family lived to womanhood and
survived him. Ths second, David Wesley, studied medicine with a local doctor,
afterwards graduating at the medical college in Cincinatti Ohio. He began
practicing at Monrovia, Ind. Later the call of the West came to him as it had to his
Grandparents, but this was indeed a far call for it was the fame of Oregon Ter.,
that had filled him with an overpowering desire to brave the dangers of an overland
trip to found a new home in Oregon. June 14, 1849 he had married Jane Hooker at
Mooresville, Ind. So together they made the trip in the summer of 1853 arriving in
Lebanon, Oregon in the fall.
Your father, a young man of nearly twenty, accompanied them. That must have
been hard upon Grandmother to have these two sons go upon such a long
hazardous journey. In these days of rapid postal services, the telephone and
telegraph the long wait before hearing of their safety would, to us seem almost
Uncle Wesley mde a place in the new community and was a well-loved and
successful physician. In 1866 President grant appointed him Governeor of the
Territory of Idaho, whither he removed with his family and resided there til 1875.
By virtue of his office of governor he was also Commissioner of Indian Affairs
for the Territory.
Prior to his incumbency to the office of Governor he served the state of Oregon as
Senator for one term and served as Representative for one term, do you see our
Uncle Wesley was more titled than any other member of John and Kiddey’s
family. No doubt you are often asked if you are related to either Dr. or Governor
Ballard, for I who have not been known as a Ballard since 1887 have had a few ask
me that question. He died September 18, 1883 at the age of fifty-nine years and
seven months, his wife lived some eight years after the death of her husband, of
their eight children five survived them. The year before Uncle Wesley was
married, Aunt Jane married Dr. Chilcote and the same year that Dr. Ballard took
his young wife to Washington, Iowa and and from 1852 til the day went to Oregon,
Dr. Chilcote they passed away it continued to be their home. On account of failing
eyesight Dr. Chilcote gave up the practice of medicine and entered the drug
business –later with his brothers-in-law started a bank. They had but one child,
John E. who died in 1851 on Danville Ind. only staying with them about two years.
While Dr. and Mrs. Chilcote didn’t have a large family to rear, their big generous
hearts led them to do much for a great many relatives, neighbors, and friends. They
often responded with heart, soul and purse to the need of those who to them
seemed to need it. Their neighbors troubles became their own. One of Dr.
Chilcote’s favorite ways of encouraging boys and girls to save their money was to
borrow their savings, give his note at 105 interest, some of the notes ran a great
many years, his executors paid off some of the notes in some instances quite a bit
of interest had accumulated. By the terms of his will Aunt Jane had the use of the
home as long as she lived. Often she expressed a wish to do something for the
town of Washington that would be a memorial. By the advice of his (Dr.
Chilcote’s) executors William E. Chilcote and Dayton M. Ballard she bought the
handsome home from the estate and willed it to the City for a Public Library. It is
now know as the Jane A. Chilcote Public Library. It was the first public
benefaction made in the town.
Aunt Jane’s tastes were literary and for her relatives and friends she had a privately
printed edition of a collection of her essays. The first essay “The Morning will
Dawn” gave the book its title. Dr. Chilcote passed to the great beyond in 1895 and
Aunt Jane followed March 13, 1901.
After Joseph, Wesley, Jane and Martin left home, Grandmother had four left but
very soon Samuel Griffenn Owen won the heart of Aunt Mary and on January 14th
they were married, so she too, left Grandmother and they established a home
of their own. Th latter part of that year a baby girl came to them who they named
Ada Inez. They first lived in Indiana afterwards moving to Washington Iowa and
then to Lincoln Nebraska. Mr. Owen was in the Drug and Banking business most
of his life. After retiring riom business they moved to San Francisco where Aunt
Mary died in November of the year 1888 at the age of fifty-eight years and five
months. Uncle Owen followed her in March of the year 1892. Father was the next
to leave home. At Uncle Chilcote and Aunt Jane, who through life treated him as
nearer than a brother, Uncle taking a fatherly interest in the young Dayton. As
blindness came to Uncle it was Father he wanted to come to him and be his
companion and look after his business. This he did and was with him in his last
hours. Father clerked in the Chilcote Drugstore until his father’s estate was
distributed, then he embarked in business for himself. In 1857 he was married to
Miss Irene Grantham, he was 22 and sh was almost 19 years of age. They had four
children, Lulu, John, Mary, and Frederick.
Father moved a great many times and was in the Drug, Hardware, or Loan
Business most of his life. I cannot tell of my dear Father as I could of one not so
near and dear. I know his fine qualities of mind and heart, his sweet sunny
disposition and so do you. I have said little of your father for you know so much
more than I do. I have this advantage of you however, for I knew him when he was
single, he came into our lives as his bachelor Uncle from the land of the setting
sun. There was great excitement when we learned he was coming to Washington,
Iowa to live and go into the hardware business with my father. We children wrote
to him to bring us a button for our glass charm string, and he did – brought each of
us a perfectly gorgeous one from San Francisco. I assure you we each considered
them the star of the whole string. It was with pride that we told that our Uncle
brought to each of us older girls Ada, Cora and myself a button from the Far West.
Mine looked like a great big lovely topaz. I wonder if that was not your father’s
favorite stone? His first gift to Aunt Harriet was a topaz set of Jewelry.
It would take a volume to tell what Uncle Martin and Aunt Harriet were to me. In
1896 when I was sad and lonely they wrote to me to come to Seattle and make
their home mine, which as you know I did for almost two years. I only paid them
$10.00 a month for room and board perhaps just about as the room was worth.
Aunt Lide was the next to leave the home nest, when in 1856 she was married to
Jeptha Banta. They had but one child, Cora.Mr. Banta was in the Civil War when
he was taken ill with typhoid fever and died in Memphis, Tenn. in 1863. In May of
that same year Aunt Lide went from her Indiana home to Washington, Iowa, she
and Cora made their home with Uncle Owen and Aunt Mary. It was here that she
met Dr. J.R. Richards and was married to him in 1867. Dr. Richards had given up
the practice of Medicine and engaged in the Banking business.
They continued to live in Washington, Iowa until 1878 when they decided to
follow other relatives who had located in Lincoln Nebraska. There he assumed the
Presidency of the State National Bank of which he had a controlling interest since
1875. The rapid advance of City Lots made him a comparatively rich man, rich for
that small city and rich for those times when money was not so plentiful and
millionaires were rare. While on a trip to Seattle he suddenly expired at your
father’s home on the 3d day of April 1891. Dr. Richard and Dr. Chilcote seemed as
near to the relationship as if the Ballard blood ran in their veins. When your
Mother passed away Aunt Ella wrote to Aunt Lide the same thing about your
mother and mine. Five years after Dr. Richards died Aunt Lide in November
married Judge J.R, Lewis of San Jose Cal. They made their home there till after the
earthquake in 1905. Everything in and around San Francisco, San Jose and other
points nearby looked so desolate and foreign they decided to move to Los
Angeles, where in March 1011 the Judge passed away.
In 1861 Aunt Ella was married to Albert W. Cox. That was the year Aunt Ella, the
youngest child, became of age and by the terms of Grandfather’s will the estate
was distributed. The home was broken up and Grandmother from thence to the day
of her death made her home with Aunt Ella. With them she moved to Lincoln
Nebraska afterwards to Hastings Nebraska. At the latter place in 1891 when almost
ninety-one years old she died. She retained her faculties up to the time of a stroke
of paralysis some eight or nine days previous to her death, to the very last she was
a help and inspiration to her children and grandchildren, who were fortunate
enough to be with her. Upon her 90th birthday, the children and some of the
grandchildren gathered from far and near to celebrate the event. Your father and
mother made the long journey from Seattle to Hastings Nebraska, Grandmother is
buried in what is know as “The New Cemetary at Hastings Nebr. This I meant
should reach you by the 25th, but as you see it is late.
With love and New Years Greetings I am
Yours, (signed) Lulu
December 27th, 1914
Family Record of John and Kiddey Ballard
Joseph Harris Ballard – Born Dec 6 1820 in Green County, Ohio
Died Oct 18, 1888
Amos Ballard – Born November 17 1822 in Hendricks County Indiana
Died in infancy
David Wesley Ballard – Born February 2nd 1824 in Hendricks County Ind.
Died Sept.18 1883
Eliza Ballard – Born February 7 th 1826 in Hendricks County, Ind.
Died in early childhood
Jane Amelia Ballard – Born February 21st, 1828 in Hendricks County, Ind.
Died March 13th, 1901
Mary Eveline Ballard – Born July 30 ? Hendricks County, Ind.
Died November 30th 1888
Martin Dickerson Ballard Born October 7th, 1832 Hendricks Co. Ind.
Died April 26th 1907
Dayton Hendricks Ballard – Born March 20th,, 1835
Eliza Alice Ballard – Born August 31 1837 Hendricks Co. Ind.
Indiana Ballard – Born August 18 1840 in Marion CoIndiana
Died about nine years of age.
Ellen Ballard – Born April 25th, 1843 in Marion Co Ind.
Minerva married Dr. N. Beachley
Laura “ Arthur Weichbrodt
Bell “ Dwight Rounds
Victoria “ Clayton Porter
Carrie “ Charles Hackleman
Florence “ John Staten
Frank “ Sutta Finch (?)
Maude “ Robert Wright
Ora “ Elmer Heifner – afterwards Mr. Ross
Ada married Rolland H. Oakley
Roy “ Olive Murphy
Jessie “ Dr. Logan Geary
Lulu “ J. R. Patrick
John “ Adele Mc Neilan
Mary “ James B. Scanlan
Cora “ Seneca Dow
Eva “ A. Yeazel – afterwards Dr. Fred Test
Mary “ Edwin Allen