A native of Franklin County, Vermont, David E. Ballard is a leading citizen and a prosperous farmer of Washington, and looks back with still keen interest to the days of nearly sixty years ago, when he assisted in the civil organization of his county and his state. He was born March 20, 1837, of English and Revolutionary ancestors. When he was a boy his father, Appleton Ballard, moved to Morrow County, Ohio, not to cultivate the land, but to provide his family with a home while he fared forth on the high seas of the East. While thus engaged, he was murdered and robbed in the harbor of Halifax, after he had disposed of his cargo.
In May, 1857, when he had but just entered his twenty-first year, David E. Ballard located in Brown County, Kansas, and in the following year moved to Washington County, which was then on the point of organization. In fact, he assisted in that work, and was the first county clerk. In 1859 he was elected to the House of Representatives of the first State Legislature (1861), and in the senatorial election was an active partisan of James H. Lane. He joined the ranks of the Second Kansas Infantry in November, 1861, and in the following year was made first lientenant, being mustered out of the service, in February, 1865. He was in the battles of Fort Wayne, Fort Smith, Cane Hill and Prairie Grove. Mr. Ballard was appointed a commissioner to audit the Price raid claims, in 1867, and during the succeeding two years served as an assessor of internal revenue. He was also a member of the Legislature of 1879. From his pleasant home in Washington, he now directs his large farming interests in Washington and Meade counties.