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Biography of Sumner N. Ball

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Sumner N. Ball, the proprietor of Oak Hill Farm, Washington, was born in this town, June 3, 1854, son of Dexter and Hannah (Jefts) Ball. His grandfather, John Ball, was a native of Antrim, N.H., and a prosperous farmer. John married Rebecca Proctor, of Stoddard, N.H., and reared a family of seven children; namely, Dexter, Worcester, Allen, Melvin, Nathaniel W., Rebecca H., and Rosanna. Of these Dexter and Worcester are the only survivors.

Dexter Ball, the father of Sumner N., was born in Antrim, and accompanied his parents to Washington when he was three years old. He grew to manhood as a farmer, and tilled the soil successfully in this town for many years. He is now living in retirement at Washington Centre. His first wife, Hannah Jefts Ball, who was a native of New Ipswich, N.H., died in 1886. His second marriage was contracted with Elizabeth Perkins, of Washington. There were eight children born of his first union, of whom three died in infancy. The others were: George D., John, Orin, Sumner N., and Arlow. John died at the age of thirteen; Orin, at sixteen; and Arlow, at thirty years. George D., now deceased, married Adeline Cram, who also died. They left one daughter, Lizzie, who is the wife of K. S. Nichols, of Massachusetts, and has one son, Fred.

Sumner N. Ball began his education in the district schools, and completed his studies at Tuffs’s Union Academy in Washington. When twenty-one years old he went to Antrim, and for five years was there engaged in farming for ex-Governor Goodell. He was next employed in a cutlery manufactory for a year, and then purchased a job printing establishment. In 1880 he founded the Antrim Reporter, a weekly newspaper, which he later enlarged. He continued as its editor and proprietor for eight years; and in 1888 he sold out to C. W. Hutchins, of Hillsborough, N.H. Returning then to Washington, he bought the John Ball homestead, containing two hundred and sixty-five acres of excellent tillage and pasture land. Oak Hill Farm is widely known for the superior quality of its dairy products. Its proprietor is also engaged in raising sheep and cattle and the manufacturing of maple sugar. Mr. Ball ranks among the leading farmers of this section. Actively interested in public affairs, he was Selectman for four years; and he has served in the capacities of Town Auditor and a member of the School Board. He is connected with Waverly Lodge, No. 57, I. O. O. F., of Antrim; and he has been Master of Lovell Grange, No. 5, Patrons of Husbandry, of Washington.

On November 26, 1884, Mr. Ball was united in marriage with Carrie B. Brooks. She was born in Antrim, daughter of Joseph and Betsey (Whitcomb) Brooks. Her father, who was a cabinet-maker by trade, died while serving as a soldier in the Civil War. Mr. and Mrs. Ball have two children, namely: John S., born August 30, 1886; and Nina M., born February 27, 1889. Mr. Ball is a member of the Baptist church, and has been superintendent of the Sunday-school for several years.


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