JOHN E. BALL. One of the progressive farmers of Howell County, Missouri, is John E. Ball, who was born in Abbeville District, S. C., in 1850, a son of James Wilburn and Mary (Mosley) Ball, who were born in the Palmetto State November9, 1817 and 1807, respectively. About 1859 they came to what is now Clay County, Arkansas, by wagon, and there the remainder of their lives were spent, she dying in 1865 and he in 1872. They were farmers by occupation and for some time during the Civil War the father of the subject of this sketch served in the Home Guards. He was an only child and nothing is known of his people, save two uncles, Reuben and Benjamin Bell, who lived in Alabama. They were of English extraction.
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John E. Ball is the fifth of seven children born to his parents, their names being as follows: Benjamin, of Clinton County, Missouri, was a soldier in the Confederate Army during the war; James M. was killed in the battle of Franklin, Tennessee; the third child died in infancy; Catherine (deceased) was the wife of Nelson Lynch, of Arkansas; Francis L., of the Indian Territory, and Mary, wife of William Sides. While learning the details of agriculture in his youth, John E. Ball received but very little schooling, but remedied this in a great measure in after years by contact with the world and the business affairs of life. He was married in 1876 to Miss Nancy C., daughter of William Granville and Sarah (Ellis) Nutt, the former of whom now resides in Greene County, Arkansas, where the wife and mother died in 1892.
Mrs. Ball was born in what is now Clay County, Arkansas, and has borne her husband eight children: Minnie Alice, Lillie May, James Ellis, William Granville, Sarah Catherine, Mary Ethel, Rosalie and Laura Myrtle. Mr. Ball’s home continued to be in Clay County, Arkansas, until 1883, when he came to Howell County and has since resided on his present farm of 168 acres near Chafin. This is a fertile tract of land and under Mr. Ball’s shrewd management and industry it yields large crops annually. Mr. Ball is a member of Mt. Zion Lodge No. 327 of the A. F. & A. M. at West Plains, and is also a member of the I. O. O. F. Mr. and Mrs. Ball are members of the Missionary Baptist Church, and politically he is a Democrat.