Dairying is rapidly becoming an important industry in north-eastern Oklahoma and modernly equipped and sanitary establishments of this kind in Washington county are making this section a valuable factor in developing the resources of the state. Among the men who are identified with this phase of activity is numbered H. O. Ballard, a partner in the Empire Dairy Company, which is conducting one of the leading enterprises of the kind in this part of the state.
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Mr. Ballard is a native of the east. He was born in Friendship, Allegany county, New York, August 7, 1873, and on reaching years of maturity he became connected with oil interests of that state. In 1896 he made his way to the middle west, locating in Kansas, where he continued his identification with the oil industry, while later he became associated with the Quapaw Gas Company, which was subsequently absorbed by the Empire Company. He continued with the latter corporation for nine years, resigning his position to engage in contracting and drilling on his own account, and he was thus occupied for a year.
For the past three years Mr. Ballard has concentrated his attention upon dairying, his business associates being H. V. Foster and H. R. Straight, and their interests are conducted under the firm style of the Empire Dairy Company. They have four hundred head of cattle, seventy of which are milch cows, and their farm is located two miles north of the city limits of Bartlesville. Here they have a thousand acres of land, on which they pasture their cattle, the cows all being Jerseys, and their dairy when completed will be one of the most sanitary and best equipped in the country. After an inspection of the great dairies in the east, Mr. Ballard failed to find a bottle washer which rendered the bottles one hundred per cent clean and this led to his invention of a machine which washes the bottles, rinses them in boiling water, sterilizes them and bakes them dry, thus rendering them absolutely sanitary. The company have already spent the sum of fifty thousand dollars on the enterprise and no expense will be spared to make theirs one of the most complete dairies to be found anywhere in the world. They supply two hundred and twenty-five quarts per day to monthly customers and when milk was scarce they were offered as high a price as sixty cents per quart for their product. Mr. Ballard is devoting his entire time and attention to the under-taking, and his well formulated plans and initiative spirit are essential elements in its growth and expansion.
In 1899 Mr. Ballard was united in marriage to Miss Ida May Palmer, a native of Wisconsin, and they have adopted two children, Robert Harold and Roberta May, twins, who are now four years of age, taking them when they were but four weeks old. The difficulty which they experienced in securing pure milk for the children led Mr. Ballard to turn his attention to the dairy business and they sold their beautiful home at No. 702 Cherokee Street in Bartlesville to take up their residence upon the farm.
Fraternally Mr. Ballard is identified with the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks and is also a prominent Mason, having taken the thirty-second degree in the consistory. He has had broad experience in a business way and his enterprise, sound judgment and persistency of purpose have brought him to a substantial point on the high road to success, while his integrity and reliability have won for him the confidence and respect of all with whom he has been brought in contact.