MONROE COUNTY WEST VIRGINIA – BIOS: BALLARD, William
Submitted to the West Virginia Biographies Project by:
September 20, 1999
A History of Monroe County, West Virginia
Oren F. Morton, B. Lit.
The McClure Company, Inc.
William (1732-1799) (Elizabeth Step, d. 1830) was one of the 10 children of
William, Sr., who came from Scotland to the vicinity of where after-ward
arose the city of Washington. With several of his brothers he served in the
American Army of the Revolution. Shortly after that event he left his home on
the Rapidan and after a short stay in Albemarle he journeyed to Indian Creek
with two horses, one cow, and a few household goods, arriving at Benjamin
Harvey’s on Christmas night, 1793. He acquired no realty. The years in which
he was born and died were precisely the same as in the case of the Father of
his Country. C: Johnson (Ky.)-Jeremiah (1777-1867) (Jaley Thompson)-Lucy
(John Stodghill, John Good-all)-Millie (Jacob Mann, 1804)-William (1784-1880)
(Mollie Snow)-Nancy (William Farrell )-Mollie (Mathias Kessinger,
1803)-Willis (1791-1880) (Isabel Thompson, 1813)-James (Jennie Keaton, 1804).
C. of Jeremiah: Elizabeth (Andrew Campbell)-Margaret (Anderson
Keaton, 1831, Robert D. Shanklin)-John (b. 1818) (Jane Dennis)-Baldwin (b.
1821) (Emily Mann, 1847) (Leah Mann, 1850)-Riley (1823-1915)
(Amanda Cummings)-Lewis (d. 1906) (Malinda 3. Spangler, 1854)-Mary
(1830-1914) (John Hecht)-Frank (1833-1915) (Lizzie Chapman,
C. of Baldwin: Allen T. by 2d w.-Simpson S. (s)-Marion C. (Kate
Humphreys, 1878)-Henry (Jennie McNeer, 1885)-Jeremiah (Amanda
Burdett, 1883, Mamie Hinkle, 1913)-Margaret (Charles Lingo) -Wallace
(Cornelia Humphreys)-Isaac N. (Kate M. Walkup, 1893)-Emma A.
(Henderson Reed)-Charles S. (Ida Borden, Nancy Buchanan).
C. of Frank: India W., Don B., Cora, Eva L., Roland E.
Willis and Jeremiah purchased in 1817 of the heirs of Daniel Jarrell, 280
acres for $350. This property still remains in the Willis branch.
C. of Willis: Thompson (b. 1814) (Anna Miller, 1841)-Elizabeth (Henly Mann,
1833)-George (1819-1879) (Delilah Mann, 1838)-Wil-liam (1821-1914) (Elizabeth
Riner, 1914)-Harrison (Huldah Mann, 1847)
-Susan (1826-1914) (Samuel Miller)-Sylvester (Lucinda Riner, 1848)-Nancy
(1830-1904) (Eli Mann, 1850)-Hugh (b. 1836) (Rachel Mann, 1866). All these
sons except Hugh, who had the homestead, opened new farms on Stinking Lick.
C. of Thompson: Overton (d. ’63), Willia, (d. ’62), Isabella (b. 1844)
(Lewis Campbell), John T. (b. 1845), Ellen (Dayton Humphreys), Millard F.
(Lydia Keatly), James K. (Mary Campbell), Agnes (Henry Wills), Sarah A.
C. of George: Polly (1839-1861) (Garland Hurt), Isabella (Henry Humphreys),
James (Mary Wills), Clayton (Ellen Spangler), Jarrett (Mary Spangler), Gaston
(Catharine Spangler, Molly Thompson)
C. of William: Marinda (b. 1849) (Lewis Ellison), Amanda (Henderson Barton)
Molly (John Spangler), Juretta (William Keatly), Martha (John Keatly).
C. of Harrison: Maston (b. 1848) ( Barton, Ruth Smith), Mary (Wilson Davis),
Isabella (Benjamin Tinsley), Delilah (Lewis Mea-dows), Nelson (Elizabeth
Hanks), Grant (Lidia Bonham), Sylvester (-Chambers).
C. of Sylvester: George (Margaret Thompson).
C. of Hugh: Oliver (Kate Broyles), Molly (F. G. Lilly), Annie L. (Sylvester
The Ballards are remarkable for longevity and they constitute a numerous
connection. The five brothers of William, Jr., came to Monroe before he did,
but we have little knowledge of them. Curtis (Esther) moved from Hans Creek
to Ohio in 1810. His daughter Sarah married Isaac Hutchinson in 1801.
Baldwin Ballard, 95 years of age as we go to press, is of striking
personality and has had an eventful career. A white swelling in his ankle
made him a cripple at the age of 12. A few years later he removed a
splintered bone by the free use of a razor and kept on hoeing corn to the
close of the day. He learned to sew and to weave and followed the tailoring
trade more than 20 years, doing much of his work at the homes of his patrons.
He thus traveled much territory on the east of the lower course of the
Grecobrier. In partnership with his brother John he purchased in 1845 the
farm on which he now lives. Previous to the war he carried on for a while a
mercantile career in connection with his tailoring business. The latter came
to an end with the appearance of ready-made clothing in the stores. Mr.
Ballard was one of the three men at Greenville who voted against secession.
His lameness rendered him exempt from military service but his opposition to
the Confederate cause was uncompromising. His unconcealed sympathy with the
North made his position a trying one, yet he did not discriminate in the
matter of hospitality. Many a time Confederate soldiers ate at his table
while at the same time Union soldiers or runaways were concealed in the loft.
On one occasion he was brought into Greenville under arrest and for a while
it looked as though he would he hanged, but the intercession of neighbors who
nevertheless were of Confederate feeling caused him to he let off with a
lecture and a warning. At another time he was fired upon and his horse
wounded. During the reconstruction period he was six years a justice of the
peace and it has been his boast that not one of his decisions was ever
reversed by a higher Court. Mr. Ballard has been very successful as a
business man and is one of the wealthiest stockgrowers of Monroe. He is quick
at repartee, as is well known to those acquainted with him. His iron will and
inflexible convictions have in polidcal discussion made him able to give as
well as take blow for blow. Yet he is a personage of kindly nature, and now
that the tempestuous period of the 60’s and 70’s has receded almost half a
century into the background, his relations with his neighbors are entirely
cordial. With his second wife he lived happily for the remarkable span of 65
Others of the connection also espoused the Federal cause. Frank, son of
Jerry, became a captain of WeSt Virginia state troops, and his was the first
Federal cortunand to enter Monroe county. He was at Cloyd’s Mountain and in
other engagements. During the reconstruction period he served as county
superintendent, twice as delegate to the legislature, and once as prosecuting
attorney. He secured the passage of a law permitting a landholder to pass
through the land of another to reach a public road.
Lewis Ballard sat in the West Virginia legislature in 1863, and was the first
sheriff of Monroe after the war. His property had been confiscated in 1863,
but he made his escape from the military prison at Salisbury, N. C.