Ellery Bicknell Crane.

Historic homes and institutions and genealogical and personal memoirs of Worcester county, Massachusetts, with a history of Worcester society of antiquity (Volume 2) online

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ager of the concern. Mr. Smith attends All Saints'
Episcopal Church of Worcester. In politics he is a
Republican. He is a prominent Free Mason, mem-
ber of Quinsigamond Lodge, Eureka Chapter of
Royal Arch Masons, Hiram Council of Royal and
Select Masters, Worcester County Commandery
Knights Templar; Massachusetts Consistory. Thirty-
second degree Scottish Rite Masonrv. He belongs to
Aleppo Temple, A. A. O. N. M. S."

He married (first), June 20, 1888, May L. Wal-
worth, nf Worcester, who was born February 1.?,
1805, daughter of George and Ella (Pierce) Wal-
worth Her father was a merchant at Coventry,
Vermont. He married (second). March 4, 1902,
Mary C. Duval, of Springfield. Massachusetts, who
was born January 2, 1872, daughter of Peter C. and
Clara Duval. Her family originally came from

BALL FAMILY. John Ball (1), who settled
at Watertown, Massachusetts, in 1650, was the pro-
genitor of Phinehas Ball, late mayor of the city of
Worcester, of Rev. George S. Ball, of Upton, and
of most of the Worcester county families witli this
surname. He is said to have came from Wiltshire in
England. He was admitted a freeman of Watertown,
May 22, 1650. He removed to Concord and died there
1655, on November 1. according to one record, but
wa- according to another buried on October 1, 1655.
The inventory of his estate was filed in the Middle-
sex court

The three children of this John and Elizabeth
Ball were : Nathaniel, who settled in Concord, in
the part now included in Bedford; married. Feb-
ruary 7. 1670, Margery Bateman, widow of Thomas
Bateman, of Concord. Massachusetts, and had four
children: Ebenezer, Eleazer, John and Nathaniel;
John; Abigail (posthumous) ( ?), born April 26,
[656. at Watertown, Massachusetts

1 II ) John Ball, son of John Ball (1). was born
about 1620 He was a tailor by trade. He married
Elizabeth Peirce, daughter of John Peirce, of Water-
fown. (See sketch of descendants of John Peirce
in this work.) His wife died after a trying illness.
He married (second), October 3. 1665. Elizabeth
Fox, daughter of Thomas Fox, of Concord, after-


ward of Watertown. He had live children by the
first marriage and one by the second, if the records
are complete. October 21, 1665, he sold his farm at
Watertown. purchased originally of John Lawrence,
and settled at Lancaster, where, with his wife and
infant child, he was slain by the Indians in the at-
tack of February 20, [676 (new style), in King Phil-
ip', war. His e-tate was administered by his son,
John Ball, Jr., appointed February 1, i<>77-8.

The children of John and Elizabeth (Peirce)
Ball were: John, born 1644; Mary, mentioned in
will of John Peirce' s wife; Sarah; Esther, born
about 1655; Abigail, born at Watertown, April 20,
1658, died young. The children of John and Eliza-
beth (Fox) Ball were: Joseph, born .March 12,
[61 0-70.

h appears from the history of Lancaster that
John Ball (2), who was killed as stated above, was
nil- of the first three settlers in Lancaster as early
as 1643. a fact that explains perhaps wdiy so little
is to be found about him in the Watertown records.
Lancaster was originally called Nashaway. It was
purchased of Sholan, sachem of the Nashaways, by
Thomas King and others and comprised a tract
eight miles wide by ten miles long, and the deed
tpproved by the general court. The company
in accordance with their agreement to make a set-
tlement sent three men, Richard Linton, Lawrence
Waters and John Ball, to whom lots were given, to
make preparations for the general coming of the
proprieti irs.

Winthrop in bis history under the date of May,
1644. stated that many from Watertown and other
towns joined the plantation at Nashaway and wished
to call one Mr. Norcross to be their minister, but
they were not encouraged as there were no houses
built in the settlement. At the end of 1644 there
were but two dwellings in the place, occupied by
Ball, Linton and Waters. The two latter remained
and their descendants have figured largely in Lan-
caster history.

(III) John Ball, son of John Ball (2), was born
in Watertown, 1644. He married, October 17, 1665,
Sarah Bullard. daughter of George and Beatrice

. Bullard, of Watertown. He lived most of the time
at Watertown, but presumably had interests at Lan-
caster and vicinity, whither several of his children

The seven children of John and Sarah (Bullard')
Rail were: Sarah, born July 11, 1666, married,
March 13, 1684-5. Allen Flagg, of Watertown, by
whom she had nine children (Benjamin Flagg,
brother of Allen Flagg, was one of the sureties on
the bond of Phinehas Ball's guardian ) : John, born
June 29, 1668, died at Waltham, October 24, 1752,
aged eighty-five vears ; James, born March 7. 1670,
dii February 22, 1729-30; Joseph, born May 4.
1674. will proved April 8, 1730: Jonathan, born
March 20, 1680, died about 1727; Daniel, born Au-
gust 2. 1683, died March q. 1717-8: married, October
10. 1708. Mary Earle and had: Mary, born Decem-
ber 27. [709, who married Joseph Mixer and settled
in Shrewsbury; Lydia, baptized August 7. 1715, mar-
ried Samuel Harrington, of Waltham. Abigail, born
( Ictober 5. 1686.

(IV) Jonathan Ball, son of John Ball (3), horn
March 29, 1680, died about 1727. He married Sarah
Whitney, January 5, 1700-10. They settled at Water-
town but he may have lived for a time at Lancaster.
The birth of their youngest child is recorded at
Waltham, although born in Watertown,

The children of this Jonathan and Sarah (Whit-
ney) Ball were: Sarah, born in Watertown, (710;
Jonathan, born in Watertown. married Martha
; and lived for a time at Lancaster, where

be bad a son born September 16, 1751; Phinehas,
born 1710; Thankful, born m Watertown bapti ed
January 7. 17J8, aged nine; Daniel, baptized Janu-
arj ; 172K, aged seven; Jane, baptized January 7,
i,~j' aged four; Susannah, born April 0. [726, in
U atertow 11.

(V) Phinehas Ball, son of Jonathan Ball (4),
was born 1710, in Watertown, Massachusetts. June
6, 1741, he married. .Manila Bixby, ol Andover,
Massachusetts. Their intention of marriage dated
Ai i\ 27, 1741, Lancaster Records. Phinehas was
living with relatives at Shrewsbury after his father's
death, and when he became eighteen years old
Daniel Hastings, husband of Sarah Ball, daughter
of James, brother of Jonathan, was appointed his
guardian. (See Worcester Probate Records, Vol,
217. page 2i}2.) The date of guardianship, August
24. 1734, fixes his birth at 1710 and establishes the
fact that he was the son of Jonathan, who died when
he was ten years old. The sureties of Hastings'
bond were Benjamin Flagg. Jr., son of a brother
of his uncle, and Daniel Johnson, a neighbor, at
Shrewsbury. December 10, 1740, Phinehas Ball
bought thirty acres of land of Jonas Clarke, in the
north part of Worcester adjoining the Shrewsbury
line. In this deed his residence is given as Lan-
caster. This farm must have been near Bolyston
line, as Boylston was then known as the north pre-
cinct of Shrewsbury. Phinehas Ball sold this land
or part of it to Silas Bennett. January 23, 1748-0,
when it is described as in Holden (the north pre-
cinct of Worcester) near the Shrewsbury line. Hie
birth of his children are all recorded as given be-
low in Holden.

The children of Phinehas and Martha (Bixby)
Bali were: Daniel, born January o, 1742. baptized
at Shrewsbury with his father. June 6, 1742; Je-
mima, born February 6, 1744 ; Aimer, born April
8, 1740; Elijah, born March _>, 1748; Benjamin, born
March 31, 1750.

(VI) Lieutenant Elijah Ball, son of Phinehas
Ball (5), was born in Holden, March 2. 1748. He
married Rebecca Moore (intentions dated Septem-
ber 21.) 1770; both were then of Lancaster, per-
haps not far from the farm in Holden. however.
The date of the marriage was October 18, 1770. She
died at Boylston, October 13, 1829, aged seventy-
five years. He died at Boylston, Massachusetts,
November 10. 1834, aged eighty-six.

At the breaking out of the revolution he was liv-
ing in Lancaster, perhaps on or near the farm in
Holden or Boylston. He went with Captain Benja-
min Houghton's company in Colonel John Whit-
comb's regiment in response to the Lexington call
April 19, 1775. He was corporal in Captain Samuel
Savage's company in 1776. He was sergeant in
Captain William Greenleaf's company, Colonel Job
Cushing's regiment, enlisting September 3, 1777. and
be was first lieutenant in the Fifth Company. Colonel
Josiah Whitney's regiment (second Worcester),
commissioned June 17, 1779. He was with General
Putnam in the campaign on Long Island.

He owned land m the second precinct of Shrews-
bury, probably by inheritance before 1781. when
lie sold land, there to John Barnard This land
was situated 111 what is now Boylston. lie made
bis home in Boylston after the revolution and be-
came a prosperous farmer and prominent citizen
there Ilis grandson, e\ Mayor Ball, of Worcester,
presided at the centennial exercises 111 [886. The
town of Boylston was incorporated March 1. 1786.
The farm of Lieutenant Ball wa inherited by
Manasseh Sawyer Ball, his son. and the father of
Phinehas Ball, 'of Worcester.

The children of Lieutena t Elijah .nil Rebecca



(Moore) Ball were: Elijah, born in Lancaster,
August 29, 1771, married four times; Abigail, born
in Boylston, July 25, 1773; Amaziah, born in Boyls-
ton, January 30, 1776; Levi, born in Boylston, Jan-
uary 6, 1778; Reuben, born in Boylston, May 9, 1780:
Rebecca, born in Boylston, June I, 1782; Micah Ross,
born July 29, 1784; Patty, born in Boylston, March
20, 1789 ; Jonah, born May 13, 1791 ; Phinehas, born
August 20, 1794; Cinda, born in Boylston, Febru-
ary 12, 1797; Manasseh Sawyer, born December 28,

(VII) Micah Ross Ball, son of Lieutenant Elijah
Ball (6), was born in Boylston, Massachusetts, July
29. 1784. He married Rachel Lincoln. They settled
at Leominster, Massachusetts, and were the parents
of Rev. George S. Ball, of Upton.

(VIII) Rev. George S. Ball, son of Micah Ross
Ball (7), was born in Leominster, Massachusetts,
May 22, 1822. He received a meagre education in
the district schools until the age of sixteen, when,
obtaining a release of his time from his father, he
devoted himself to study in the higher schools with-
in his reach. He found it hard to earn enough_ to
pay for his education, but he persevered working
it is said with his books in one hand and his work
in the other. He was in the first class to graduate
from the Unitarian Theological School at Mead-
ville, Pennsylvania, in 1847. In the fall of the same
year he was called to the Unitarian church in Ware,
"Massachusetts, and was ordained there October 13,
1847. He remained there two years, when he asked
for bis dismission on account of ill health. After
a few months he began to preach at LTpton, Massa-
chuseets, and after a few months accepted a call
there and was installed as minister in February,
1850. This pastorate continued until April II, 1892.
He became a leading citizen of the town as well
as a prominent clergyman. He was a delegate to
the constitutional convention held in 1853. In 1861
he was elected representative to the general court
for the district composed of Northbridge and Up-
ton, but at about the same time he was chosen chap-
lain of one of the Worcester county regiments al-
readv in the field, the famous Twenty-first -Regiment
of Volunteers. His patriotism and the pressing
needs of the soldiers in the field made him decide
to go to the front instead of accepting the legislative
honors and remaining in his church work. He
accepted the post of chaplain and went at once to
Annapolis, Maryland, where the regiment was then

In the first battle of the regiment he won the
hearts of the soldiers by his brave and efficient aid
to the wounded, and in the report of the colonel
commanding, a copy of which was transmitted by
the general in command to Governor Andrew, he
was generously commended. He was with the regi-
ment thirteen months. General Charles F. Walcot,
historian of the regiment, writes of his service thus:
"In the thirteen months that he had been with us
he had shared with the regiment every peril and
hardship which it had been called to face and en-
dure, and had won the lasting respect and love
of every man in it of whatever creed. Never losing
sieht of his duty as a Christian clergyman, he had
been far more than a mere chaplain to us. Ardently
patriotic, always hopeful, manly and courageous,
he exerted a strong and lasting influence in keeping
up the tone of the regiment in its soldierly as well
as its moral duties. As our postmaster, no matter
at what inconvenience to himself, the mail was
nc\er left to take care of itself, when by his energy
it could be forced to come or go. To our sick and
wounded he had been with unfailing devotion, a
brave, tender and skilful nurse. An honor and

grace to his calling and the service, it was a sad
day in the regiment when he left us."

His pastorate was interrupted once more when
for two years he served as colleague of the Rev.
Dr. Kendall, at Plymouth, Massachusetts. He was
chaplain of the Massachusetts house of representa-
tives in 1863 after his return from the field, and
was a member of the house the following year. He
was promoted to the state senate, where he served
his district in 1866-67. He again served his district
as member of house of representatives in 1891-92.
He affiliated with the Republican party when it was
organized and always remained a Republican.
He was very active in the anti-slavery move-
ment and in other reform movements. He was
a man of influence and a power for good all his life.
One who knew him well has written: "Mr. Ball
has been far more in Upton than a mere clergyman,
a good man, a good citizen, never a strong partisan,
but friend and minister to all who needed or would
receive his help."

He married, June 18, 1848, while settled at Ware,
Hannah B. Nourse, daughter of Caleb "and Orissa
(Holman) Nourse, of Bolton, Massachusetts: they
had eight children, seven of whom lived to matur-
ity. The children of Rev. George S. and Hannah
R. (Nourse) Ball were: Clinton Dale, born in
Bolton, October 2, 1849, married Jennie L. Stowe,
of Grafton. October 2, 1884; Susan Austin, born
Upton, July 26, 1852, married George A. Wood, Up-
ton. February 3, 1876, died August 27, 1901 ; Lydia
Walker, born Upton, November 6, 1854: George
William, born in Plymouth, May 25. 1857. died
in Upton, September 23. 1891 ; Lizzie Holman. born
in Upton, October 26, 1863: Walter Seaver, born in
Upton, March 17. 1867; Elsie Lincoln, born in Up-
ton, August 15, 1878.

(VII) Jonah Ball, son of Lieutenant Elijah Ball
(6), was born in Boylston, Massachusetts. May 13,
1791. He was brought up on the farm and edu-
cated in the Boylston district schools. In early man-
hood he worked in Providence, Rhode Island, but
returned to Boylston to live and died there at the
age of seventy-two in 1863. He married (second)
Mary Caldwell. She had four children, all of whom
grew to maturity, but died early, except James E.
Ball, who was only six years old when his mother

(VIII) James E. Ball, son of Jonah Ball (7),
was born in Providence, Rhode Island. He passed
his boyhood in Dedham, Massachusetts, and attended
the schools there. At the age of fourteen he went
to Boylston, Massachusetts, and resided there until
his marriage. He was in the tripe business. After
ln's marriage he removed to Holden and worked as
butcher and marketman. He went to Vermont, but
staved only a short time, returning to Massachu-
setts and settling at Clinton, where he was em-
ployed in the tripe business for five years. He re-
sided on a farm in Sterling for nine years, and in
1865 returned to his father's town, where he has
since lived. He was assessor in Boylston three
years and for a number of years road commissioner.
He is a member of the Unitarian church. In politics
he is a Democrat.

He married Abigail Howe, daughter of Silas
Howe. Jr.. of Sterling, a well known farmer and
carpenter. The children of James E. and Abigail
(Howe) Ball were: J. Nelson, born August 18,
1S47: Hattie : Abbie. married John N. Flagg ; Mary,
married John Keogh.

(IX) J. Nelson Rail, son of James E. Ball (81,
was horn in Holden. Massachusetts, August 18,
1847. He - is the well known superintendent of the
Lancaster mills in Boylston, Massachusetts. He at-






tended the district schools in Clinton and Sterling
and later took a course at Appleton Academy, New
Ipswich, New Hampshire. He remained at home
until twenty-one years old, when he went into the
meat business in Worcester. He went to work
as a laborer to help in the rebuilding of the Lan-
caster mills at what was then Boylston, now the
thriving town of Clinton, after the famous washout
in 1S76. He worked up to the position of ma-
chinist and after a time took a position in the mill
of Eli Holbrook at West Boylston. Three years
later he returned to the Lancaster mills as ma-
chinist, and after two years was made an overseer
there. After six years he accepted the post of super-
intendent of J. Edwin Smith's cotton mill at Smith-
ville in the town of Barre. He was called back
to the Lancaster mills in 1893 as superintendent, a
position that he has since filled creditably and satis-
factorily to all concerned. He had charge of the
yarn department.

Mr. Ball is a Republican and has served the town
in various positions of trust and honor. He was
a constable nine years and selectman in Boylston
for eight years. In 1894-95-96-97-98 he was chair-
man of the board of selectmen, board of health,
and overseers of the poor. He has been a member
of the school committee for a number of years. He
has been road commissioner and fire warden. He
is a member of Centennial Lodge, Independent
Order of Odd Fellows, of West Boylston and has
been vice grand; he is a member of the Boylston
Grange, Patrons of Husbandry. He attends the
Congregational church at Boylston.

He married, 1870, Julia Wilson, who was born
in Torrington, Connecticut, the daughter of James
Wilson, formerly a shoemaker of that town. Mr.
Wilson came to Boylston and settled on a farm when
his daughter was a child. He had fourteen chil-
dren. The only child of J. Nelson and Julia (Wil-
son) Ball is Grace, married Harry Parker, a mer-
chant of Colbrook Springs, Massachusetts.

(VII) Manasseh Sawyer Ball, son of Lieutenant
Elijah Ball (6), was born in Boylston, Massachu-
setts, December 28, 1800. The farm passed to him
when his father was too old to continue with it,
and he had to struggle with the rundown farm which
was burdened with a mortgage. Manasseh Ball
hunted game and burned charcoal at night besides
working the farm.

Mr. Ball married Clarissa Andrews, who was
descended from Simon Bradstreet and other well
known settlers of the Massachusetts colony. Their
children were : L. Phinehas, born January 18, 1824 ;
Caroline Maria, born Septeniber 28, 1826, married
Charles D. Howe, April 22, 184.=;; married (second)
Charles H. Chace; Mary Adaline, born November
5, 1828, married Moses A. Coolidge, of Lancaster,
July 4. 1849: Sawyer, born March 3, 1833; Albert,
born May 7. 1835.

(VIII) Phinehas Ball, son of Manasseh S. Ball
(7), was born in Boylston, Massachusetts, January
18. 1824. Like many other successful men Mr.
Ball began life with a frail constitution and his
youth was a continual struggle with ill health. The
seasons of close application to study and teaching
were followed by periods of severe illness that
absorbed his savings. Until he was sixteen he at-
tended the district schools in winter. In 1S40 he
went to Woonsocket and spent the winter there with
an uncle, Gardner Smith, who taught him the prin-
ciples of surveying. About the same time he. came
into possession of an ancient compass, once the
property of his great-great-grandfather, Robert
Andrews, of Boylston. Thus equipped Mr. Ball be-
gan to practice surveying in his native town, but up

ii вАФ 2

to the time of his employment by the Nashua &
Worcester Railroad in 1847 he had seen no sur-
veying done by men of experience.

In the fall of 1841 he went tor a term of six
weeks to Josiah Bride's English Boarding School
in Berlin, Massachusetts, and he had another term
the following year. The bill for this part of his
education has been preserved and reveals one of
the customs of former times. The payment was-
made with one hundred and fourteen bushels of
oak charcoal, ten bushels of potatoes, two barrels of
apples and forty pounds of dried apples. In the
winter of 1841-2 Mr. Ball taught school in South-
boro, Massachusetts, the following winter in Lan-
caster and the next in Marlboro.

In the fall of 1846 he began to study draughting
and mechanical drawing in Worcester, but was pros-
trated with typhoid fever and unable to work until
the following March, when he again went to Wor-
cester. Work came to him slowly at first. In June
he was employed to survey the old Worcester acque-
duct, and thus enabled to free himself from debt
he felt fairly started in his profession. Though
he tells us that his cashbook showed that he earned
but twenty-five cents in the month of November
of that year, yet he was able to make both ends
meet by using the strictest economy for several
years. Mr. Ball did not decide easily upon his life
work. He hesitated between farming and surveying,,
and at one time had thoughts of studying for the
ministry. But once begun he continued in civil en-
gineering despite great discouragements, and de-
clined every opportunity that was offered to him
cither to take up a different line of work or to leave
his native town.

In April, 1849, he went into partnership with
Elbridge Boyden under the firm name of Boyden
& Ball, architects and engineers, and the partner-
ship continued until i860. His field books covering
a period of twenty-five years work as surveyor in
Worce-ter show how closely he was identified with
the growth and development of the city from its
incorporation. With his transit and rod he laid
out Governor Lincoln's pasture into streets and
building lots. Many other of the old farms he
laid out into blocks that are now entirely built up.
One foundation after another he staked out for
buildings public and private houses until the num-
ber reached nearly five hundred. When he first
came to Worcester the problem of sewerage was
first solved by cesspools that he laid out in many
instances, and later when they became obnoxious,
he planned the first sewer which took their place
in Main street. He took whatever work came to
him, no matter how simple or how complex. Into
the survey for Mechanics Hall and the building of
the water works he put no more painstaking effort
and skill than into the measurement of a wood lot.
He regretted his lack of scientific training despite
his skill and accuracy, and lacked the confidence that
others had in him. While engaged in general work
of the character mentioned he was employed as
engineer for the Taunton Hospital for the Insane
and the Fitchburg Jail.

He became a member of the Worcester County
Mechanics Association in 1853, and was clerk from
1859 to 1865 inclusive and treasurer for seven
years of that period. He was afterward director,
vice-president and president for short terms. He
was best known perhaps as a hydraulic engineer
of the city and as an inventor. Mr. Ball patented
a number of devices for use in water- works, with
the building of which he became an expert. He
worked for several years on a water meter. Find-
ing that Benajah Fitts had developed a similar de-



vice he joined hands with him, patented the meter
and in November, 1869, formed the Union Water
Meter Company to manufacture the patent. Mr.
Ball was president of this company until his death.
His connection with this company, which had rela-
tions with the city water department, prevented his
holding office in the city government after 1872. In
that year he was called as consulting engineer in
abatement of the Miller's river nuisance. He
le engineer for many water works constructed
at this period. In 1073-1875 he constructed the
Springfield Water Works as engineer, and at the
same time made plans for or reported upon proposed
water works at Nashua, Xew Hampshire; Amherst,
Leomister. Marlboro, Lawrence and Westboro,
Massachusetts; New Haven and New Britain, Con-
necticut, and Portland, Maine, and upon sewers for
Keene, New Hampshire; Fall River, Massachusetts;

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