Copyright
T. H. (Timothy Horton) Ball.

The lake of the red cedars ; or, will it live? Thirty years in Lake online

. (page 12 of 19)
Online LibraryT. H. (Timothy Horton) BallThe lake of the red cedars ; or, will it live? Thirty years in Lake → online text (page 12 of 19)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


In unattended agony, beneath
The cocoa's shade, or lift my dying eyes
From Afric's burning sands, it will be sweet
That I have toiled for other worlds than this."

Dr. Judson and Henry Martyn were men-
tioned and their ideas in regard to living
and dying. Then, as gently as possible, his
brother communicated to him the opinion of
the physicians, and that he was even then very
near to death. But there had been no need of
preparing his mind for that intelligence. He
had looked at the prospect of an early death
too often to be startled now although it came
upon him so unexpectedly at last. No sign of
trepidation, of alarm, or of regret was visible.
But without any manifestation of a startled
soul he exclaimed, "Is it possible that I am
going home?" The tone was the same with
which he had been that morning conversing.

To the household the near approach of death
came with a startling suddenness, like the light-



HEMAN BALL. 221

ning's flash and the thunder's crash in a clear
and sunny sky ; but he seemed to be perfectly
ready. Soon his eldest sister, Mrs. E. H.
Woodard, the young bride, came in. She
had not learned that he was considered in any
special danger, and finding him even then
dying, she was deeply affected. In a pleas-
ant and earnest tone he said to her, "You do
wrong to weep." Others had now come in
and he said, "Weep not, my friends, weep not
for me. All is well." And then he added :

" For if you will follow me,
When you die, 'twill only be,
Going home."

His oldest brother, who had that day special
charge, now gazed with admiration upon him
seeing how his earnest, loving faith enabled
him, in the full possession of his mental pow-
ers, thus undauntedly to meet the king of ter-
rors. The dying one could well have used
Tennyson's May Queen's words,

"0 sweet and strange it seems to me, that ere this day is

done,
The voice that now is speaking may be beyond the sun,
Forever and forever with those just souls and true — "

And that brother could well adopt the words of
that beautiful hymn, one of his favorites, 553
in the Psalmist,



222 THE LAKE OF THE RED CEDARS.

"Our spirits shall not dread
The shadowy way to tread,
Friend, Guardian, Saviour, which doth lead to thee."

And also those words of another of his favorite
pieces, 222 in the Psalmist,

" How may we meet our conflict yet

In the dark narrow way?
How, but through him that path who trod ?

' Save, or we perish, Son of God.' "

It has been his lot to see quite a number die,
but he is understood to refer back to the 28th
of August, 1854, for the best practical lesson in
dying that he has ever received.

The minute record of the events of that day,
which has thus far been followed, states that
the brother in charge soon saw that the dying
one was now holding earnest communion with
his Saviour and God. His lips moved in silent
prayer, and no disturbance was permitted.
Then doubtless, in the full faith which had
been maturing for three years, he commended
his spirit into the care, into the hands, of his
gracious Redeemer.

After some time he conversed again. His
father now came, and asked him concerning his
hope and trust. His soul was very clear, his
trust unshaken in the Saviour. His brother
Charles came. He grasped his hand and ex-
claimed, " Meet meun heaven ! " then glancing



HUMAN BALL. 223

round upon the rest he added, u And all of you
meet me in heaven ! "

His sister asked "How do you fee^4' , And
the answer was " Peace, all peace."

Some reviving medicine having been given
he inquired if they had been praying for him
that he should not go, and added earnestly,
* 4 God's will be done.' 1 After a short time he
asked "Can it be that I am not going home '4 "
Some remarks about turning back from the
river were made. Soon he felt satisfied that he
was surely going. Touching and characteristic
were all his expressions. More than one
pleasant smile passed over his dying counte-
nance. He had no soul work then to do. He
had put nothing oif for a dying hour. Pres-
ently his eyes brightened. That weakness to
which he had been so long subject, so that his
sight had become very dim, passed away, even
from the eye that had suffered so much, and
left them both with the restored brightness and
animation and strength of childhood. It
seemed astonishing to the beholders. He soon
perceived it, and what a thrill passed through
their hearts as there burst from his lips in joy-
ous, exulting emotion, " Am I not leaving the
infirmities of earth?" Many and keen were
the glances of his eyes after that change came
over them, telling so vividly again of the intel-



*2'24: THE LAKE OF THE RED CEDARS.

lect, powerful and bright, that was dwelling
within, soon to burst its clay tenement, and to
be where they have angelic vision.

His father sang some stanzas of the hymn
"Thus far the Lord hath led me on," and he
joined in the singing. At first his voice fal-
tered, but soon it became as usual, clear and
sweet. Soon after came on the dying struggle.
It was not severe, but the body was restless.
He seemed not to be in pain, but he wanted
rest. He wanted to get home. He slept.
After waking again he was quiet. He breathed
slowly, yet easily, and calmly, and without a
struggle, scarce a sigh, he fell asleep in death.

It was just three o'clock in the afternoon, the
hour when eighteen hundred and twenty years
before the Saviour of the world expired upon the
cross, when the soul of Heman Ball took its
flight from earth. The gathered household
sang, " How blest the righteous when he dies,'"
find then they knelt in prayer.

Henrietta Ball.

Born at Cedar Lake, December 7, 1811.
Never out of the state of Indiana except to
visit Chicago, Henrietta Ball, the youngest of
the household, was peculiarly a flower of the
prairie, a child of the central West. She has



HENRIETTA BALL. 225

been mentioned in different connections in the
foregoing narrative. She soon overtook in
growth her elder sister, Mary Jane, and the
two little girls, dressed alike, of the same size,
and resembling each other slightly, seemed
like twins to the visitor or passing stranger,
as they passed along the prairie and lake path-
ways. The two were of course great favor-
ites with their four brothers and their various
friends. The two girls pursued at home the
same studies and engaged in the same pursuits,
picked flowers together and plucked the ripened
fruits, were sick together and recovered together,
and for fifteen years were seldom separated for
a day or a night. With about the same ease
they pursued various studies, were about equal
in penmanship, in drawing, and in painting ;
they were skilled about equally in housekeep-
ing, in needlework, and in embroidery ; in
imitating and in originating both excelled ;
in English composition they were also about
equal ; but, as their intellects developed more
fully, they manifested characteristic differences.
Henrietta was versatile, influential, gifted with
unusual winning capabilities, and her range
of reading was limited only by her opportuni-
ties. She was a very rapid reader, and her
memory was quick and retentive. It would
not be easy to And a girl who at seventeen
11 "



226 THE LAKE OF THE RED CEDARS.

years of age had parsed over as wide a range
of reading as Henrietta Ball. For a few years
she was intimately associated with her "sister
Martha," and one might look long to find in
one home two such even-tempered, patient,
clear-visioned, serene, and sunny souls. Where
many such together dwell, there will be Para-
dise.

Henrietta attended a select school at Crown
Point, in the fall and winter of 1858 and
1859. She wished to study algebra. Her
teacher learning that she had not studied
mental arithmetic, recommended that first.
She procured the work recommended, went
through it in three weeks, and then went
through, that winter, with Robinson's large
algebra. Her calculating powers were natu-
rally so quick and vigorous that she did not
need at all the drill of mental arithmetic. In
the fall of 1859 she went to Indianapolis and
became a student at the Institute there, where
her sister Mary at the same time became a
teacher. She graduated in 1861. In the fall
she taught school in the northwestern part
of Hanover township near her home, boarding
in the family of the Lutheran minister, of
that neighborhood, Rev. Mr. Lehman.. In
the winter she taught at Plum Grove, and
attended the meetings held that winter at



HENRIETTA BALL. 227

Eagle Creek by Elder G. F. Brayton. The
remainder of her short life she spent at home,
and died early in the year of 1863.

The following memorial was published in
the Witness. The heading refers to the seven
members of the first graduating class of the
Indianapolis Female Institute, whose like-
nesses were taken in one group before they
left that capital city, never on earth to meet
again.

ONE OF THE SEVEN HAS DEPARTED.

Died of consumption, January 27, 1863, in
her Cedar Lake home, Henrietta Ball, young-
est daughter of H. and J. A. H. Ball, aged
twenty-one years.

She graduated at the Indianapolis Female
Institute, in June, 1861, a member of its first
class, and the first of the seven to enter
the invisible world. Since death enters all
places and severs all relations here, what a
joy that we can look forward to a sinless and
deathless world! I look upon that pictured
group, clustered as they once were but can
never be again, clustered as they were near
the close of their course of studies and at the
commencement of their course as educated
women, and think how little we know of life's
future ! How soon such groups are broken !
Already sister Henrie sleeps.

I think those who knew her at the Institute
and around her home would bear me witness



228 THE LAKE OF THE RED CEDARS.

that she was uniformly kind, gentle, active,
unselfish ; fearless yet loving ; cheerful and
sunny ; eager and quick to learn ; ever ready
to do good. Those associated with her in
studies, who saw her pass examinations, who
witnessed her skill in penmanship, who heard
her repeat "The Prisoner of Cliillon," have
some idea of her intellectual endowments.

She was baptized when thirteen years of
age. Her life exhibited the fruit of the
Spirit. I should describe her as sweet, sunny,
happy, pure. But she recognized sin within,
and remarked to her father not long before
her death, that it seemed astonishing that such
a sinful being should so soon be in such per-
fect happiness. During her sickness, which
was quite free from pain, although for three
months her eyes were scarcely closed in sleep,
she never murmured or complained ; said that
she had spent a very pleasant life ; spoke
hopefully of the future ; made with her ac-
customed cheerfulness, her last disposition of
gifts and tokens for her friends ; said she
should soon be in the Paradise of God. She
expressed her belief in the future recognition
of friends.

During her last hour she spoke but little,
saying at one time, " Oh if I had not my trust
in Jesus what a dreadful condition!" Her
father observed "You can trust then." "Yes,
I have no doubt." Soon after she said, "Jesus
is with me." The tone and manner indicated
that a peculiar manifestation of the Savior's
presence was then made to her. Her sister
Mary asked, "Shall I sing?" " No. My



HENRIETTA BALL. 229

Savior is with me." Those beside her felt
that she had a better support in that trying
hour than any earthly friend or earthly joy
could give.

"The angel of the covenant was come,
And, faithful to his promise, was prepared
To walk with her throngh death's dark vale."

Soon she ceased to breathe, presenting in
her very peaceful death, a death like her life,
one of sweet peace, — Will not her existence
flow on thus, one peaceful stream forever ? —
presenting another illustration of Mrs. Bar-
bauld's beautiful hymn,

"How mildly beam the closing eyes!
How gently heaves the expiring breast!"

Her death seemed to be most truly a falling
asleep in Jesus.

In the Christian Secretary of January 2, is
a notice of the death of one of Henrietta's
great-aunts, Mrs. Abigal Goodrich, who lived
and died, so the notice says, u with a great
faith." Within not many years there have
passed away a great-grandmother eighty-eight,
a grandmother seventy-seven,, and some aged
great-aunts, all considered peculiarly beautiful
in their outward and inward life, all sharing
more or less of this "great faith." Now one
much younger falls asleep in this same precious
faith, the faith of generation after generation in
our family line.

ct The mercy of the Lord is from everlasting
to everlasting upon them that fear Him, and
His righteousness unto children's children, to



230 THE LAKE OF THE RED CEDARS.

such as keep His covenant, and to those that
remember His commandments to do them."

T. H. B.

Lieutenant Charles Ball.

The third son in the Cedar Lake family was
born in Agawam, Massachusetts, at the Horton
family mansion, April 15, 1834. He was there-
fore three years old when his home was trans-
ferred to that grand solitude beside Lake Mich-
igan, where as the summer months came on
wasting sickness was upon him and life seemed
ebbing away. At length a change came. Some
appetite returned. Every day his oldest brother
went out with his gun and procured wild birds
for his food. The New England color came
back to his pale cheeks, and his intense activity
returned to his limbs. He enjoyed rambles in
the village and on the beach of the large lake,
found a very pleasant little playmate, young
Mary Ellis, a beautiful specimen of child life,
saw the Indians and their papooses and their
ponies ; and in December, before he was four
years old, his home was removed to the little
inland lake, where except when absent at col-
lege, in camp life, or in other duties, his home
through life remained. It has been suggested
that he became to a large extent the light of
the household. He had the largest amount of



LIEUTENANT CHARLES BALL. 231

childhood and boyhood beauty, his gentleness,
and cheerfulness, and tenderness of nature,
came up very near to the perfection of human-
ity, his vivacity was great, and in a love for
poetry and for beauty few could excel him.
When he first came to this West, (Indiana was
West then,) he used to talk eagerly of going to
the Rocky Mountains and killing the grizzly
bears, and he would narrate many an imaginary
exploit. That Rocky Mountain trip, however,
was reserved for his nephew, born at Cedar
Lake, Herbert S., resembling his uncle Charlie
in some respects, whose actual exploits in 1877
came up to the romantic imaginings of the
young Charles in 1837. Beyond his brothers
he was fond of imag nary horses and real horses,
and in his hands these useful animals were sure
of the best of care. Like all others of this fam-
ily he read extensively while growing up to
manhood, and committed to memory a large
amount of beautiful poetry. His range of poetic
reading was greater than the range of any other
of the seven, and he had more poetic treasure
than any of them stored away in a quick and a
retentive memory. Like his oldest brother he
loved the poems of Mrs. Hemans, and the Lays
of Ancient Rome, and many a gem found alone
here and there in periodical literature, and he
also read much other poetry for which his
brother had not the same relish.



232 THE LAKE OF THE RED CEDARS.

He commenced to take his* part in the farm
labor and grew strong, and robust, and hardy.
He enjoyed hunting to some extent, but proba-
bly not with the passionate fondness of his
brother. His eye was very quick and his aim
was true. His entrance upon college life has
been mentioned, and the full awaking of his
religious nature under the teachings of Dr.
Silas Bailey in 1855 and 1856. Circumstances
prevented his completing a literary course at
Franklin. He enjoyed life there, formed many
acquaintances, his peculiarly social, cheerful,
and refined nature always winning for him many
friends. He carried on for a time quite a cor-
respondence with some of these ; but of the
circle of his college friends and correspondents
but little is now known.

One of his college dissertations, presented
on some public occasion, as was then customary
at Franklin for undergraduates, was on the fol-
lowing subject : Query. Was Columbus stand-
ing up or sitting down when he discovered
America % For this essay, which presents one
variety of his style of writing, see Appendix.

He had a good voice, clear, expressive eyes,
and a countenance always animated and attract-
ive.

In 1859 he was at home. The following are
some extracts from a letter sent to South Ala-
bama.



LIEUTENANT CHARLES BALL. 233

" Cedar Lake, April 10, 1859.

Dear Sister Martha.

* * # *

Miss Parson's school has been out this week
or more, but Henri e is still staying there as a

kind of resident graduate I suppose.

* * * *

We haven't fixed up our big boat yet, and
it got caught in the ice last winter and split so
I do not know as we can.

We hear the shrill whistle of that steamboat
now every day — at least we hear the whistle of
an engine morning, noon, and night, echoing
across the waters, and suppose of course it must
be the steamer.

They are really building a boat now at the
Graytown docks, to be soon completed, capable
of carrying about eighty persons. That will

make quite a show sailing round the lake.

* * -::- -::•

How I should like to see funny little Herbert
again ! How does he act toward the servants f
Does he say u I guess" yet? and call for his
"masonic apron?" When you write tell me
all about him."

"Cedar Lake, April 16, 185!).
Dear little Nephew,

While you are playing and enjoying the
careless hours of life your uncle Charlie often



234 THE LAKE OF THE RED CEDARS.

thinks about you and brings your form to
recollection.

We have snow almost every other clay but
the grass is getting green though, so I guess
if you were here you would ' want to go to
grass.'

I am going to town to-morrow to move
k Aunt Henrie ' down, and I guess she will
stay at home all summer.

Your little kitty lies on the window some of
the time in the sun, but it catches a good many
mice.

I shot a big wild goose the other clay, bigger
than you could lift, and Grandma roasted it for
dinner. Wasn't that nice \

Herbert must be a gOocl boy, for some of
these days he will be a man, most as big as his
uncle Charlie."

Early in the year 1860, being still at the
home, at the lake, his church membership was
transferred from East Franklin to Grown Point,
and he became the clerk of the church.

He remained at home during that eventful
year of 1860 and welcomed the visitors from
the South.

His meeting with his eldest brother at the
time of the death of their dear sister Henrie
has been mentioned. In 1863 he became a



LIEUTENANT CHARLES BALL. 235

soldier, enlisting in his township of Hanover
and entering earnestly into the activities of
that fearful struggle. Probably one of his last
literary performances was reading, when on a
visit to Crown Point when a soldier, in the
society where his brother then presided, that
poem in response to Poe's Raven which is
called The Dove. His voice and feelings
suited the poem, and his rendering of it was
excellent. He had from early childhood been
fond of reciting beautiful poetry.

Some letters are at hand which not only give
an idea of his style and of his feelings, but
which present one view of the soldier-life of
multitudes in those trying years.

The first was published in the Register.

letter from the 12th cavalry.

Camp Anderson,
Michigan City, Feb. 1, 1864.

Messrs. Editors : — So long as the chief oc-
cupation of the soldiers in this Camp has been
that of staying away on furlough, friends at
home have, no doubt, heard all that has trans-
pired here, so there is not much of news for
the letter writer.

We have had considerable change here in
our numbers the camp being some days over
crowded with men, and the next morning per-
haps, presenting the appearance of a u deserted
village." Change itself, however, has ceased



236 THE LAKE OF THE RED CEDARS.

i

to be a novelty, and the monotony of camp life
has been relieved principally by industriously
whittling.

The past week the companies have all been
engaged in drilling, so that the Camp presents
more of a martial appearance. During the
warm days the company parade grounds were
all cleaned and swept oif, and pine trees, root-
less, planted before our doors, beautifying our
mansion by their rich foliage.

Yesterday, for the first time, u the muffled
drum was heard ' ' in our camp

" With that deep, dull, mournful sound,
That told the hamlets round
Of a soldier's burial rite. 1 '

The soldier had fallen before the most deadly
foe in our land — got drunk and was run over
by the cars. He was placed in a rough box and
buried in the sand near the Camp, without even
a sprig of Acacia to mark the spot ; his own
company not having sufficient respect for him,
nor for themselves, to procure a coffin or a
church yard lot.

A few Sundays since there was witnessed a
beautiful and impressive scene in the Congre-
gational Church, when the children of the Sab-
bath school presented each member of Capt.
Foster's company with a Testament.

The scholars and citizens were seated in the
body pews, while the soldiers occupied the side
pews on either hand, thus showing an emblem
of the Union soldier's true position — defenders,
not only of the rights of the present, but the
coming age,



LIEUTENANT CHARLES BALL. 237

There sat the children, with beaming eyes
and countenances full of expectation, with their
bright and gay costumes of every variety which
fancy might dictate, and family groups together
enjoying the scene — on either side sat the sol-
diers, calm, immovable, and each enveloped in
that long blue cloak, which, like the black veil
of the Holy Sisters, seems to sever its possessor
from society, and all the hope of life. All a
line of blue. But mark those heads more closely.
Here is one grizzled with the frosts of forty win-
ters. His is the age of iron will — of lion-like
courage — on the next seat perchance there sits
a soft-haired boy, his face half concealed by that
high coat collar. You would think him hardly
old enough to leave his mother for a night, and
yet his eye is clear — his lip does not quiver at
the sight of children of his size there, happy
with their friends. Ah ! that boy is every inch
of him a soldier ; and you may spare your pity
too, for he keeps his messmates awake half the
night with his frolics and noise. Yet one may
well be sad to see so many young faces there,
for

" It is not youth that turns
From the field of spears again,
For the boy's high heart too wildly burns
Till it rests among the slain."

Yet there they are, boys and men separated
from their friends, and ready to offer their
lives up for their country's good. And the
children, the representatives of the next gen-
eration, placed in the hands of each soldier a
small copy of that Divine Book which, beyond
all others, can revive the drooping spirit or
cheer the lonely and dying man.



238 THE LAKE OF THE RED CEDARS.

A very impressive address was made by Mr.
Norton, the minister officiating, and was re-
sponded to by Capt. Foster, who, however,
being a man of deeds and not words, excused
himself from making a speech by calling out
Col. Anderson, who, more of a Crichton, is
equal to both. Of his address nothing need
be said to those who have already heard him
on other occasions.

No more appropriate gift could have been
given, nor could it have come so well from
other hands, for while the book given teaches
the law of love, purity, and perfect justice to
all, the scene seemed to bid the soldier of
to-day to leave to those children a government
as safe and as pure as he received from his
father. And will not this be done ? Those
who go thus calmly to the field will never re-
turn save bearing back in triumph the starry
flag or borne beneath its folds.

More costly presents may have been given,
and with more ostentation, yet perhaps few
have given more pleasure to the donors or
may be productive of more good to the recip-
ients than this gift of the children of Michigan
City.

From Michigan City the regiment was re-
moved to Kendallville. It is now three months
later.

"Camp Mitchel, April 21.

Sister 'Martha, — I don't know as I have
written to you lately or not for I don't keep
much track of my correspondents. * * *


1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 12 14 15 16 17 18 19

Online LibraryT. H. (Timothy Horton) BallThe lake of the red cedars ; or, will it live? Thirty years in Lake → online text (page 12 of 19)