T. H. (Timothy Horton) Ball.

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

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when after his death the Ball family became the
owners the instructions received were that Dove
should never be sold.

Life on the prairie was new to the children,
and richly and eagerly with their still young
mothers they enjoyed it.

In the summer Judge Woodard arrived for a
visit ; and in August the oldest son once more
arrived at the lake which he loved. He brought
with him from Alabama Miss Annie Weston, a
daughter of a dear friend of his 'mother's in girl-
hood and early womanhood, formerly Miss
Delia Bliss of Westspringfield. He also brought
a niece, Carrie, twelve years old, and a nephew,
Willie, ten years old, bright Southern children ;
and now among the hay stacks, which the chil-
dren had never seen before, and in the thick
summer foliage of Jungle-Dell, the merry voices
of five children were heard mingling with the
songs of the birds. The waters of the lake were
attractive to all, and the four parents and their
three children and Herbert's two affectionate
cousins spent a few short holidays delightfully.

Pleasant was the hour of family worship,
when all the household, ^including the little
■ children, bowed themselves in grateful homage
before that unseen, glorious Being whom they
recognized as a Father and a Friend. And at
night-fall, before they retired, those Southern


children, according to their custom, gave to
their special friends the regular good-night kiss.
Abundant health they enjoyed, and their sleep
was sweet. Some one has said,

" For they alone are blest
With balmy sleep,
Whom angels keep ;
Oh then, on prayerless bed,
Lay not thine unblessed head."

The two sisters had returned from Indian-
apolis for their summer's vacation, the two
younger brothers were also at home, and many
a pleasant trip was made to the homes of neigh-
bors and friends. Again the household num-
bered sixteen or more members, and the milk
and butter and cheese and honey, " the finest
of the wheat," the rich products of the farm,
and the fat chickens of the poultry yard, found
a good home market.

Soon, too soon, the time of separation came.
Judge Woodard's family of four were all to
return to the South, and the family of the mis-
sionary and pastor, T. H. Ball, were all going
to Newton Center. Five were bound for the
East and four for the South. All went to Dyer,
twelve miles distan£, the nearest railroad sta-
tion, together, the baggage wagon accompany-
ing the large family conveyance.

The hour of departure for each was nearly


the same, and there, in the night hour, the
cousins and their parents parted, five for the
Atlantic coast and four for the Gulf, soon to be
separated by red fields of carnage, and not to
meet again till two of the dearly loved ones
whom they left at the new lake home should
be beyond the confines of time.

It had been a precious and joyous family re-
union. The Southern merchant and judge and
the young "rose of Alabama" had added a
large amount of life to the Ball household.

And it was a solemn although cheerful part-
ing, when, just before the presidential election
of 1860, knowing, as those from the South well
knew, what grave events might be near, the
two young families, with their bright hopes
before them, said good bye and .took their
seats in the outward bound cars.

Their fortunes we are not to follow. They
will all meet again. We will leave the former
missionary pastor of Lake county with Mrs. M.
C. C. Ball and Herbert S. now four years old,
and Carrie R. J., and Willie B. Williams, to
pass rapidly on to Boston ; and R. J. and E.
H. Woodard with Lillie and little Genie, to
glide over the lines of iron rail to the home
of the magnolia, and there soon to learn the
meaning of ' ' blockade ' ' ; but we will stay in


From July 1859 until April 1860 the church
at Crown Point was visited occasionally by
Elder Clay and by the late pastor, Elder Ben-

February 18, 1860, Charles Ball was received
into membership on a letter from Franklin,
Indiana, from the church where Dr. Bailey
was pastor. March 24th he was elected church
clerk. April 23d a meeting was held at which
it was " voted unanimously to invite Elder A.
E. Simons to become the pastor of this church
for the ensuing year, * * * the salary to be
four hundred dollars." Of this sum the church
was pledged to raise two hundred, and an ap-
pointment was secured from "the American
Baptist Home Mission Society of Elder A. E.
Simons as missionary to this church," which
society was expected to pay the other two

The church records for the next three years
appear more cheery. The pastor was young,
cheerful, and hopeful. The clerk had one of
the sunniest of souls, and was like a young
beam of light everywhere. Some disappoint-
ments, however, are recorded. "July 21st,
* * Elder Simons then read a letter from the
secretary of the Home Mission Society stating


that the Society could not appropriate anything
for his support the coming year."

Arrangements were accordingly made for
dividing the time and support between the
Crown Point church and Lowell.

Eecord. "As the Lowell church promised
to raise one hundred and fifty dollars towards
the pastor's support, it was resolved to raise
the remaining fifty of the two hundred here-
tofore expected from the Home Mission Society
in the bounds of this church."

The lesson generally taught by any depend-
ence upon the Home Mission. Society in Lake
county, has been Take care of yourselves.

The records show that the "money ques-
tion," or how to provide for the support of
the pastor, was quite perplexing each year. In
other resj>ects everything seems to have been
pleasant. There were added to the church by
baptism fourteen while Elder Simons was pas-
tor, nine of whom were baptized March 24,
1861, in Fancher's Lake. March 26th of the
same year, or two days after this addition to
the church, a special meeting was held "to
take steps in regard to building a parsonage."
It was resolved "to purchase the lot of land
lying south and east of the meeting house lot,
running south ninety-four feet, thence east one
hundred and fifty feet, thence north one hun-


dred and thirty-two feet, thence west sixty feet,
thence south thirty-eight feet, thence west
ninety feet ; and the members present agreed
to pay to H. Ball the sum of two hundred and
twelve dollars for the same." The lot above
described was bought, the parsonage was built ;
but the trustees failed to place their deed on
record and lost the deed, so that they lost legal
ownership of the lot.

In June of 1862 the K I. B. Association
met at Crown Point. This church reported for
that year forty-seven members, and the "Min-
utes" state that the parsonage house and lot
cost about six hundred dollars. ' ' But for'tlie
success attending this enterprise and the credit
with which two Sabbath schools have been sus-
tained within the bounds of the church, no
small degree of credit is due to the pastor, who
seems to be, like Paul, a builder of tents as
well as churches, and a man of all work."

At the close of Elder Simons' very pleasant
and successful pastorate forty-four members
were reported, thirty-one having been reported
in 1860.

Kev. A. E. Simons passed into Michigan and
afterward into Illinois, where, so far as is
known, he is still laboring as an earnest and
faithful minister of Christ. The last record
concerning him at Crown Point is the follow-


ing, 1863, "April 19th. To-day Elder Simons
preached his farewell sermon, having been our
pastor nearly three years."

As showing the changes which pass over the
churches in this county the fact may be noted
here that of the fourteen baptized by Elder
Simons, one only, Emily Vanhouten, now Mrs.
E. H. Wells, is at present a member of this
church. It is no wonder that there are no
large Baptist churches in the county of Lake.

Shortly before Elder Simons closed his labors
at Crown Point sorrow and change again visited
the home at Cedar Lake. Henrietta Ball, the
youngest of the household there, was removed
from earth January 27, 1863.

A telegram was immediately sent to Newton
Center, Massachusetts, and as fast as the iron
horse could travel, her oldest brother, then a
student at the Seminary there, hastened to
Crown Point. He reached here just in time
for the burial services. The meeting between
the living brother and the dead form of that
tenderly loved sister was one of exquisite sad-
ness. To Mrs. E. H. Woodard, in South Ala-
bama no tidings could then be sent. Another
absent brother, Charles Ball, was away from
telegraphic and railroad facilities so that he
could not be present. So only four of the
seven were there. For a few days the Newton


student remained at Cedar Lake, and there he
again met his brother Charles, who came by
private conveyance across the country from the
southwest. He knew before his arrival at
home of the desolation which death had there
wrought ; but his grief was deeper than words,
deeper than tears. It seemed for a time to be
drinking up the life drops of a most tender
heart. Soon the two brothers left the lake,
the one to return to JSTewton, the other to
attend to other duties, and they travelled to-
gether for a short distance on the cars. The
older presented to the younger brother words
of cheer, — those were stirring, exciting times,
and each heart felt something of the pressures
and the responsibilities that were upon them
when the life of the nation seemed trembling
in a balance — and when they separated, in the
silent night, something of the young, fresh
light of former clays had returned to the clear,
quick eyes of the younger, and into his heart
there had come again hopefulness, and trust,
and cheer. And he, who was fitted by sensi-
bilities and by endowments for a very different
sphere of life, with a heart that was regaining
its elasticity and strength, went forth from the
car, with something of his weight of sorrow
lifted, soon to take a young patriot's place in
the long line of blue. The other brother went


on, with mingled emotions, to the Atlantic
coast, to the heart of New England ; seeing
often the Maine and Massachusetts regiments
on Boston Common ; and pursued diligently
again his chosen studies.

Thus once more those two brothers parted.
And of the "seven boys and girls," two only
remained at the Lake of the Cedars. And one
of these, Mary Jane Ball, spent most of her
time, from 1861 to 1865, teaching in the New
•Hampshire neighborhood, where through the
labors of Rev. H. Wason, a large congregation
and Sabbath school and strong church had
been gathered.

The school house was near his residence and
here the Ladoga graduate spent term after term
five days in each week. And thus yet more
was the friendliness cemented between those
Congregational-Presbyterians and the Cedar
Lake Baptists.



In the fall of 1863 the former missionary
of Lake county, having spent three years at
Newton Center, near Boston, and having there
completed a course of theological study, re-
turned for a visit to the new home at Cedar

He found the county again without a Bap-
tist minister, and he was urged to remain and
resume labors within its borders, if possible.
He knew but two well what slight inducements
the field and the State of Indiana offered for
Baptist labor. (In Indiana at that time there
was one Baptist doctor of divinity, possibly
there were two ; and this fact was significant
to those who saw its bearings.) He thought
himself fitted for something different from
what he could here see before him, and he
wished to go where there was more Baptist
enterprise. But he gave up his personal hopes,
and perhaps some ambitious longings, at the
suggestion and request of friends, and in en-
deavoring to listen to what he thought was the
voice of duty. .Could he have foreseen the


sacrifice that would, be required of him, could
lie have foreseen how much was to be given up
and how much was to he suffered, could he have
foreseen what a completely isolated post was to
be assigned to him and how his heart must
bleed in consequence of the wrongs of others,
he might not have thought that that was duty's
voice. The records of his life as kept above,
the results as the future will yet disclose them,
will show of what kind of material his mind
and heart were made. Having come to a con-
clusion he was not one of those to vacillate, to
be infirm of purpose, and so while some of his
Newton classmates, Smith and Colburn, went
as missionaries to India, and others, as Abbott
and G-ordon, went into the large cities of this
land, and others, as Walker and Wheeler, went
into favored and choice spots of Eew England,
and others, as Richardson and Sedgwick, went
into attractive Western fields, he quietly and
cheerfully gave the prime of his life and the
labor of the choice years of that life to the
county of Lake. And now, when he sees the
positions which some of his classmates have
gained, and the honors and distinctions which
they have secured, and thinks of the associa-
tions with highly cultivated minds which they
have enjoyed, he finds no envious feelings, no
covetous desires within his soul. He knows


not one with whom, all for all, lie would ex-
change life work.

It was the autumn of 1863 when he com-
menced once more a life of self-denying effort in
the region where he had spent his youth. He
became the pastor at Crown Point and there
formed a little home.

The church in the village at that time num-
bered about forty members. Civil war was then
raging, and some of these were in the field and
returned no more. The kind of work now re-
quired was somewhat peculiar. The pastor's
family numbered five. Besides himself there
were, that Southern bride whom we have seen
as she passed from girlhood to womanhood,
who now seemed to have become a New Eng-
lander by three years of intercourse with the
choice society of Newton Center and by feeling
for those three exciting years of 1861, 1862, and
1863, the influence of Boston life ; that son
born at Cedar Lake ; a daughter born at New-
ton, Jany. 1, 1861, and who now wanted to go
back to her Massachusetts home ; and a niece,
whom also we have seen before, Carrie R. Jar-
vis, who came from the South in 1860, spent
three years in the Newton schools, and now,
fifteen years of age, bright, blooming, and
lovely, was commencing life in the West. The
home contained, that pleasant variety for all


homes, childhood and youth, and manhood and
womanhood. The little parsonage was enlarged
and made more attractive for the young Massa-
chusetts girl, and while it never became so dear
as the Cedar Lake homes, it witnessed many a
pleasant scene, it contained sometimes a large
amount of life, and was for a number of years
the family home.

The first Sabbath school in the Baptist house
at Crown Point had been held by Rev. T. H.
Ball before he went to Amboy in Illinois. Elder
Benney met with the Presbyterian then called
a Union school. Rev. A. E. Simons had con-
ducted a school while he was pastor. And now
the school was re-opened. Valuable aid in this
school was given to the pastor and his wife by
Miss Mary Bacon, then residing in Crown Point
with her grandmother, Mrs. Sanford, by Mrs.
L. Gr. Bedell, and by Mrs. Sarah Robinson.
Each of these took charge of a class in the
school, and all were earnest, active laborers,
co-operating faithfully with Mrs. Ball in carry-
ing on the school in the absence of the pastor.
Miss Mary Bacon was a member of a Baptist
church in New York city, and was then a young-
lady of charming, child-like earnestness, of
Christian character, and a genuine Baptist. She
is now Mrs. Allen of New York city, the wife
of a publisher, and has matured into a devoted,


faithful, careful mother. The other two teach-
ers were members of a Presbyterian church, but
were ready to do good where openings appeared.
Mrs. Robinson was a teacher, and one of the
best teachers of little children ever in Crown
Point. Mrs. Bedell, attending afterward medi-
cal lectures in Boston and graduating there with
honor, is now a practicing physician, having
offices in Crown Point and Chicago. Mrs. Ball
still continues in the Sabbath school work.

Another special friend, in the earlier days of
this new labor at Crown Point was Miss H. L.
Teasdale, a daughter of that Baptist pastor at
Alton, in Illinois, who was killed on an excur-
sion train. She was in rather feeble health, but
was a devoted Christian, a true-hearted Baptist,
a charming friend, a cheering listener in the
congregation. She was visiting relatives at
Crown Point with whom she spent considerable
time. She after a time became Mrs. Schofield.
The following are extracts from one of her let-
ters written to Mrs. Ball from Upper Alton.
"I found all delighted to have me home again,
while on every hand I meet with old, familiar
friends, who give me a cordial greeting. Still
I do not forget the loved absent ones, and my
memory loves to recall those so clear in Crown
Point. Here, every Sabbath, our large church
is crowded to overflowing, but I do not enjoy


the services any more than I used to in your
own quiet little house of worship, where I so
often went, ever feeling upon returning that
there the Word of God had been expounded in
its purity, while my heart felt to rejoice at so
great a privilege. Oh ! that the great ' Head
of the Church ' might crown the efforts of your-
self and husband with such success as will give
you courage to press onward in your noble work
of saving souls. I think of you so much, and
pray earnestly for you both. Remember me
kindly to Mr. Ball, and tell him how much I
regret that I could do so little to encourage him
and his dear wife in their work."

"Mother unites with me in love to you, and
thanks you for the kindness yon gave me while
with you, for which I feel very grateful."

This dear friend surely Mrs. Ball will never
forget, and the pastor remembers with grati-
tude how much good it used to do him in those
bygone days to have such a cultivated, appre-
ciative, prayerful, attentive listener in his little
audience, as was Mrs. H. L. Schofleld. The
prayers of such he dearly prizes.

There was yet another friend of the pastor's
wife, and of himself in his efforts to do good,
outside of the membership of the church, whose
name should be gratefully recorded here. This
was Mrs. Mary Young, who had just become


the wife of Joseph E. Young, a rail-road build-
er, and since then a millionaire of Chicago.
They made, for a time, their home in Crown
Point while the building of the Great Eastern
road was going on, and as Mrs. Young had
been a member of a Christian 01 Campbellite
church and was a woman of culture and decided
piety, she naturally attended frequently the
Baptist church. Indeed her husband and her-
self might have been called regular attendants
when he was in the village on Sundays, and
they, too, were very appreciative, attentive lis-

Mrs. Young and. Mrs. Ball became intimate
friends ; Mrs. Young aided the pastor in differ-
ent ways in his work ; and the last addition of
theological books to his library, of any amount,
was procured from Boston by means of a gen-
erous gift made to him by Mrs. Young. And
that has been now many years ago. When
will another such friend arise ?

Mrs. Young died in Chicago a few years ago.
Before her death her husband gave a lot in
Crown Point to the work in which her Baptist
friends here were then engaged.

These five choice helpers, Mrs. Mary Allen,
Mrs. Bedell, Mrs. Kobinson, Mrs. Schofield,
and Mrs. Young, all outside of their own
church, but three of them holding the same


common faith, given to Mrs. Ball and to her
husband in the early years of their labor at
Crown Point, they will remember with grateful

Mrs. Allen occasionally visits Crown Point,
and a meeting with her is ever refreshing to
her early friends.

Having made this record concerning some
very active and, then, earnest friends and fel-
low-workers, two of whom have passed from
the scenes of earth, the historical narration will
now be resumed.

An application had been made to the A. B.
Home Mission Society for an appointment, as
missionary, of the present pastor. At the sug-
gestion of the Secretary, Dr. Backus, the ap-
plication was changed to an appointment for
the county, including the churches of Lowell
and Eagle Creek. That appointment was made,
to commence with January 1, 1864. The Soci-
ety was requested, in the application, to pay
two hundred dollars. This, however, the Soci-
ety did not promise to do ; but, through the
management of one of their agents in the West,
they scarcely did what they actually promised.
Reports were made to the Societ}^ for three
quarters. At the close of the third quarter
something being then due from that Society on
salary, thirty-four dollars and forty cents hav-


ing been received, the commission was given
up, and the record on the pastor's memorandum
book stands thus: "Fourth quarter. Went to
teaching for a living and earned one, and re-
ceived the money." This is not very elegantly
expressed. It was surely not written with the
supposition that any eyes but those of the
writer would see it ; but the facts stated are
readily understood.

It should not be supposed that pastoral, or
at least Sabbath labors ceased. These con-
tinued, with a few intervals of absence for a
short time from the county, through all the
period included in this narrative, and they con-
tinue down to this present, this Sabbath school
centennial year of 1880 ; and while for the first
year the church and community did nobly in
furnishing a pastoral support, and some have
done nobly 'ever since, yet to some extent, to a
large extent, since the close of 1864, depend-
ence for a support has been upon self exertion,
mainly in the line of teaching.

Society at Crown Point, in those closing years
of the civil war, was in a formative state, and
the village, then without a railroad but with
hope of one, had some marked peculiarities.
As these concern others also as well as those
who have an interest in this narrative, that
is, the Presbyterians, the Methodists, and the


citizens generally, it would not probably be de-
sirable to have these peculiarities distinctly
named. It is sufficient to say that with loving
hearts, with such discretion and judgment as
they had, endeavoring to combine wisdom with
harmlessness, the family of the new pastor gave
themselves mind and heart to the work which
seemed to be assigned to them, taking things
as they were and endeavoring to do the best
that could be done in the changing circum-
stances. When what Crown Point then was, a
little quiet, retired village of some six or seven
hundred inhabitants, is compared with what it
now is, a busy rail-road town of some three
thousand inhabitants, with all that go to make
up the intellectual, social, and religious aspects
of the place, no human pen can set out by itself
the special influence, whether for good or ill,
of this one family. No such attempt therefore
will here be made.

Besides attending to church and religious
duties attention was soon given to the literary
life of the village. A literary society was
formed, holding its meetings at the brick
school house on Court street. At this time
the pastor of the Presbyterian church was
Rev. J. L. Lower, and of the Methodist church
Rev. J. C. ISTewhouse. These both were ex-
cellent singers and musicians. While they


attended well to the musical exercises intro-
duced into the society, the Baptist pastor gave
time and" effort to the literary exercises.

The society was for some time a true success.
The two musical pastors introduced their gui-
tars, and fine music filled the intervals between
the literary performances.

This at length gave place to other societies
to which the Baptist pastor lent a ready aid
and in which he took an active part.


The Baptist pastor had visited families in
times of joy and of sorrow ; he had attended

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Online LibraryT. H. (Timothy Horton) BallThe lake of the red cedars ; or, will it live? Thirty years in Lake → online text (page 8 of 19)