Posted by: Beth | October 16, 2017

MRIN-19C Oliver Perry Ball

Oliver Ball was born on October 26, 1862 near Downs, McLean County, Illinois. He was the third child born to Robert Gore Ball and Susan Jane Brock. Oliver lived his entire life in Foosland except for about sixteen years where he worked as a telegraph operator and an agent for the Wabash Railroad. During this time they lived in Blue Ridge, Emington and Orland Park. About 1902 they moved back to Foosland where he ran the grain office in Howard for a time. His wife’s obituary states that they farmed in Francisco, Indiana and Mt. Carmel, Illinois before settling back in Foosland in 1915 where they became tenants at and farmed the same land as his father before in Foos Farms. There were ten other tenants on the farmland at the time. That same year Oliver had a surgery to try to repair damage done when he ran a corn stalk in his eye sometime earlier. He had already lost his sight in one eye and was trying to save the other. In his 85th year, Oliver had been in bad health for about 6 months when he suffered 2 strokes about 12 hours apart. He died on August 17, 1948 in Foosland at the home of his son about an hour and a half after the second stroke. He was buried next to his wife in the Mount Hope Cemetery. About a month before his death, he attended the first Ball Family Reunion.

Oliver married Mary “Lillian” Larkin on September 24, 1890 in Foosland. Lillian was born on September 4, 1868 in Cabery, KanKakee County, Illinois to Eugene B. Larkin (1843-1905) and Ellen Elizabeth Riggs (1848-1930). When she was about ten years old, her family moved to a farm northeast of Foosland where she met Oliver. She became the first teacher at the Willow Bend School north of Foosland. Lillian died in Foosland on March 18, 1938 at the age of 69. She was buried in the Mount Hope Cemetery.

Oliver an Lillian had 3 children, Arthur Earl Ball (1898-1958), Maurice Lee Ball (1904-1969), and an *infant son.

* This infant son has a cemetery marker in the Mount Hope Cemetery that simply says “Infant of Oliver and Lillian Ball”. While his mother’s obituary has no mention of him, Oliver’s states that he was preceded in death by one son, while listing Arthur and Maurice as surviving sons. I’m still looking for more information about him.


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