Posted by: Beth | November 17, 2017

MRIN-19K Hattie Ethel Ball

Hattie Ethel Ball a.k.a. Ethel May Ball and seemed to prefer to go by Ethel, was born on May 6, 1879 on the family farm just outside of Foosland, Champaign County, Illinois. She was the twelfth child born to Robert Gore Ball and Susan Jane Brock. Ethel married William Hartley Shields in 1901 in Champaign County, Illinois. She had an operation that at this point I’m not sure what it was for, however her obituary states that it wasn’t considered life threatening. At a shock to everyone, she died on that operating table on the morning of February 12, 1915 at the St. Mary’s Hospital in Decatur, Macon County, Illinois. She was only 35 years old and the mother of three young children aged 12, 6 and 2. Those children were William “Roscoe” Shields (1902-1934), Robert “Tracy” Shields (1908-1983), and Helen Louise Shields (1912-1984). Ethel was an active member at her church, the Methodist Protestant Church of Foosland, where her funeral was held and burial was in the Mount Hope Cemetery.

William Hartley Shields was born on January 16, 1881 near Osman, McLean County, Illinois to Robert Shields and Harriet Maloney. His family moved to Foosland when he was around one year old. He lived there the rest of his life. William was a farmer and served as manager of Foos Farms for 45 years as well as managed other properties until his health started to fail. He had also been director of the Foosland Grain Company since it was organized. With his first wife, Ethel Ball, he had three children. He married a second time in 1918 to Agnes “Lena” Onken (1893-1982) and had another three children; Harlan Richard Shields (1922-1923), Wanda Shields, and Roger Shields. William was very active in his church, The Foosland Methodist Church, where is funeral was held. Burial was in the Mount Hope Cemetery.


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