Charles Ballance

From "A History of Baker, Grant, Malheur and Harney Counties"
Provided by The Grant County Museum

CHARLES BALLANCE - In the person of the subject of this sketch we have one of the most substantial men among Grant county's population of men of both ability and integrity. Mr. Ballance has been one that has labored steadily and with telling wisdom and energy for the welfare of the interests of his chosen section, as well as manifesting commendable sagacity and enterprise in the prosecution of the business interests that are occupying him, and wherein he has been favored with the success that is sure to follow wisely bestowed industry. It is a pleasure to accord to such an one a representation in this volume, and, too, since when the thrilling call came to assemble at the capitol for its defense against the minions of treason and the hordes that would have torn from its proud cupola the star-bedecked banner that had been the light of liberty and the safeguard of the independent citizens of this republic, he was one of the first to offer his services, enlisting in Company E, Second Kansas Infantry. He participated in the battle of Wilson's creek and several skirmishes, serving two months beyond the three for which he had offered himself. After being mustered out he was one of three that were instrumental in 1862 in forming a company, being Company C, of the Sixteenth Kansas Cavalry, that did excellent service throughout the entire war. He went in as second lieutenant, but was soon promoted to the position of first lieutenant. He was on the plains considerable of the time under Generals Fremont and Curtis, and participated in the battle of Westport, besides many skirmishes. At the close of the war he was mustered out and returned to his home in Kansas and occupied himself with farming until 1874, then came by rail to San Francisco, thence by steamer to Portland, settling in Linn county and taking up farming. Two years later he came to his present place, one mile east of Longcreek, and homesteaded the same where he has devoted himself to farming and stock raising. He owns two hundred and forty acres, well improved and skillfully tilled. He has a good house, barn and orchard, and a band of cattle and horses.

The birth of Mr. Ballance was on November 05, 1840, near Macomb, McDonough county, Illinois, being the son of John and Hannah Ballance. He was reared on a farm and attended the public school. While yet a child his parents removed to Lee county, Iowa, and in 1857 they came to Franklin county, Kansas, where he remained until 1860, going that year to Pike's Peak and returning the following year.

In 1862 he was married to Miss Eliza J. Ricker, of Franklin county, Kansas, and to them were born four children: Charles A. married to Julia Dustin, and living near Susanville; Melvina, wife of Henry A. Murphy, a merchant of Monument; Anna Belle, wife of Orta Walker of Monument; Effie M., wife of George A. Reinhart, of Longcreek, now deceased. Mrs. Ballance died at her home near Longcreek in 1877.

Mr. Ballance contracted a second marriage on January 16, 1881, the lady of his choice being Sarah J., daughter of S.B. and Berthana (Wright) Carter. They have become the parents of the following children: Robert W., deceased; Bertha; John Carl; Frank O., deceased. Mrs. Carter came to this country from Missouri, bringing her children, her husband having died previously. She is now in her eightieth year, and is living with her children. Mr. Ballance is considered one of the most enterprising and stable citizens of the county, having ever manifested a spirit of uprightness and integrity which has won for him the esteem of his fellows, while they repose generously in him their confidence.