George L. Ball
Memories and Thoughts
Chapter 8p

All The Balls -- A Collection Of Times Past From The Ball Families

Some History Of The Ball Family
George tries to put a story behind many pictures passed on by older family members
Click Here For The Chapt 8 Text In PDF Format- Save & Print


In May 2010 my cousin Hiram P. Ball, Jr. sent me about 150 lbs of documents, b&w and color photos, color slides, and rolls of b&w 35mm negative film. These were a small part of the archives of Florence and Hiram P. Ball, Sr which my cousins had sorted through during the process of a move by my Aunt Florence in 2010. He asked that I apply some "modern digital technology" to these archives to extend their life for whomever might be interested. A Reunion of the descendents of George L. Ball, Sr. was to be held in August of 2010 at Tacoma Washington hosted by Henry (Hank) A. Ball, Jr. Making some of this information available in that time period seemed appropriate. Thus I tried to get the visuals in order before this event.

Having had some experience 2 or 3 years before when I reduced my personal collection of slides from about 10,000 down to 1,000, I started with a triage on the slides using a light table. If the slide didnít contain a person or a unique item or place, it went into a container for disposal. Those saved were then digitized using a Brookstone iconvert slide scanner (actually a small camera). Typically I could scan about 60 an hour, which included installing the slides in a 3 slide bracket for scanning and finally storing the digitized slides in marked plastic containers for storage (for potential future reference). The b&w negatives were scanned with the same equipment using sections of 6 negatives. The image files were named for the date scanned plus a number.

The printed photographs and documents were digitized by photographing them with a camera. I used a Canon Digital Rebel T1i SLR with an 18 - 55mm zoom lens. I used daylight as much as possible and recorded at about 10MPx with JPG compression. Some optical zooming was done to select items from within a picture.

The Sections in this discussion are based on Albums of Pictures assembled by George L. Ball III. They include:

Families Of George L. Ball, Sr. Reunions:

(These first 4 albums were created by G. L. Ball III when the events occured using photographs he had taken or which were contributed by others who attended).

1990 (The First; Held in Zelienople PA and Hosted By Ted and Helaine Ball Eckstein)
2000 (Held in Frankenmuth MI and Hosted By Ron and Judy Ball Hines)
2005 (Held in Wilmington NC and Hosted By Shirley and George L. Ball III)
2007 (Held in Pittsburg PA and Hosted By Victoria, Susan, and Hiram P. Ball, Jr.)
2010 (Held in Tacoma WA and Hosted By Judy, Lauren, Andrea and Henry A. Ball, Jr.)

(The remaining Albums were created by G. L. Ball III from the archives of Florence & Hiram Ball noted above.
Occasionally George contributed a photo from his archives to help give a visual update when available.)

Ball Hereford Farm in Zelienople (Fombell) PA (Beaver County)
Ball Hereford Farms in Valencia PA (Butler County)

Ball Chemical Company- The Early Days (Back to 1892)
Ball Chemical Company- The Facility (As it was in the 1950ís)

George L. Ball, Sr. and His Family
George L. Ball, Jr. and His Family
Hiram P. Ball and His Family
Henry A. Ball and His Family
Marion Ball (Wilson) Poe and Blanche Ball Landau and Their Families

Activities Of Hiram P. Ball (Includes Polo Matches and Time At Franklin & Marshall College 1935- 1937) Time at Devoe & Reynolds in NJ.
Ball Family Miscellaneous Events
Ball Family Masonic Related Activities (George L., Sr. and Hiram P. Ball)

The Campbell Family (Florence Campbell Ballís Past)
The Gregory Family (Shirley Gregory Ballís Past) - See Chapter 12
Information From George L. Ball Jr. Family Bible
Salmon ID Info & Ball Farm Valencia Map From H.A. Ball Jr. 2010

Go to Chapter 9 to see them in a larger size.

1 2 3 4
6 6a 7 8
9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16
17 18 19
20 21 22

I've written the following to give the viewer an idea of what the pictures are or what they represent in the Ball Family history. I'm also writing this to elicite input from the rest of the Ball Family or any one who has facts that can expand upon what I've written. I'm doing much of it from memory from my personal experiences and stories from throughout the years. I was born in 1937 so my direct recall can't start much before 1942. I've utilized dates and locations written on the backs or fronts of pictures, slides, documents, or film cans.

When possible when I photographed pictures I zoomed in on telling items such as license plates or car models to verify approximate dates. Specific dates generally were not important. To preserve the information (which may be discarded) I photographed these comments to preserve their content. I did use Google Searchs to confirm such items as car models and actual locations using Google Earth (being able to do this from my desk chair at home was fascinating and helped keep up my interest in performing many hundreds of hours of work).

Families Of George L. Ball, Sr. Reunions:

I am saving input to the reunions until later since much input was incorporated by me in the creating of these albums in the first place. The 1990 Album was predigital for me so it is less documented. It is worthwhile noting that I was in to videography at that time (VHS tape) and that information has been digitized on to hard drives and DVD's where it can readily be viewed on PC monitors or TV's.

1990 (The First; Held in Zelienople PA and Hosted By Ted and Helaine Ball Eckstein)
2000 (Held in Frankenmuth MI and Hosted By Ron and Judy Ball Hines)
2005 (Held in Wilmington NC and Hosted By Shirley and George L. Ball III)
2007 (Held in Pittsburg PA and Hosted By Victoria, Susan, and Hiram P. Ball, Jr.)
2010 (Held in Tacoma WA and Hosted By Judy and Henry A. Ball, Jr. and their Daughters Andrea & Lauren)

Ball Hereford Farm in Zelienople PA (Beaver County)
1919 through 1945

I'll comment on the pictures in the order you will see them in a slideshow. The first set are pictures of the Ball Hereford Farm just miles outside of Zelienople, Pennsylvania which is about 30 miles north of Pittsburgh. According to the Ball literature it was started in the year 1919 (at least with respect to having Hereford cattle) by my Grandfather, George Loyal Ball. I assume that he bought it while living in Millvale, PA, a close suburb of Pittsburgh. My father, George L. Ball, Jr. was born in Millvale in 1905 so I asume they were living there then. Again, according to some of the Ball brochures, George L. Ball, who we referred to as Cowboy, moved to Pittsburgh from Salmon, Idaho where he had a Hereford cattle ranch

(Originally, I was unable to find any evidence of the Idaho property. However at our Ball Family Reunion in 2010 Henry (Hank) A. Ball, Jr. provided me with information from Salmon Idaho which he personnaly retrieved with a visit there. Pictures of the documentation showed George L. Ball and Lillian I Ball purchasing distressed property in Salmon ID. These are in the Slideshow #23 shown above and in Chapter 9.).

The first group of pictures are of the farm in the area around the house and barns. These were all taken from one 4 ft. wide color picture, which to me, as a photographer, was a work of art. It had to have been taken prior to 1940? ( I split it into multiple pictures so the viewer could see more detail. Notice that everything was well painted, including many thousands of feet of fence. I well remember being in the house, especially the first floor with all the windows surrounding. I remember there being an upright player piano in the room which used rolls of slotted paper to play music. Somehow I think that it required footpower to function, but I wasn't big enough to operate it.

Not shown too well in the pictures are really big bird houses way up in the air (I guess everything was "way up in the air" for me in those days). I think they were for "purple martins", but I don't ever remember seeing any of the birds. I do remember that Cowboy had a peacock and guinea hens which roamed freely around the yard. The peacock was beautiful when it spread its tail (I don't have a picture of any of these fowls. However, I can't imagine that my Grandfather or Uncles didn't take many hundreds of shots. After some research it appears that the Peacock may have been a male Guinea fowl).

The second group of pictures is also from a single 4 ft. wide b&w picture taken in the year 1926 (shown on the picture). This was a group shot of all (at least most) of those who attended a "Hereford Day" at Ball Hereford Farm. Grandfather Ball was seated in the center of the group (shown in the second, 3rd and 4th of the zoomed in photos in a white shirt, bow tie and open vest). At his right in a short sleeve white dress is his wife Lillian (our Grandmother who we called Manny). This is a good time to point out that I never remember seeing my Grandfather without a white shirt and bow tie. Generally he had on a vest and suit jacket, also regardless of the weather conditions or activity. (I never remember seeing him on the way to bed, but I wouldn't be surprised if he wore this dress to bed.)

As you view the pictures which include "Cowboy" in these various albums, you might notice the white shirt and bow tie. Also, in viewing this group of people at a "field day" on a farm, it was not unusual to see men in white shirts, ties and even suit jackets in what appeared to be a warm day on a farm. Obviouslly in 1926 George L. Ball was promoting Hereford cattle in Pennsylvania. From my personal experience I would assume that these were registered purebred Hereford cattle. I was personally involved in Hereford "field days" in the late 1940's and the1950's at the Ball Hereford Farms in Valencia, PA. These photos show that that the experience of mine had a documented history. I have not been able to identify any one else in the pictures other than Cowboy & Manny. My father would have been 21 at the time, Hiram 13 and Henry 11. I don't recognize any of them in the crowd.

The next pictures are on the farm with Cowboy on one horse and sister Ann ( G. L. Ball, Jr.'s eldest daughter) on the other. Again I have no date but Ann was born in 1934 and she appears to be about 6 here, making this 1940. Note the white shirt and tie (not a bow) on Cowboy. The following pictures show a little unidentified boy on a horse, then some of Cowboy's horses. Continuing is Father Ball with wife Lillian and a friend in their farm house yard. The portrait is of Lillian I. Ball and then Cowboy with a major camera, far from a Brownie. Obviously George Ball was no amateur when it came to photography. Next are some beautiful horses and the cars in the background should provide a hint to the date. Was it war time? Next is Grandmother Ball, who we knew as Manny, in her garden with Henry's wife Ruth. Henry and Ruth were married in 1937, so this picture should be from around then.

Next is a picture showing George L. Ball, Sr. and his family. It included his wife Lillian, shown seated at the right, the oldest daughter Marion, seated at the piano, George L., Jr. behind his Mother at the right, daughter Blanche, standing in front of the piano, son Hiram P. in front of his Father, and Henry A. leaning on his Mother's knees. (I can't determine if this is the player piano which I remember from many years later, but I doubt it.) I don't have a date or location on this picture, but Henry was born in 1915, he appears to be 4 or 5, so this must be around 1920. This is early in the days of the Ball Hereford Farm, "Herefords since 1919", thus the picture was most likely taken at their home in Millvale or Pittsburgh, PA rather than the farm. The next pictures are of my sister Ann and myself, George L., III ca. 1940.

Next is the main barn, pictures from a distance and then aerial photos showing the farm and the road with a "stream" in front. I remember when the near area was being strip mined for coal and there were large "hills" of dirt. In between the "hills" was dirty looking (orange) water. Fishing was no good. I do remember there was an entrance to a coal mine on the side of one of the hills. We were told to never go in there. Next are pictures of the main barn showing a silo very close to it. The next picture shows the curving road (seen from another angle in many other shots and on a post card) and a tree on the left. I remember that tree as being a hickory tree which had lots of hickory nuts. I remember it was not easy (if possible) to open the nuts. For some reason my recollection was that the tree was inside a wooden fence.

In a few pictures is the main house with one of the apartment sized bird houses. Note also the telephone pole with at least 30 insulators on it with associated wires. For the time this had to be a lot of telephone wires for one place (I assume a bunch of party lines). I'm not sure if that is a windmill in the back (wouldn't it be the in thing today). Next note the aerial shot which was used in a Christmas Greeting card. Following is a great shot of the farm with Hereford cattle in the forground. (Somewhere in the documentation I noted that George Ball had over 200 head of cattle- a right nifty size. I'm sure that his interest in Ball Chemical Company allowed him this luxury.) I don't have the details but I know that he provided livestock to the Pennsylvania State University's animal husbandry program.

The color picture of the farm taken from the road was a post card. Over the years I had seen this very often and it helped freeze that view in my mind. The subsequent pictures are shots were I zoomed in on parts of the card, especially to show the old car. It should help identify when this picture was taken assuming it couldn't be earlier than when it was built. Next is a representation of the fireplace in the main house. It was beautiful and the centerpiece of many antiquities.

In full color is a post card of the entrance to the farm with three of the prime Hereford stock shown (somehow I have the feeling that this is a colorized b&w photo). The men displaying the stock were employees of the farm (names unknown). Note the name of the road the farm was on is identified as the Ellwood-Zelienople Road. Again the fences are shown in their bright white color. The white surely came from paint from the Ball Chemical Company. It was not white wash which was typically used to create nice white indoor surfaces in those days. Shots include those from zooming in on the card.

The yellow building in the next group of images was George's Office at the farm and obviously a garage for his cars. The building, I remember, was constructed of the yellow ceramic bricks which were shiny. I remember being in the office, but only when Cowboy was there. It was not a place to play. I zoomed in on the license plate on the car in an attempt to get a date, but with no luck. I remember when I lived in PA in 1955, their was no front plate required so we had a custom plate with BALL on it. I remember going to the Cleveland Ohio area to meet up with a potential roommate for my sophmore year at F&M College. He was really impressed when he saw that front plate until he found out that it wasn't the same as the one on the rear. Richard Zimmerman was his name.

Next come the cowboys at the Ball Hereford Farm. That is me on the left. Guessing my age to be around 4, this had to be ca. 1941. The others in the picture are my sister Ann, Grandmother Manny, and Henry Sr. This is in front of the big barn at the farm and it appears that Manny, Ann and I are on ponies. I'm assuming that Henry is on a polo pony. I appear to be doing OK for a 4 year old, even though I didn't have a Stetson at the time. Following up is Ann on a polo pony and finally Uncle Hiram showing off on the polo pony. Note that Hiram is dressed in a suit and tie and business hat. Not the movie created image of a typical cowboy. I'm not sure where the show horses came from and don't know the people who are on the same horses (ponies) we were on. The bull is being held by someone who looks more like a cowboy. Next is Lillian Ball on the lawn of the farm house. Not sure what the cape is for but it appears to have something to do with Christmas. Then we have pictures of the house before the gardens were grown up, then pictures of the grown gardens. Included are a group of pictures which were passed on to me as coming fron the "old" farm. Not sure where they all were.

That is Lillian Ball with the people in front of the white house. The man is in a wheel chair and they have a dalmation dog. Next is a picture of George and Lillian Ball in Sealy Springs, Alabama (they are the 2nd and 3rd from the right in the first group shot. What they were doing there and who the other people are is unknown. Obviously hats were in.

I assume that this house and barn in the aerial photo are the main farm house and barn at another site. Shown is a house and barn with 2 people standing in front behind a stone wall. The woman is Lillian Ball (Manny) holding a child (Ann?). The stone wall has one stone with a B carved into it. I assume that this house and barn are the main farm house and barn at another site which I don't recognize. There appears to be an entrance which I don't remember. The house is a second house of Ball Hereford Farm in its very early days. Next is the main barn at that farm with a large silo. This is a second farm which was part of the Ball Hereford Farm and is where Lillian Price Ball's sister Mim lived.

From: Helaine Sun, 9 Jan 2011 Subject: Re: Fw: Re: Fombell, PA Ball Hereford Farm

This is my 2 cents worth of a few tidbits. I think the Red Barn Theater is on the property where Auntie Mim lived. I remember that discussion when I lived back there in the late 1980's. I don't know Mim's last name (Powell). Wasn't there an Aunt Miney also? Were they Ferguson's? I seem to recall that is where I would see cousins Ruthie and Adele Ferguson.

The Zelie farm was sold after Cowboy died in Oct.1945 and Manny moved to the Schenley Hotel in Pgh. area (across from the University of Pittsburgh's Cathedral of Learning) where she lived until going to the nursing home in Nixon where she died in July, 1954. Cowboy was 71 when he died and Manny was 73.

From Ann Ball McKay

Hereís another nickels worth. Auntie Mimís last name was Powell. She and her son Kenneth lived on the northern farm. Ruthie and Adele were Aunt Mineyís daughters, (Ferguson), from Ohio. The girls usually stayed with Manny because there was lots more room, but since both Mim and Manny were their aunts they roamed around both places when they were there.

The farm in Zelie was sold quite soon after Cowboy died in 1945, Manny did not drive so staying at the farm was out of the question. Before the war there had been drivers available, but they all went into the military. That farm was sold to (Walter??) Bill Cunningham who raised Tennessee Walkers. He also kept a few of the favorite horses and cattle until Ball Associates could retrieve them. I recall, the Shetland pony, a Pinto and a wonderful neck-reined buckskin cowpony. (Obviously, the last was my favorite) I have forgotten the specific cattle, but know there was at least one bull and a couple of cows.

Then are pictures of the farm showing the many painted wood fences. This area in front of the house and barns is what is now a very large lake held back by a dam built in that area (but the dam has problems and may have to be removed ca. 2011). In this picture there is a barn and a silo, but they don't seem to be in close proximity. Originally I wasn't sure why this was different from other photos. I learned from Ann and Helaine in my research that this was a second farm within the BHF confines.

The pictures are now at other Hereford farms which were having promotional field days or sales of Hereford cattle. This included the Bortz Brothers of Uniontown PA who were prominant in the registered Hereford business, The Bortz Brothers had a coal mining company. See if you can find George Ball in his coat and tie checking out a bull. Notice the big crowds at the field days. A lot of great free food helped draw them in, as well as the grooming and care demonstrations. Let me know if you can figure out the approximate year by the models of the cars. That is Hiram Ball with the hat and sun glasses on behind the counter in front of the Bortz sign. He was always in the middle of activities.

In the middle of the night following a review and update of what I had written about the Ball Hereford Farm in Zelienople I suddenly realized that I had not mentioned food in any of my discussions of the farm. For a Ball Family member this seemed to be heresy for food was always an important part of our life, both as a necessity and socially.

Upon thinking about the farm I can't say that I ever remember eating there. However, included in the list of the most memorable meals of my life, was having Fried Corn Meal Mush at Baldingers Restaurant on my way to or from the farm. The mush was fried to a crisp and covered with pure maple syrup. Baldingers was a restaurant/ country store south of Zelienople on Rt. 19. The owner, or one of the owners, was Dot Baldinger. I have written about her in my other Memories and Thoughts on my web site (See Chapter 1).

From George Ball III Thoughts and Memories Chapter 1.

In those early days we visited our grandparents on the farm in Zelienople.

[Ball Farm] [Ball Farm].
We called our grandparents Cowboy [G. L. Ball, Sr.] and Manny [Lillian Irene Price Ball] . Cowboy usually had a western hat on and I remember him having an office in a yellow brick building. The farm house was grand and had a player piano which we all liked to listen to- and pretend that we were playing it. There were Hereford beef cattle on the farm, polo ponies (looked like horses to me), and Shetland ponies. We enjoyed riding them. [Sister Ann says there were cowponies, one buckskin and a pinto (her favorite).]

The farm had coal under it so there were places where strip mining had occurred and there were little lakes. There also were lots of Indian arrowheads. We fished some but I don't remember catching anything. Now and then we visited Auntie Mi (Wilson) who lived down the road. They also had ponies which my Uncle showed at the various fairs. The ponies (not polo ponies) usually pulled fancy wagons and stage coaches.

A highlight of going to the farm was stopping at Baldingers.
[Baldingers ca. 1990]Baldingers in 1990 - [Dot Baldinger]Dot Baldinger
It was a country store along the way to the farm which had a restaurant in it. We usually had breakfast which consisted of fried mush. We put syrup on it. [Sister Ann remembers lunch. "They had the greatest homemade hickory smoked ham. I've never liked ham since then. It was the greatest."] I was never in to ham myself. The mush was the greatest and I never ran into it again until the Bob Evans restaurants came out with it many many years later. I was in heaven.

Now and then we ate at the Kaufman Hotel for our Sunday afternoon dinner (We returned there in the year 1990 for a Ball Family Reunion).

Finally are pictures which Hiram took.. It appears some are in Philadelphia on the river. Includes Hiram in a suit and some polo event pictures.

I have documented these pictures from personal memories, visual references, and documentation provided with some of the pictures. If you can add any information, please E-Mail me and I'll add your input into the discussion for those who might enjoy it in the future. Thanks, George L. Ball III (

Inserted 3/26/2011: Following my placing of this information on my web site in the summer of 2010 I received an E-Mail correspondence in January 2011 from Robert S. Burry, Secretary, Fombell PA History Group. That correspondence and subsequent discussion are contained in the following attachment. They add much light to the history of George L. Ball, Sr. and the Ball Hereford Farm.

Subject: Re: Fombell, PA Ball Hereford Farm
Date: Thu, 6 Jan 2011 20:43:07 EST
Subject: Fombell, PA

Dear Mr. Ball, Several of our members, myself included, have greatly enjoyed and appreciated your web site, especially the parts and pictures of the The Ball Farms in Fombell. We have an annual picture day each fall where we display our historical pictures (there is always at least one of the Ball Farm) and have speakers talk about their family's history. We usually have around 100 people attending. Would it be possible to have you come speak or at least give us permission to use the information and pictures from your web site?

Sincerely, Robert S. Burry,
Secretary, Fombell History Group
3185 State Road New Castle, PA 16105, 724-651-7080

Click Here E-Mail Info Fombell Correspondence ---- Click Here Related Web Site Fombell PA Historical Society Web Site

+++++++++++++++++++++++ [updated 8/30/2011] +++++++++++

Ball Hereford Farms in Valencia PA (Butler County)
1947 through 1967

The first pictures are of the farm house as I remember it in the winter probably in the 1950's. Included are some logos from the farm stationary and brochures. Following are pictures of the house and barn in the 1940's when it was first purchased. It appears that construction was going on at this point. I would assume that the Eckstein Family construction company was already hard at work remodeling the house. I remembering my Mother, Helen, often saying that she would move to the farm AFTER the house was remodeled including indoor plumbing and such "luxuries".

From: Helaine Sun, 9 Jan 2011 Subject: Re: Fw: Re: Fombell, PA Ball Hereford Farm

I am sure we moved to the Valencia farm in 1948 but am also sure the Eckstein's must have worked there at least a year remodeling before we moved in. I asked Ted (Eckstein , my husband) about that but it is too far back for him to remember.

From Ann Ball McKay

The farm in Valencia was bought before December of 1946 and we had several Xmas parties there that year, pancakes on the old wood stove and sleigh rides. Once the decision was made that the GLBís were moving to the farm so Daddy couldnít hear the fire whistles, Ecksteins spent most of the next year there getting it ready. We moved in prior to Labor Day of 1947 so that we could go to Middlesex School at the beginning of the year.

I have stuck in some more recent pictures of the house and barn as I remember them after it was remodeled. I believe the house was nearly 100 years old when we lived there. Scratched into glass panes in the windows was the name Hayes, which went back to the days of the grist mill which was at the foot of the hill, along the stream. Next is an arial photo taken after the main road had moved from being in front of our yard and barn yard. It is also after the enormous maple tree to the left of the house was gone. Not sure of these dates, but they were after I lived there (I started my first job in 1959 so it was after that. Our Father, George L., Jr. died in 1967, so none of us lived there after that.)

See George Ball III Thoughts and Memories Chapter 2 for his memories of growing up on the farm.

Shown are some pictures of rooms in the house and partys going on. The first two pictures are in the kitchen where it is setup ready for a Christmas Holiday party. The roasted suckling pig is on the buffet to the right and the table in the center is being filled with delicious morsels. The room was knotty pine and the fire place was a center piece of our home. We had many a fire in the fireplace (it was my job to haul in the wood and haul out the ashes). The next 4 pictures are of our "Music Room" which contained a grand piano, a xylophone, and accordian (all played by our Mother, Helen). Eventually it contained my set of mother-of-pearl drums, and Sandy's saxaphone. Ann and Helaine played the piano and eventually a Solovox, one key at a time, organ.

The Music room was always packed at party time with our Mother playing the piano and the group singing all the old time favorites. Shown in the picture is Mother at the piano, Bob Dixon (my Dad's best friend) in the foreground, and behind Mother is Hiram and second to his right is brother Henry. The three brothers and their wives usually partied together. The men worked together on a day by day basis at Ball Chemical Company in Glenshaw.

Next is the spare bedroom behind the kitchen on the first floor. It was setup for a party with a long table of food and places set for dining. In the background is an antique organ. It replaced a pot belly stove which kept the house warm in it's early days. On the right rear corner of the food table are the "dinner plates" which were a staple in the Ball Families. They consisted of about 10" square metal trays covered with heavy duty partioned paper inserts. They had a degree of informality, but were especially great when the time came for cleaning. The paper insert was just discarded in the trash. The metal tray allowed the plates to be stacked high with the abundant food. The last inside picture I think is probably from the BH Farm #2 at Christmas.

The following groups of pictures show what sister, Ann, and I (George III) did in our youth on the farm. We raised, cared for, fed, groomed, trained, showed, bought and sold registered purbred Hereford beef cattle breeding stock. The photos show us mainly when we were showing the cattle at county fairs. These included the Butler County and Allegheny County fairs. We always did very well at these fairs, getting many first place and championship ribbons. I seemed to do better with bulls and Ann with cows (or heifers). Training and grooming these cattle was a full time summer job for Ann and me. Then we hit the fairs in the fall. We never showed at the Pennsylvania State Fair (know as the Farm Show) in Harrisburg since it was usually in January and thus conflicted with our going to school.

The pictures are of Ann in the newspaper with her heifer and then Ann and me being interviewed by a reporter from the TV station WCAE in Pittsburgh. Pictures of the Stock Parade were taken at the Allengheny County Fair in 1951 by the Pittsburgh Post Gazette. Helaine is marching in front carrying the Ball Hereford Farm banner. George III is behind Helaine leading a bull. Posed in front of a building is Helaine at the right with the banner, then to the left me (George III), then (amazingly) our Mother (Helen), then an unknown person, and finally Ann. This set of pictures is rather unique since they have to be the few in existence which show Helen holding on to a cow, let alone being in its proximity. Helen's castle was her home with a great kitchen where the cattle were always slaughtered before entering. She is shown again behind me as we walked around the race track at the Allegheny County fairgrounds.

Next are pictures of me (George III) during judging at the Allegheny County fair (not sure where my stetson is). I'm at the far end showing a young heifer (girl for the city folk, as cow is to woman). Note we are all carrying a long stick (which has a very small nail near its end). In showing cattle it is important to get them to stand with their four feet directly under them, thus keeping their back straight and level. Ideally we're trying to show a rectangular block of beef. The stick is used to help get them to move their feet where you want them. Occasionally, it is used to get them to move their body when they get a little stubborn.

The next photo is of a radio interview by Homer Martz, the Agricultural Editor of station KDKA. At the far right is George, Jr. and to the left is Hiram. This was at a Hereford cattle sale and George & Hiram were respectfully Treasurer and Secretary of the Southwestern Hereford Breeders Assn. The Vice President is next to Martz and is a Dr. J. H. Knisley from Bedford PA. The President in the middle is Macmillan Hoopes from Chester County PA. Further in the Album are other pictures and text from this event.

Next are shown some of the bulls which were at the heart of the Ball Hereford Farm production and reputation. It is most important to note that none of these bulls have horns (naturally). It was during this period in the Hereford cattle industry that Polled Herefords (Herefords without horns through genetics) came in to prominence. It was also the period where enhancing the beef character of the hornless breed became very important. Obviously, the early polled Herefords, were mutations which didn't necessarily have excellent beef characteristics. Ball Hereford Farms and the Ball brothers played a major role in crossbreeding the polled bulls with their Fathers (George, Sr.) stock to improve the breed. It was in this atmosphere that Ann and I grew up. Our success played a significant role in contributing to the funds needed for our college educations. It also was a great lesson in genetics for us as teenagers and we spent a lot of time analyzing results of which bulls and cows yielded the most hornless offspring. I wonder now and then if our approach would have been simplier or easier if we had DNA mapping in our stable of equipment.

Shown is a grouping of logos, stationary and brochures of Ball Hereford Farm and Ball Associates. The owner of the Ball Hereford Farms in Valencia PA was Ball Associates and consisted of George L. Ball, Jr., Hiram P. Ball, and Henry A. Ball. Stop and read some of the information. Ball Hereford Farms existed from ca. 1947 through 1967, thus 20 years of contributions to the industry following George L. Ball, Sr.'s period of 26 years from 1919 through 1945 for a total of 46 years.

In the pictures we're back to the fairs again. This time the Butler County Fair. The pictures show us in the show barns and that is me in the background behind my Mother and Dad. I'm guessing that is Florence and Hiram, Jr also in the picture. This is where I lived for the week of the fair each year. A lot of hard work, but also a fun time for me with many great memories of "fair living". In the next picture is Ann, Helaine and myself. On the left end is cousin Billy Treadwell, who obviously was visiting at the time from Baltimore MD. He was the son of my Mother's twin sister, Mabel. Again sister Sandy is missing from the picture. I don't know how she managed to stay away. I'm sure Helaine would have liked to have known her secret. My Dad in his Stetson is in the background. Next are Ann and me in our barn yard in between training our cattle to walk properly.
A Note From Sister Sandy Ball Davenport, 7/9/10: "I was reading your description of the pictures. I don't know how I got out of the picture of the parade of herefords. I used to have to walk in the back and make sure the last one kept moving by either hitting it with a stick or curling its tail. It was one of my least favorite things to do but Daddy thought the sign was too heavy for me to carry. I always was a bit anxious as I was afraid the cows would poop all over me and that would have been the end of it.
I wish someone would have taken a picture of the "World's Only Hairless Dog". That was one of my fondest memories of all of us, especially Mother & Daddy, sitting in the stall for hours watching the expression of all those who stood on their tiptoes to see the hot dog and look so embarrassed. Too bad digital cameras weren't around then to snap some surprised looking people - some laughed and some were completely humiliated that they had been taken in by the sign.

You talked about the banana ice cream. It is my recollection that one year we had banana popsicles. It was a terrible day - rained the whole day - so the crowd was thin. I remember eating banana popsicles til they came out of my ears. To this day, I do NOT like the taste or smell of bananas. I tried doing this very same thing with hot fudge but for some reason it never worked."

The next picture has Ann (back left corner) and me in it (left front). I'm pretty sure the picture was taken on the screened in porch on the back of our house. I don't know who the other kids are, but I don't think they are relatives (Need Help). It appears that dress is fairly fancy for the farm, so might have been some kind of meeting. Person in back right corner looks like he might be in charge. Could be 4-H? That's a cool pair of striped socks on the left. Next we're back to the barn yard and we're putting on a demonstration for a "Field Day". That is why people are standing around looking at the cattle. A judging is going on. George, Jr. is holding the first calf on the left end. I think that I (George III) am standing in the background (4th from the right) with my hands propped in my pockets. That is Hiram in the white T-shirt, cap and gloves, helping with the demonstration.

Next we have Henry, Sr. and the professional photographer, who took many of the photos for the brochures, etc. I can't remember his name but Henry Jr. (Hank - Punch to me) might remember. I'm guessing that is Hank in the jeep. By the way war surplus jeeps were our farm tractors for much of our work. They had 3 point hitches on the back where we could attach Ford/Ferguson implements. This included a plow, grass cutting blade, harrow and eventually a rotary mower (bush hog). ( ). Next is a picture of Ball Farm #2 in its early days when the barn was being propped up and remodeled. That is our Jeep station wagon which my Dad drove for many years. When the whole family went (there were 6 of us) I sat in the back in a seat facing sideways. I climbed in through the window in the back. This helped keep me out of trouble and gave me a window to sit beside.

Now we're back to the showing and selling of cattle. That's Ann with #7 which I assume is going to be sold. (It's hard to believe that someone is lighting up a cigarette on the show floor in the background.) Next is Ann, myself, and Ralph Blandford holding prize cattle. Ralph and his family lived on Ball Farm #2 and he in essence was the Farm Manager running the day to day operations. He made us all look good with all his hard work. The following is Ann and myself again showing cattle at various fairs and sales over the years. Our ages vary. I assume that I didn't show cattle much after 1954 (when I would have been 17 and in college). During the summers of 1955, 56, and 57 I went to the University of Pittsburgh to get some language requirements and organic chemistry. I did this in the mornings, then worked in the lab at Ball Chemical Company (BCC) during the rest of the day. I'll discuss this further under the BCC album.

The next set of pictures is taken from one picture. It obviously was during Christmas and was at Hiram & Florences home in Glenshaw on Vollmer Drive. Included in the picture on the left side is our Mother (Helen) in front then clockwise is Sandy, Judy, Helaine, Ann, and Grandmother Ball (Lillian). In front of Ann is Hiram, Jr. (Toad), then Henry, Jr. (Punch) and me (George III). Going to the larger picture which includes those on the right side includes Henry and Ruth in the back, George, Jr. as Santa with Victoria in his lap and then Florence in the foreground. I expect that Hiram, Sr. was taking the picture. I assume, based on Hiram, Jr. and Victoria's apparent age, this must have been ca. 1948-49. Before we lived on the farm we lived in Glenshaw in a house which ajoined Hiram's lot in the rear.

Now we go back to Ann, myself, and Ralph Blandford showing cattle. And in the one picture George, Jr., Ann, and George III are shown all in the same lot of judging. Not a usual event. The gentleman with the little boy and the border collie dogs was at the Allegheny County Fair. I do not remember his name, but he is the border collie breeder/trainer who had responsibility for the border collie dog, Kay, who we had on our farm. She was unique because she was mainly white with some black spots instead of the usual black with white spots. With little training she hearded the cattle whenever called upon by me. We had many a great time together in between her chasing cars along the road from our front lawn. She would wait for a car then race it up the hill, then wait for one coming the other way and race it down the hill. She usually tied. Importantly she never went on the road in conflict with the cars. She had good company with our collie dog, Bouncer, who moved more slowly. Bouncer came from our Grandfather's farm in Zelienople.

Next are the wives, Helen and Ruth at an event. Probably a cattle sale in Waynesburg PA. There is shown Henry and George, Jr., second and third from the left with Hiram behind them. At the far right is Joseph M. Taylor who also was in the Hereford cattle business and was a co-owner in the Ball Chemical Company. He is in a number of pictures from here to the end of the album. His farm adjoined the Ball Farm on its backside.

One of the "Big Deals" at the farm was having a "Field Day" at least once a year. This was put on in conjunction with the County Agent and the Extension Service and was used as an educational tool to let people know the best ways to take care of their farms and their cattle. We opened up our farm, usually on a Saturday, for people to roam around and observe training examples. The pictures show crowds of people at these events in the hundreds.

In addition to the educational aspects of the day, another feature was the attendees were normally fed. The feast included beef bar-b-que, sides, coke and ice cream. The bar-b-que served in a bun was a Ball Family staple which we enjoy to today. I well remember the ice cream. There was usually much left over which we consumed for weeks, or months following. I particularly remember one year when we had a banana flavored ice cream in combination with other flavors in a neopolitan like slab (see below). It did not go over too well, so it was many months before we could finish it up. I also remember having a lot of warm Coke left over which was great for some rather wet battles. We just shook up bottles of warm coke and sprayed each other using our finger as a nozzle. We did it long before NASCAR even thought of dousing their winners.

A Note From Sister Sandy Ball Davenport, 7/9/10:

You talked about the banana ice cream. It is my recollection that one year we had banana popsicles. It was a terrible day - rained the whole day - so the crowd was thin. I remember eating banana popsicles til they came out of my ears. To this day, I do NOT like the taste or smell of bananas. I tried doing this very same thing with hot fudge but for some reason it never worked."

Pictures near the end are of the Farm #2 house during its remodeling, showing the old slatted walls with plaster caked on. Included at the end is our pit silo creation which proved to be highly successfull in providing grass insilage for the cattle to eat in the winter. The feed consisted of various high quality grasses from alfalfa, clover and even unripened soy beans (this was before they were a cash crop) which were fermented. The key was to ferment without letting the grass rot. I have discussed this research project in a seperate album due to its tremendous value to agriculture, but left it here as part of the Ball Hereford Farms history. It was one of the early research projects of my life on the farm. I have since seen similar silos around the world, especially in England.

I've wraped up the album with Ball Farm brochures which themselves provide much information about the farm and it's owners. I've also included field days from other farms to show how the industry was promoted in the 50's, much as my Grandfather did in the 20's through the 40's. At the end I've included pictures of the farm from pre 1940's times. I don't know the actual dates. I hope you have enjoyed the adventure and would appreciate any contributions of fact or stories which you can provide. Please let me know at BALLGL@JUNO.COM. Thanks. George Ball III, 7/9/2010.

+++++++++++++++++++++++ [updated 8/31/2011] +++++++++++
Ball Chemical Company- The Early Days (Back to 1892)

Most of the pictures (200) in this album were taken many years before my time by my Grandfather and Uncles. I will in this text try and point out what the pictures represent and what time period they represent as best I can.

The first ten pictures show the Ball brothers (from left to right Henry A., George L., Jr., and Hiram P.). They are in the plants offices with the plant manager, Andy Huddleson. Henry and George are sitting at their regular desks. Hiram, as president of the company, was usually located in the executive offices. These pictures were taken in the 1950's when the executive offices moved from the north side of Pittsburgh (Fulton Bldg.) to Glenshaw PA next to the Post Office. The plant and offices were then only a mile or so apart.

The brothers were in business with Joseph M. Taylor, who was the son of George L., Sr.'s partner Mr. H. G. Taylor. Hiram joined BCC in 1940 (I think that George Sr. was starting to have health problems about that time), George, Jr. in 1941 and Henry in 1945. Joseph H. Taylor (J. M.'s son) joined in 1951. Hiram had graduated from Franklin & Marshall College , George Jr. from Penn State U and Lehigh U with a masters in chemistry, and Henry graduated from Lehigh with an MS in chemistry. J. H. Taylor graduated from Wesleyan and U. of Pittsburgh with an M.A.

The eighth picture shows a Ball Chemical Company (BCC) promotional plaque which hung on the wall next to George Jr.'s desk. I (George, III) have this plaque hanging on my wall next to the desk in my house in North Carolina. The words on the plaque are "For when the One Great Scorer comes to write against your name, He writes - not that you won or lost - But how you played the game." These words I well remember and have lived by throughout my life. Actually it wasn't until I got the plaque following my Father's death that I realized it was a BCC promotional item. BCC was shown as in both Pittsburgh and Chicago.

Next are pictures of the plant from 1913. The first few are from across the highway (The Butler Plank Road) and must be from where the railroad cut was placed away from the road. The business of BCC was the development and manufacturing of industrial paints and varnishes. Large volumes of the liquids were made and sold, thus the reason for the railroad tank cars at the plant. I remember these tank cars continuing into the 1950's when I worked as a part time employee in the summer vacation periods from College.

Note the early trucks were horse powered (looks like 2 hp to me). Also there seemed to be oil wells on site and on the hillside behind the plant. There was a creek behind the plant seperating it from the hillside. I thought the boundary of the plant was the creek (which has been overflowed to flooding in recent years), but write ups shown in the pictures indicate that the hillside provided plant protection. That must mean the oil wells belonged to the company.

Oxolin Oil was a major product of the Company. Among other things this was the product used as the vehicle in paint used to coat railroad cars, especially the steam engines. I don't know if paints came in any color other than black. If you do a Google search you will find it in ads for BCC in old railroad magazines (shown below). I'm sure this was a major earner for BCC in its early days. If you've seen a steam engine in your life you probably saw the Oxolin coating. Oxilin Oil is based on treated vegetable oils developed by George Ball in 1900. At one point in the 1950's BCC had over 600 paint formulations.

The Oxolin process of treating vegetable oils was researched and developed in 1900. This is acknowledged to be the first chemical process developed to physically and chemically improve the various characteristics of vegetable oils which were used in the manufacture of drying oils, varnishes, vehicles and resins. At the outset the railroad industry was the largest user of the Oxolin line of products. I remember when Pittsburgh and steel were inseparable. (The vegetable oils were probably linseed oil, tung oil and caster oil which are inedible. The process consists of oxygenating the oils in a specific way. These are the basis for so called oil based paints versus the water based used today.-GLB III).

Here are some advertisements from the early 1900's from magazines sourced by Google (Click to enlarge)
From Railroad Magazines A,T&SF
[Ball Chem Co. Products]1922 Ad [Ball Chem Co. Products]1920 Ad
[Ball Chem Co. Products]1914 Ad
From A Painting Contractors Conference
[Ball Chem Co. Products]1912 Ad [Ball Chem Co. Products]1912 Ad
[Ball Chem Co. Products]1912 Ad

The building with all the stacks on top was where the varnishes were "cooked". I believe in the history of the company this building had some major fires. Photos of one of the major fires in October 1913 are shown along with the results on the building. I think there were gas burners under large metal cookers where the varnishes were reacted to improve their strength and durability. I always enjoyed the pleasant odors within this building during cooking.

One product, based on a patent of George L. Ball (Sr.), was a solvent based paint and varnish remover. I have that patent (both US and Canadian in 1892) hanging on the wall in my office at home. Next to them is one of my (GLB III) owm patents from 1964. Note the reference on the lettering on the side of both the horse drawn and motorized delivery wagons. The paint remover is also shown in the ads above.

Shown are employees of the company in 1935. The plants along the river and railroad tracks with all the smoke and steam coming out is not BCC, but an industrial area in Pittsburgh. I remember in the 40's and 50's when this is a lot of what Pittsburgh looked like and the sun didn't shine through the smoke even in the summer. Next is the tank truck used for deliveries in 1954. I'm sure it had lot more horsepower than the earlier 2 HP version. I sure the drivers had to belong to the Teamsters Union. Shown is a brochure BCC had for a paraffin removal process. George Sr. did have patents for a process to remove paraffin from the oil in oil wells and he may have used those wells on site to do his experiments. I never heard of this process so I don't know how it fared in the scheme of things.

Inventories from as far back as 1899 and 1905 are shown. Included is the land and buildings, as well as the storage tanks. Ball Chemical Company manufactured an aluminum flake filled paint used to coat these and similar tanks.. In particular they reflected solar heat while protecting the steel surfaces of the tanks. The bottom of the tanks are not metal. The company was actually started in Millvale PA in 1892 by George L. Ball (Sr.) and that site is shown in photos. There sure are lots of drums, barrels and tanks. The company moved to Glenshaw in 1906 when it was incorporated (and George partnered with H. G. Taylor). See the text shown in the photos giving the history of the company and it's products. Also see the "blog" refering to H. G. Taylor at the Painting Contractors Conference in 1912. The Bakerstown cut shown with the railroad tracks I assume is located in Bakerstown which had to be at least 10 miles from the plant along Rt. 8.

The next series of photos where taken in Pulaski Pa which is northwest of Pittsburgh. Located there is an Umber mine which I understand George Sr. was interested in buying. He felt there was a great future in umber which is used as a pigment and is apparently very stable. The picture with 3 boys includes Henry (left), Jack and Hiram Ball. In the one with 6 are Jack, Hiram, Henry Ball, Mr. Starr, Frank Ball and Bill Starr. They are in front of the umber mine. The pictures of destruction are from a tornado in Pulaski in 1935.

Next are pictures of Hiram with Florence in 1959 probably at the Federation of Paint and Varnish Production Clubs where he was the president. Next is text giving the history of Ball Chemical Company and some pertinent facts. The photos of houses, etc. shows buildings which were painted with paint using a 2 coat process. I am pretty sure that this paint was based on George, Jr.'s patent for blown oils which was invented while he was at Lehigh University with Dr. J. S. "Shorty" Long. Some of the paint jobs don't look too good. I hope that was the competition. Looks like B.B.T. Company did the testing. One of the paint jobs was on the house at Ball Hereford Farm #2 in Valencia where Ralph Blandford lived.

At one point George Sr. had an agreement with Frederick C. Heinz to try and develop a bottle cap liner for food products based an applied patent. That agreement and signatures in June 1933 are shown. Glenshaw Glass Company was located across the street (Rt. 8) from BCC. One of their trucks is shown. Good pictures of the old BCC are also shown. As well 2 BCC tank trucks are show. Included here is a large 6 wheel truck which had a power tail gate which went up and down. I remember riding in that truck with my Dad (George, Jr.) and going to somewhere in Maryland. I think we either picked up or delivered some cattle> I'm not sure if I was old enough to drive at the time. I do remember a motorcycle drafting us for a long period which was very disconcerting.

The kettle house is shown as it was repaired following a fire in 1913. This was a most important facility for producing BCC products. It appears it was rebuilt in a month, but it might not have been read to operate (hard to believe). Next are some BCC promotional items and advertisements. Included are brochures of Pittsburgh Insulating Company. PICo was owned by the 3 Ball Brothers and sold coatings and "dinked out things" which had electrical insulating qualities. In 70's I was on the Board of Directors of this company as well as the Cleanola Company, both of which were exclusive to the 3 Ball Brothers. Cleanola at one time made a Cleanola liquid polish and also waxes which were packaged for Cities Service Company and sold in their gas stations.

The Edgar Building is located in Glenshaw PA next to the Post Office, the railroad tracks, and the railroad crossing from Rt. 8. At one point this building included the Post Office itself. This is the building which was eventually used by Ball Chemical Company (BCC) as their corporate offices. The remodeling of the building is shown underway. Brochures showing the BCC sale pitches and variety of products show the wide range of areas they were involved in, but especially the connection with the rail car business. Finally are shown the BCC trucks and employees in 1940. Employee names follow the pictures.

Ball Chemical Company- The Facility (As it was in the 1950ís)

George L. Ball, Sr. and His Family
George L. Ball, Jr. and His Family
Hiram P. Ball and His Family
Henry A. Ball and His Family
Marion Ball Poe and Blanche Ball Landau and Their Families

Activities Of Hiram P. Ball (Includes Polo Matches and Time At Franklin & Marshall College 1935- 1937) Time at Devoe & Reynolds in NJ.
Ball Family Miscellaneous Events
Ball Family Masonic Related Activities (George L., Sr. and Hiram P. Ball)
Pictures of Pittsburgh PA over the Years

The Campbell Family (Florence Campbell Ballís Past)
The Gregory Family (Shirley Gregory Ballís Past) - See Chapter 12




© 1996- 2011 George L. Ball III
============== 3/26/2011============

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