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Below is a family biography included in Book of Biographies: Biographical Sketches of Leading Citizens, Cortland County, New York published by Biographical Publishing Company in 1898.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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DR. HALSEY J. BALL of Scott village, whose portrait* is shown on the opposite page, was born in Cortlandville, Cortland County, N. Y., August 12, 1868. He is a son of Dr. Jay Ball and a grandson of Isaac Ball, who was born in 1783, in Stockbridge, Mass., and who at the age of ten years accompanied his parents to Berkshire, Tioga County, N. Y., where he remained until his death in 1856. Isaac Ball was a carder and cloth dresser, and followed that trade during his early life, but subsequently turned his energies toward farming. He was a good general reader, and was especially well informed in the politics of his country. He was successively Whig, Abolitionist, and Republican. His religious ties allied him with the Presbyterian Church. He took for his life companion Casandra Johnson, by whom he had eight children — three daughters and five sons.

Dr. Jay Ball was born in Berkshire, N. Y., May 10, 1827, and was educated in the schools of his native town Determining to enter upon the duties of a professional career, he began to read medicine with Dr. Rowell in Owego, N. Y. His first course of lectures were taken at the Geneva Medical College, and he finished his studies in the University of New York, where he graduated in 1848. His first place of practice was at Virgil, this county, where he remained for five years; from there he went to Homer village, and was a physician of that place for five years; then located in Cortland village, where he continued in active and most successful practice continuously until 1884 — since then, owing to his declining health and advanced years, he has spent his winters at Auburndale, Polk County, Florida, practicing there in winter and in Cortland village in the summer. Immediately after his graduation from the University of New York, he took up the study of Homeopathy under the direction of Elijah Lovejoy, M. D., of Owego, N. Y., and has since been an able exponent and successful practitioner of that school of medical theory and practice, building up and maintaining a large and lucrative practice in this county. In early life he espoused the doctrines and principles of Republicanism, but of late he has been alike independent in his views and in casting his ballot. He is a member of the Baptist Church of Cortland. In 1858 he married Jennie L. McConnell, daughter of Michael McConnell, who was born in New York City, but spent the active period of his life as a farmer in Sempronius, Cayuga County, N. Y.; he died in Cortland, N. Y., in 1886. Michael McConnell was a son of James McConnell, a native of County Armagh, Ireland, who married a lady from Scotland bearing the same name. The sister of Mrs. Ball is the wife of William A. Bean of Homer.

Dr. Jay Ball has but one son — Halsey J. Ball, M. D., who was educated in the academical department of the State Normal School at Cortland, where he graduated with the class of ‘87. Having read medicine in the meantime under the preceptorship of his father, he entered the New York Homeopathic Medical College and Hospital, from which he was graduated in 1890. The subsequent year was spent as a resident physician in Ward’s Island Hospital. In May of 1891 he located in New York City, where he was an inspector of the health department in the division of contagious diseases, remaining there until the autumn of 1894, when he came to Scott, where by professional skill and close attention to his duties he has built up a lucrative practice. He is corresponding member of the Homeopathic Medical Society of the County of New York, and also of the Homeopathic Medical Society of the State of New York. He is health officer of the town of Scott. He has always been a a Democrat in politics, but is not especially active. On May 12, 1891, he was married to Jennie M. Niles, daughter of Henry C. Niles of Tuscola, Ill., and they have one daughter, Jennie Louise.

*A portrait was included in the original printed volume.

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This family biography is one of numerous biographies included in Book of Biographies: Biographical Sketches of Leading Citizens, Cortland County, New York published in 1898. 

View additional Cortland County, New York family biographies here: Cortland County, New York Biographies

View a map of 1897 Cortland County, New York here: Cortland County, New York Map

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