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Below is a family biography included in History of Union County, Iowa published by S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., in 1908.  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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L. L. Ballard is carrying on general agricultural pursuits on section 22, Union township, and the farm which is now his home has been his place of residence since 1874. Eleven years prior to that time, however, he came to Union county, where he has since lived. He was born in Washington county, Ohio, near Marietta, June 13, 1831.

His father, Samuel R. Ballard, was a native of Guernsey county, Ohio, and his parents removed to the Buckeye state from Pennsylvania. In the place of his nativity Samuel R. Ballard was reared and learned the trade of a carpenter and joiner. Having arrived at years of maturity, he wedded Eliza Hayfer, a native of Pennsylvania, and they removed from Ohio to Lee county, Iowa, believing that the west held their opportunity. Here in the midst of a region then largely wild and unimproved Samuel Ballard opened up a new farm, which in course of time he sold. He then went to Henry county, where he remained for a brief period, and in 1849 returned to Union county, where he secured a tract of wild land which he converted into a fine farm that is pleasantly located five miles north of Afton. For many years he lived upon this place, bringing the fields under a high state of cultivation and gaining recognition as one of the prominent agriculturists of the community. At length he disposed of his property in Union county and removed to Kansas, where he died at the age of eighty-three years. His wife passed away in Afton, at the age of seventy-nine years. They were the parents of four sons and two daughters.

L. L. Ballard, who was reared and educated in his native state, followed his parents to Iowa in 1863, attracted by the favorable reports which they made concerning the business advantages afforded, especially in the line of agricultural development. On coming to this county Mr. Ballard secured eighty acres of land adjoining his father’s place. He rented the farm for seven years and then sold out, after which he engaged in the butchering business for ten years, conducting the first shop at Afton. He opened business there three years before the railroad was built and was thus one of its pioneer merchants. On selling his butchering business, he bought forty acres of land, which he cultivated and developed and to which he afterward added an adjoining tract of forty acres. Upon that farm he has carried on general agricultural pursuits for thirty-four years, or since 1874. He has here a small ten acre tract of timber land. In the development and further improvement of his property he has displayed unwearied industry and careful management. For several years he also carried on carpentering in connection with his agricultural interests and thus he has utilized every opportunity that has been presented for the acquirement of success. Steadily he has worked his way upward and his orderly progression has been the means of bringing him a handsome competence as the reward of his industry.

On the 18th of July, 1852, Mr. Ballard was married to Miss Sarah A. Laughery, a native of Washington county, Ohio. Unto them have been born six children: Lewis W., who married a Miss Husband and lives in Afton where he is employed in a butcher shop; James, a farmer of Union township; Edna E., the wife of Norman Cheeseholm, a resident farmer of Union township; Emma, who married a Mr. Davis, of Des Moines; Charles M., who is conducting a meat market at Moxbury, Iowa; and Frank, a farmer of Union township. The wife and mother died in 1904, at the age of sixty-three years, and her death was deeply regretted by many friends, who esteemed her highly for her many good traits of heart and mind.

Mr. Ballard has been a life-long democrat, where state and national issues are involved but locally casts an independent ballot. He has never sought nor cared for office but has been content to do his public duty as a private citizen. He belongs to the Odd Fellows society of Afton and is widely known in the county, his residence here covering about forty-five years. He has lived to witness many great changes as the wild unbroken prairie has been converted into fine farms, while in the towns and cities the marked commercial and industrial development has been carried forward. His life has been active, his principles honorable and his conduct manly and sincere, and thus his worth is widely acknowledged among his fellow townsmen, who have long known and esteemed him.

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This family biography is one of 247 biographies included in The History of Union County, Iowa published in 1908.  For the complete description, click here: Union County, Iowa History and Genealogy

View additional Union County, Iowa family biographies: Union County, Iowa Biographies

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