RICHARD BALL, a member of the County Board of Supervisors, in which he represents Virden Township, is a man who has not only been strikingly successful in business, but has also made good use of the property which he has been so fortunate to acquire. He was born in Braconshire, Wales, December 18, 1831, and was one of the children of Richard and Maria (Evans) Ball. For further minutiae in regard to the personal history of this family, the reader will be pleased to read the biography of Henry Ball, which appears on another page of this work.
After receiving an elementary education in the school of Wales, the boy at the age of fifteen undertook to learn the trade of a machinist and served an apprenticeship of six years, and worked at his trade until 1855, when as his father's family had decided to emigrate to America, he accompanied them and made his home in Virden, which was then a small village. He found in it and in the surrounding country but little independent employment in his line and worked for a time for Mr. Emerson, who eventually took him into partnership, the firm name being Emerson and Ball. This pleasant and profitable business association continued for seventeen years, after which our subject sold his interest and became a partner of J. J. Cox and Amos C. Hutchinson, under the firm name of Cox, Hutchinson & Ball. They engaged in manufacturing wagons, buggies, etc., as well as carrying on a general blacksmithing business. This connection continued unchanged until by the death of Mr. Hutchinson the firm became Cox & Ball and still continues to carry on a flourishing and prosperous business.
The lady who has since 1877 shared the joys and sorrows of our subject was before her union with him Mrs. Jennie B. (Goss) Rauch. Her native place is Littleton, N. H., and she was the daughter of Richard Goss and the widow of James Rauch. The Presbyterian Church constitutes the religious home of our subject and his valuable wife and in its work they take an active part and are highly prized.
Mr. Ball is prominently identified with several of the social orders, being a member of Virden Lodge, No. 161, A.F. & A.M., the Virden Homestead and Loan Association and the Farmer's Mutual Insurance Company. His political views ally him with the Republican party. He was elected Supervisor in 1890, and has served as a member of the village Board a number of years. His success as a business man and his genuine integrity have made him a marked man in the community and he well deserves the esteem in which he is held by his neighbors.