CAPT. JOSEPH F. BALLINGER, now deceased, was born January 14, 1812, Garard County, Ky., and died at his home in Brighton, on the 16th of February, 1882. He was one of the leading citizens of the community and a man held in high esteem by all who knew him. In the State of his nativity he was reared to manhood, the days of his boyhood and youth being passed in the usual manner of farmer lads. During the summer season he worked upon the farm and in the winter he attended school. When twenty-seven years of age he left Kentucky and came to Illinois, being accompanied by his father, Henry Ballinger. They resided in Fayette, Ill., where the death of the father later occurred. The Captain went to Greene County, Ill., where he became acquainted with and wedded Miss Mary F. Peter, who was born in Newcastle, Ky., June 28, 1823. For mention of her family see the sketch of Daniel Blodgett on another page of this work. When a child of eight summers she was brought by her parents to Illinois, the family locating in Godfrey, Madison County, where they resided for ten years and then removed to a farm in Greene County.
Captain and Mrs. Ballinger began their domestic life on a farm near Dover, Greene County, where they resided for many years, so developing and improving their one hundred and sixty acres until it was called one of the finest farms in that county. At Length, having acquired through his individual efforts and the assistance of his estimable wife a comfortable competence, Capt. Ballinger resolved to lay aside business cares and in the fall of 1875 they went to Brighton, where he lived in quiet retirement, enjoying the fruits of his labors until called to the home beyond. Many friends mourned his loss and in his death the county lost one of its best citizens, the church a faithful member and his wife a loving and tender husband. he was prominent in public affairs and in politics supported the Whig party until its dissolution, when he became an advocate of Democratic principles. He was a consistent and faithful member of the Christian Church and it was his daily endeavor to follow in the footsteps of the Master. He won his title while serving in the home militia in Kentucky, being commissioned Captain by Gov. French and his rank was afterward recognized on account of his proficient skill and faithful service as one of the Home Militia in Illinois.
Mrs. Ballinger still survives her husband and yet resides in Brighton in the pleasant home left her by the Captain. the property which he acquired in former years is amply sufficient to supply all her wants. She too is a member of the Christian Church and is a noble woman whom all esteem for her many excellencies of character. Generous and free-hearted, charitable and benevolent, she has won many friends.