Aug 15, 1957


This Article Appeared In The Times

But Was Not Actually Titled Cal’s Column


Transcribed by Bob Morrow


 The Ballou Family In Annual Reunion



       On the past Sunday, August 11th, quite a number of members of the Ballou family met at the home of Bob Ballou, on Route two Lafayette, in annual reunion.  This has been a *regular meeting time for quite a lot of the descendants of this French family that came to America from England in the early history of the American Colonists.


        On Sunday the number gathered in the Ballou home was placed at 75 persons, nearly all of whom were related either by blood or marriage.  A big dinner was spread on long tables and was much enjoyed by those who met to talk over other days and to enjoy the fellowship of kindred spirits.  The dinner consisted of an abundance of good food, such as the average farm dweller in Macon and surrounding counties would expect to find:  Beans, cabbage, *potatoes, mutton, beef, fried chicken, pies of nearly every sort, corn on the cob and otherwise, and many other good things to eat.


        Bob Ballou is the son of Leonard Ballou, the son of William Alexander Ballou, the son of Dow Ballou, the son of Leonard Ballou, the son of Leonard Ballou.  This Leonard Ballou died during the American Revolution from small pox contracted by him when he went to Philadelphia to deliver a drove of beef cattle to the Army.  There is some conflict of opinion as to whom he married.  One of the books we have, “The Ballous In America,” states that he married a Bolieu.  Another record we have says that the Leonard Ballou, here referred, married Esther Meredith.


        We are sorry we are not able to clear up this matter.  However, the printed record, “The Ballous In America,” was published about 1888 and this was before the editor was born.  It would stand to reason that this would most likely be correct rather than the somewhat fragmentary record that has come down to the writer largely by “word of mouth.”


        Leonard Ballou, the writer’s great-great-grandfather, married twice and we are sure this record is correct.  He first married Mary Metcalf and after her death, he married Mary’s sister, Sarah Metcalf.  By the first marriage, Leonard was the father of:  Betsy, born in 1798 and married B. P. Lipscomb; Leonard Ballou, married a Nixon; James Ballou born June 2, 1802, and married a Key; and one other, Rice Meredith Ballou, born Aug. 24, 1803.  After he married Sarah Metcalf, he was the father of:  Lorenzo Dow Ballou, our great-grandfather, who married Mary R. Read; Julia Ballou, died young and was buried near the old Ballou home in the Forks of Peyton’s Creek, and later removed to the old Ballou burial ground on the present George McDuffee farm, about three hundred yards from where she was first buried; Minerva Ballou, married a Wakefield; Anthony W. Ballou, married a Cummings; William Ballou, married a McMurray; and John Ballou, married a White.


        This names a total of ten sons and daughters of Leonard Ballou, who first settled in the “Possum Hollow” of Dixon’s Creek, presumably in 1795 and removed to Peyton’s Creek in 1808.  Later he became a charter member of Mt. Tabor Baptist church, which was organized in November, 1836, and of which the writer is the pastor.  Leonard is buried on the top of a little hill on the McDuffee farm once owned by Lorenze Ballou.


        The widow of Leonard Ballou, the cattle salesman who died from small pox, and her children, accompanied soldiers, left North Carolina and settled on the present Dixon’s Creek in 1795.  Three farms of a square mile each we still recognize—The present John P. Merryman, sometimes known as the Bridgewater farm, in the present “Possum Hollow,” and taken up by our great-great-grandfather, Leonard Ballou, who removed to Peyton’s Creek in 1808 and is buried on the present George McDuffee farm, a part of the old Leonard Ballou tract of 640 acres on Peyton’s Creek.  Next to the farm in the “Possum Hollow,” and taken up by Elias Johns was a square mile of land part of which is now owned by Will Oldham and located just South of the “Possum Hollow” tract.  Elias Johns was born in 1780 in Botetourt County, Virginia and at a very early age married Esther Ballou, a sister of Leonard and James Ballou, sometimes known as Capt. James Ballou.  Esther, sometimes known as “Easter” Ballou, was born in 1776 and died just before the Civil War.  Nearly all the members of the Johns family in north Middle Tennessee are descendents of Elias and Esther.


        The other Ballou just mentioned as James Ballou was a brother of Leonard and married a Shields and a Shelton.  The old Shelton home was on the south side of the road near the present home of Lee Martin and his wife, Mrs. Lee Martin, both husband and wife having the same Christian name.  We will give more later on this family that we have traced back to the year 1066.


* Transcriber Notes:

regular versus regualr

potatoes, mutton, versus potatoes muttn