of the Republic of Texas, Life of General Santa Anna; Member of Southwestern
Historical Association; Member of Law Firm of Baker, Botta Parker, and Garwood
of Houston, Texas
Special Staff of Writers
in five Volumes
AMERICAN HISTORICAL SOCIETY, INC.
The following article was written about William Anderson Ballard and
published in a book entitled
. The article is found on page 293.
William A. Ballard is a veteran rancher and business man of
, and is one of the oldest residents of
, his activities having been more or less centered in this county for half a
century. His home is at
Mr. Ballard was born at
, August (/) 1850, son of Alfred and Gilley (Williams) Ballard.
The Ballard family were Scotch, came to
in Colonial times and his father, Alfred Ballard, was born in
, but grew up in
. He was a planter, also owned a
steamboat plying on the
and for a number of years he made a practice of buying produce along the river,
and chartering flat boats to carry his merchandise on down the
. About 1850 he retired from
business and in 1965 came to
and was living with his son William A., at
when he died.
William A. Ballard was next to the youngest in
a family of eight children. His
youthful years were spent at
, where he had his school advantages. Soon
after the outbreak of the war between the states three of his older brothers
entered the Confederate army and all of them were killed during the war.
About six months before the final surrender William A. Ballard himself
though only fifteen years old, enlisted in an independent company known as Capt.
Nick Combís Company at Camden, Tennessee, and they became a part of General
Forrestís brigade of cavalry and he was present at the battle of Johnsonville
on the Tennessee River in the concluding phases of the war.
After returning home a youthful veteran William
A. Ballard attended school for a time in
. In the fall of 1866 he and his
brother-in-law, J. R. Browning, equipped two wagons and started overland for
, being two months en route. The
first stop was in
, but after a week the journey was resumed and they went on to
. William A. Ballard had only fifty
dollars in money when he reached there.
His first enterprise was buying four mules on
credit, and with these he engaged in freighting between Austin and Brenham.
He kept up that business until the start of railroad construction between
Brenham and Austin. And he did a great deal of hauling for the railroad
contractors, having bought four other mules to draw his wagons.
About 1869 Mr. Ballard moved to
, farmed there three years, then bought land and farmed in
three years, was in
two years, lived for three years at Vaca in
and then moved into
at Paint Rock. In 1877 he
established a horse ranch, and developed that business to a rather extensive
scale, handling as high as 700 head of horses.
Later he bought a business. In
addition to his farming and livestock interest he became a fence contractor.
He had built the first fence in
in 1885, and for about three years he carried on a business taking contracts
for fence building. His activities
have gone on through the years and stock farming and other lines of commercial
enterprise. In 1918 he bought
seventy-five head of cattle, and two years later sold out his herd of 100 head
cattle and has 200 acres in cultivation. For
two years he was in the general mercantile business and for three years
conducted a grain business at
For forty years Mr. Ballard has held the office
of deacon in the Baptist church. He
also filled chars in the Woodmen of the World, for many years had been a school
trustee, for twenty years was deputy sheriff of Concho County, and these
positions suggest the public spirited and generous attitude he has shown toward
all community matters. He is also a
director in the Federal Loan Bank.
Mr. Ballard first married, in 1870, Miss Alice
, who died in 1871. In 1872 Carrie
Pearson, also of
, became his wife. She died at Paint
in 1881, leaving one child, Betty, now the wife of T. B. Drinkard of
September 8, 1884
, Mr. Ballard married Mrs. Mattie Watters, at Buffalo Gap,
. She was born in Louisiana and was
about fifteen years old when brought to Texas.
Mrs. Watters had one daughter, Alice, now deceased, who married Jim White
and had four children. Mr. and Mrs.
Ballard had a family of seven children: Charles
A., on the home ranch; Olive Gertrude, is wife of J. E. Nail, of Eden, and has
five children; Alfred who lives at Lubbock, Texas, and has one son; Mary
Frances, the wife of Will Stephens of Hermosa Beach, California, and they have a
family of four children; Mae, the wife of Clarence Honeycutt, of Temple, Texas,
and has one child; and the two youngest children are Emma and Lillie.