John A. Ballard

John A. Ballard, farmer and merchant of Ballardsville, Itawamba county, Miss., was born in South Carolina April 14, 1827, a son of Thomas C. and Rebecca (Grimes) Ballard both of whom were natives of Virginia. The mother was a member of the Baptist church, and the father in every way favored and supported it. They had five children born to them: Andrew J., Thomas C., William, Susan, and John A., above mentioned, who is the only one in the family now living, and who was the second in order of birth. He came to Mississippi when young, and located in Itawamba county. His education was begun in South Carolina, and was finished here in the common schools. January 3, 1849, he married Jane E. Sandlin, who was born April 7, 1827 in South Carolina, a daughter of James and Elizabeth (Gregory) Sandlin, and the third in their family of ten children: Mary, Alfred, Jackson, Jessie (deceased), Green (deceased), Thomas (deceased), Sarah (deceased), John R. (deceased), Sisley (deceased) and Jane E. To Mr. and Mrs. Ballard were born fourteen children:  Thomas C. married Sallie E. Cooper; Andrew J. married Anna Cason; William D. married Ida Bowlin; James M. married Addie Jones; David S. married Trannie Keyes; George W. married Ada Francis; Finis E. married Della Lanford; Joseph B.; Elijah F.; Rebecca became the wife of W.F. Watson; Mary married W.A. Williams; Marcia V. married J.H. Pearce; Eva J.; John A., Jr. (deceased), married Maggie Francis. Mr. Ballard enlisted, in 1862 in Captain Boulden's company, and served in a Mississippi regiment under General Gouslton for a time, later serving under Major Ham in the campaign through northern Mississippi. Late in 1863 he hired and substitute and returned home. Afterward, when the law was passed prohibiting the employment of substitutes, he again took the field in the fall of 1864, and served under General Goulston in General Forrest's command until the close of the war. He and his wife are members of the Missionary Baptist church, and his children are either members or attendants of the same. Politically he is a democrat. He has lived on his present plantation since 1850, and may be fairly regarded as one of the pioneers of the county. He began merchandising in 1871, and carries a large stock of goods adapted to the needs of the community, having the only store at Ballardsville. He is the owner of about twenty-five hundred acres of land, and has on his place a steam cotton gin and sawmill. These statements may be taken as some indication of the fact that he ranks among the wealthy men of the county, and it may also be added to his credit that he has been the architect of his own fortunes, his large possessions having been gained through his own unaided efforts. While he has been accumulating for himself, he has not been unmindful of the needs of others, and has ever been liberal in his contributions to all causes tending to the general good. he is a master Mason.

Abstracted from an 1891 edition of Goodspeed's History of Mississippi 


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