BALL, Joseph
Back Up Next

Joseph Ball

BALL, Joseph, contractor, 127 Pine street, Harrisburg, was born in Delaware, January 28, 1829, and is a son of Joseph and Lydia (McCoombs) Ball. He has an honorable ancestry from whom he has doubtless inherited the spirit which has animated him in his business career in this city as well as the qualities which have enabled him to achieve his honorable success. His paternal grandfather, William Ball, married Miss Springer, and together they came from England in 1803, and were a part of that large number of intelligent and virtuous people who felt the limitations of old customs and dense populations, and appreciated the fuller freedom and ampler opportunities which this country, at the establishment of its independence, offered to all who desired to enjoy its rich resources. They landed at New Castle, and settled on the Christina river. His maternal ancestors, the McCoombs, possessed similar characteristics, only they were of that still more sturdy and stirring stock of the north of Ireland, from which so many men of worth and eminence have sprung. They also cam hither at an early date in the century and settled in the State of Delaware, on the Christina river. Mrs. McCoombs’ maiden name was Walker. In early boyhood Mr. Ball appears to have developed somewhat of a restless and adventurous spirit, and proposed to himself to look about in the world and see something of its countries and customs before settling down to the regular routine of life’s duties. In gratification of this spirit he shipped before the mast as common sailor in the whaling and anaval service, and results and subsequent events show that the lessons and experiences of this voyage were not lost, for on his return he settled at once into the commonplace and unromantic position of an apprenticeship to the carpenter trade. That he was apt and in earnest in his trade learning is proved by the proficiency and skill he acquired in his chosen occupation. He came to Harrisburg in 1860 and found here, in this prosperous and growing city, an ample field for the business he desired to establish. He diligently followed his occupation, and finally became well established and prominent as a builder and contractor. The marks and monuments of his successful works are to be seen in the prominent structures which have been erected under his able and faithful superintendence. Among those may be named the first Paxton mills and the additions thereto, the Paxton flouring mills, the Reily street, Maclay street and high school buildings, and the Trust Company building. He also remodeled the Commonwealth Hotel, and has constructed many of the fine residences of the city. He is acceptable to both owners and architects, because he is equally faithful to both, and has the skill to construct the material realization of the wants of the one and the plans of the other. Mr. Ball is further interested in other substantial business enterprises of the city, being a stockholder in the Chestnut Street market house and in the Harrisburg Trust Company. In political views he is in harmony with the Republican party. His only military service is his former connection with the State militia. He was married, in 1861, to Miss Lucretia J. Lutz. Their children are: William G., contractor of Harrisburg, PA., and Sarah J., the wife of Joseph Weaver, of Harrisburg. Mrs. Ball has from early youth been a member of the First Baptist church. The wife of George Washington was a member of the Ball family.


Pages 407-408

Transcribed by Marjorie Tittle for the Dauphin County, Pennsylvania Genealogy Transcription Project - 30 Oct 2000 Copyright 2000 - All Rights Reserved; Use, duplication or reproduction for profit or presentation by any person or organization is strictly prohibited.