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Biographies A-B

Ball, Charles A

A Biography Sketch of Charles A. Ball

(Copied from “Men of Western N.Y. Volume II, George E. Matthews & Company, 1898)
Transcribed by Mary Rhodes - 2005


Charles A. Ball  has been a very influential man in state politics for a number of years. Those who have an intimate knowledge of the inside work­ings of political affairs well appreciate this, though Mr. Ball is not among the men whose names are most frequently heard in connection with such matters. This is partly because he is a modest man, preferring to keep his personality in the background and let only his work show. He has a wide acquaintance with men and an accurate knowledge. of affairs in both the state and the nation, and he has come to be regarded as an indis­pensable assistant about headquarters in both state and presidential campaigns.

It was Senator Fassett who discovered the abilities of Mr. Ball, and made him known to the political managers of the state. When Mr. Fassett first went to the senate,  Mr. Ball held a committee clerkship in the legislature.  Mr. Fassett made him his private secretary. As the party leader in the senate, Mr. Fassett naturally had close relations with politicians in all parts of the state. He found in Mr. Ball not merely a competent clerical employee, but a trust­worthy and reliable friend as well. His services were so valuable that when Mr. Fassett became secre­tary of the Republican national committee, in 1888, he chose Mr. Ball as his assistant. Thus the latter obtained opportunities for extending his acquaintance and his sphere of usefulness, which he improved so well that in the next national campaign he was again called upon to serve as assistant secretary, though the secretary this time was not his friend Mr. Fassett, but Louis E. McComas of Maryland.  Mr. Ball has retained, meanwhile, his connection with the state senate. He was index clerk for two years, and during the greater part of the last six years he has been assistant clerk under John S. Kenyon.  He has never accepted a nomination for an elective office, though he has twice been the unanimous choice of the Al1egany County delegates for state senator.

Mr. Ball was born on a farm in Allegany county about forty-six years ago. He attended the country and village schools, the Almond Academy, and the Dickinson Seminary at Williamsport, Penn.  He is a self made man, having educated himself and supported himself since his thirteenth year.  He intended to go to Heidelberg, Germany, to complete his education,  but his father’s death, which occurred when Mr. Ball was within six weeks of gradu­ation at Dickinson Seminary with the degree of A. B., caused a change in this arrangement.  Mr. Ball abandoned his plans for completing his education, and took charge of his father’s business, which was that of a carriage manufacturer at Wellsville, N. Y.  After some years he gave up this occupation, and became in­terested in oil production.  He now has important holdings in the Allegany field.

Mr. Ball is a broad-minded, public-spirited citizen. He has interested him­self especially in the matter of preserving the fish, game, and forests of the state, and has rendered important service in this work.

PERSONAL CHRONOLOGY— Charles Alley Ball was born at Almond, Allegany County NY;  December 19, 1850, was educated in Almond Academy and in Dickinson Seminary, Williamsport, Penn.: married Clara M. Pooler of Wellsville, NY, October 1, 1873; was index clerk of the senate, 1888-89, and assistant clerk, 1890-91 and 1894-96; was assistant secretary of the Republican national committee in 1888 and 1892; has lived at Wellsville NY since 1871.

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