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William Carver "Cap" Ball
Birth: May 1, 1855
Pennsylvania, USA
Death: Sep. 21, 1930
Portland
Multnomah County
Oregon, USA

William Carver Ball was born 1 May 1855 in East Hickory, Forest County, Pennsylvania, the son of William Wallace and Emeline Adelia (Wells) Ball. "Carver" married 3 June 1885 in Harmony Township, Chautauqua County, New York, Glen Lilla "Lillie" Whitford, daughter of LeRoy and Mary Jane (Dutcher) Whitford. Captain W. Carver Ball died 21 September 1930 at Emanuel Hospital in Portland, Oregon, and was buried 24 September 1930 in Linkville Cemetery, Klamath Falls, Oregon.

The Wm. Wallace Ball family moved to Chautauqua County, New York about 1860. Carver grew up with seven brothers and one sister. He had many aunts and uncles from both sides of the family. Carver and Lillie were engaged for seven years prior to marriage.

Carver was nearly forty years old when his first daughter, Ruth, was born. "At the time of [Mary's] birth he was in Colorado for the second time, expecting to move back with mother later. He was delayed getting home due to a serious illness. After he returned he learned that his partner, cattle, and ranch near Rifle, Colorado, had been attacked by the Ute Indians and everything was gone. He never went back" (Mary MacMillan).

"In the late 1870''s in Colorado, Captain Carver Ball had a ranch in the Rocky Mountains. Every morning he would take his gun and go hunting. In the spring he would take his pelts and skins into the nearest town and sell them. One morning in early January he started out in the early morning to do his hunting for that day. About five miles from the ranch as he came to the end of a canyon that led to a favorite watering place of the deer he saw a huge buck. The buck lifted up its head, and almost as the shot was heard the deer fell over. The shell had found its mark - directly between his eyes. When he finally got it to the ranch he weighed it and it weighed exactly two hundred and fifty pounds. Its antlers had a spread of thirty-nine inches. On one side were twelve points and the other side were nine points plus the eye-guards. A man from San Francisco, seeing the head while it was still in the taxidermist office after it had been mounted, offered two-hundred and fifty dollars for it, but it was not for sale and was never sold.

Another time while out hunting he saw the tracks of a mountain lion. Following its tracks he finally saw it ahead and hurried on, but he just could not get close enough to shoot it. Soon after seeing it ahead he lost all tracks of the lion. While looking around for more tracks he heard a soft, gentle swishing sound above him, and there on a ledge directly above him was a mountain lion just ready to spring on him. He shot at him, but missed him, but that was enough for the lion and he quickly got out of the way and did not bother him anymore.

After chasing the mountain lion, he was too far away from the ranch to go back for the evening, so he started off to a place he knew was sheltered from most of the wind and snow. It was a still, dark, and cold night. There were no stars nor moon, and the darkness seemed to hang around him. Suddenly in that cold still air came a soft padding and breathing as if of many things. He looked behind him, one look was enough; there was a large pack of wolves trailing him. If he could just keep ahead of them until he got to his camping place, then maybe he could keep them away. He didn't want to use his gun, he did not have any [bullets] to waste and he was almost sure not even enough shells for all of them. All the time they were gradually creeping closer, getting up more courage slowly but surely. It wasn't long now, but if they got up much more courage, they would have him. He could see the lean-to he had built at this place the time before. Now he was there. Now that he had stopped, the wolves investigated the spot, and stood off a little ways to watch and see what he was going to do. Finally he got his fire built, and the wolves went their own way when he fixed the fire."

Written by Helen Radcliffe (age 15), 9 October 1939, for a High School English class. Helen's grandpa died when she was six years old.

"At one time father had a nice little steamboat, The Franklin, which we used to go to Stow. No one had automobiles at that time" (Ruth Radcliffe). Captain Carver was certified to navigate on Chautauqua Lake from at least 1900 to 1902.

"Father was an engineer and summers he was Chief Engineer of a large fleet of excursion boats on Chautauqua Lake. He worked 18 hours a day and was paid $75.00 a month; considered very good pay at that time. The steam boats were quite luxurious, carrying 600-800 people each. One boat carried a German Band. At the end of the summer there was a beautiful festival of lights including all the boats which were decorated with lighted colored Japanese lanterns" (Mary MacMillan).

Carver worked in Mexico from 1904 to 1908. He sent his family back to New York State in 1906. There were difficulties with the partnership, the language, Mexican customs, and Carter's health was poor.

"In 1904 Papa went to old Mexico, down south of Vera Cruz, taking with him a mahogany sawmill. The conventional saws in this country would not cut mahogany or ironwood. He erected and operated the mill, all the lumber going to Europe as the U.S. tariff was too high" (Mary).

"In that hot country everyone takes a siesta in the p.m. and the men didn't expect to work at that time. One man who worked for Dad was particularly good so Dad raised his pay. The next week the man did not come back to work. Dad asked what had happened and was told that since his raise in pay, he would be able to work less days" (Ruth).

Although Carter had job opportunities at a mill in Petal, Mississippi, or as the Captain of a pleasure boat on Lake Chautauqua, his poor health made him think of moving west. The family moved to Oregon in 1909. Lillie's brother, Newton, lived in Pendleton, Oregon, and Carver thought Klamath County would have employment opportunities. Carver's brother, Ralph, followed in 1910 but settled in California. Lillie's cousin, Sabrina (Whitford) Hall, moved to Medford, Oregon.

"Papa decided to build a boat and tow log-rafts from Keno to saw mills in Klamath Falls. So we moved to Keno, a small town 24 miles down the Klamath River (12 miles by road). The residents were truly story-book characters" (Mary).

"During the first winter Dad did anything that he could to earn a little money. In those days practically everything was at a standstill during the winter. I remember he built some sidewalks for someone and he worked on a ranch for a time, earning two dollars a day. When spring arrived, he leased the boat, Canby, from Tom McCormick of Keno. The Canby was a steamboat and burned wood. Dad hired a Mr. Lee Allison to help him and taught Mary and me to steer the boat. Logs were hauled to Klamath Falls and grain and freight were hauled back to Keno. It was really a pleasant summer with things to do" (Ruth).

Captain Carver constructed his own boat in 1912. It was named the Buffalo. The Buffalo was originally a paddle wheeler that eventually had a propeller. It was used until 1924. The Buffalo was sunk near Carver's woodyard by Ackley's mill. "Mr. Ackley said Dad could have all the old sinker logs that he could find in the lake so he cut those logs up for firewood and sold them" (Ruth).

"Cap" Carver "had not been well for a number of years so in September 1930 he made an appointment to have an operation on his prostate gland in Portland" (Ruth). The newspaper reported Carver died the day after an appendix operation. The funeral service was officiated by Lillie's first cousin once removed, Rev. Leroy Hall.

The children of Carver and Lillie were:

i. Robert Edward Ball (1887-1887).

ii. Ruth Holly Ball (1894-1983) who married 16 June 1918, R. Heber Radcliffe.

iii. Mary Emeline Ball (1897-1990) who married 31 August 1928, Warren Brokaw MacMillan.

(Mary Emeline Ball MacMillan, "Mary's Kaleidoscope"; Ruth Holly Ball Radcliffe, "Ruth's Story"; "Cap Ball", (Klamath Falls) Unidentified newspaper, 23 Sep 1930, p. unk.; R. Heber Radcliffe, Pedigree Charts, supplied 10 February 1968 for his children; Linkville Cemetery, Klamath Falls, Oregon, marker for William Carver Ball; )
 
 
Family links: 
 Parents:
  William Wallace Ball (1831 - 1898)
  Emeline Adelia Wells Ball (1828 - 1913)
 
 Spouse:
  Glenn Lilla Whitford Ball (1858 - 1947)
 
 Children:
  Ruth Holly Ball Radcliffe (1894 - 1983)*
  Mary Emeline Ball MacMillan (1897 - 1990)*
 
 Siblings:
  Wilburn W Ball (1851 - 1851)*
  Willard Cecil Ball (1852 - 1922)*
  Lewis Ball (1853 - 1884)*
  William Carver Ball (1855 - 1930)
  Frank Gaylord Ball (1857 - 1946)*
  Addie Smiley (1861 - 1951)*
  Ralph Morris Ball (1864 - 1927)*
  Wallace Edson Ball (1869 - 1943)*
  Alton Wells Ball (1872 - 1942)*
 
*Calculated relationship
 
Note: see: Lillie
 
Burial:
Linkville Pioneer Cemetery
Klamath Falls
Klamath County
Oregon, USA
Plot: 3-11-12
 
Maintained by: Mark Grafe
Originally Created by: J
Record added: Jun 28, 2008
Find A Grave Memorial# 27887823
William Carver Cap Ball
Added by: Mark Grafe
 
William Carver Cap Ball
Added by: Mark Grafe
 
William Carver Cap Ball
Added by: Mark Grafe
 
 
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This is my Great-Grandfather.
- Mark Grafe
 Added: Nov. 20, 2013
 
This page is sponsored by: Mark Grafe

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