|Birth: ||Sep. 13, 1855|
|Death: ||Mar. 4, 1919|
Son of Sidney S. & Amanda N. (Wood) Ball
Husband of Eleanor & brother of Bessie M. Ball, owner of Frank H. Ball & Co., Central Drug store in the Grand Central Hotel in Fresno in 1884.
He left the City of Fresno $10,000 for city parks in his will. Ball was a businessman who owned land throughout Fresno and the willed monies were to be paid to the city when his properties were sold. Bessie Ball was his daughter. The Rosenberg Foundation is a California Grant Making Charity that was founded in 1935 to provide funding for community projects, the organization is still providing grants. And the Frank H. Ball Park Swimming Pool Recreation Building is named in his honor.
From the 1919 book by Paul E Vandor
FRANK HAMILTON BALL Eulogy is often as grossly misdirected as censure, but if ever there was a man concerning whom it might well be said that the good he did was not "interred with his bones," but would assuredly live after him, that man was the late Frank Hamilton Ball, capitalist, rancher, fruit-raiser and substantial up builder of both the city and county of Fresno, where he was esteemed for his astonishing versatility as an aggressive and progressive pioneer, and his ever accumulating successes in each field into which he ventured, heart and soul. He was one of the oldest and best-known citizens of Fresno, a city which from the beginning attracted pioneers, and which has come to number in its citizenry some of the most distinguished and influential of Californians. He was born at Grand Rapids, Mich., on September 13, 1855, the son of Sydney Silas Ball, who died in October, 1893, and who married Amanda Nancy Wood, also now deceased. In his native city Frank received the foundation of his education, and then he continued his studies at a military school and in well-known institutions of higher learning in eastern New York. As a boy and also as a young man, his character and mental alertness impressed those with whom he came into personal contact, and by many such acquaintances, among whom were often the most representative men and women, a distinguished career was predicted for him. Setting out from his birthplace with the good-will of his neighbors and friends, Mr. Ball came to California in 1876, and for six years settled in San Francisco. On August 7, 1882, he first came to Fresno with a view to opening here a drug store and establishing himself in business. He located in the Clark & McKenzie Building on Mariposa Street, and there, in one of the first drug stores in town, he soon built up a thriving trade. It was only a short time, in fact, before his success warranted his purchasing a part of the corner where the Griffith-McKenzie Block now stands. This first investment comprised a lot 50 by 125 feet on J Street, to which he after wards added another lot, measuring 25 by 150 feet. These two plots of ground together make up the lot covered by the Griffith-McKenzie building. and on this property Mr. Ball built a two-story structure, to which he moved his drug store in 1883. and where he continued in business. Then he sold the ground and building to H. Thompson, and purchased the site of his late business block at the corner of Kern and J Streets. On that site, in 1905, Mr. Ball erected a theater which, for its time, did credit to the city and also served the pleasure-seekers in a way that was educational and uplifting. This theater he later removed to make way for the modern business block that was so agreeably identified with his name, and which was totally destroyed by fire on July 19, 1918. With his customary energy and enterprise Mr. Ball immediately rebuilt, putting up a modern concrete fire-proof structure, and this was practically completed when he was so suddenly called to leave the scene of his earthly labors and benefactions. After disposing of his former property, Mr. Ball acquired some land southeast of the city and, giving up the drug business, became interested in vineyard ranching and was soon devoting much of his time to the raisin industry. Such was his customary way of doing things on a generous and go-ahead scale, when once he had committed himself to an enterprise, that the Ball Vineyard. at California and East Streets, with its beautiful palm drive, became the largest, as it was one of the first, in all the valley. .Several years ago, however, he gave up the vineyard and turned the property into an orchard. The land, as well as the Ball Block at J and Kern Streets and other valuable city property, was in his name at the time of his death. From 1905 to 1915 Mr. Ball was also engaged in the wall-paper and paint business, although he was carrying responsible investments in the fruit business since 1886. The growth and success of all his enterprises are evidences of his aggressive attitude toward the great question of the solid and permanent development of Central California. He was public-spirited to a marked degree, and was always deserving of the confidence and esteem which his fellow-citizens accorded him. In political matters of national or other than strictly local import, Mr. Ball was a stanch Republican. Fraternally, he was an Odd Fellow and a Woodman of the world ; and he was a member of the Sunnyside Country Club. Mr. Ball was married at Fresno on December 29, 1915. to Mrs. Bessie May (Webb) Hill, a native of Marshall, Ind., who came to California in 1893. Having traveled extensively in the state, Mrs. Ball has watched the growth of California during its era of progress. A cultured and refined woman, possessing much natural ability and business acumen, she became actively interested in Mr. Ball's enterprises for the development of his property and the up building of Fresno, and so is today well qualified to take up the management of the large interests left by him, and to continue, in his optimistic and large-hearted way, the carrying out of his ideal plans. Previously to the time of his death, Mr. Ball had been slightly ill for several days, but he had not taken to his bed until the evening before he died. Heart-failure, at 4:30 o'clock the next afternoon, deprived Fresno of her great friend. Reviewing the exemplary career and good works of this estimable and influential Californian and citizen-leader of Fresno City and County, one feels how appropriately these words of benediction from the inspired Bard of Avon might be applied to his life : You have the grace of God, sir, and He hath enough." In this connection, it may be most appropriate to reprint here an editorial published by the Fresno Herald on March 19. 1919, soon after Mr. Ball's demise. It reads as follows, and undoubtedly reflects the sentiments of many of Mr. Ball's fellow-citizens: "It seems to the Herald that there should be some adequate recognition by the community for the generous and gracious bequests of Frank H. Ball. As Fresno read of the benevolences" $10,000 to the Y. W. C. A., $10,000 to the playgrounds. $10,000 to the Y. M. C. A., $5,000 to the Fireman's Relief, $5,000 to the Fresno Relief Society, and $5,000 to the Citizens' Relief Committee â€" there was a certain thrill that comes from such substantial recognition of the worth of these organizations to the public. It is fine to know that our institutions are appreciated, and that their services are placed at a distinct value, that they receive merited reward. The Ball will provided the largest bequests ever publicly distributed in Fresno. Certainly we are grateful for the measure of Mr. Ball's appreciation of those organizations which attracted his generosity, for his public spirit, and finally for acting on that spirit. May his memory be graced with the community's gratefulness. Perhaps, after all. we could bestow nothing more acceptable than our sincere appreciation. But let us do that."
Bio courtesy of Lester Letson
Sidney Silas Ball (1827 - 1897)
Amanda Nancy Ball (1830 - 1871)
Bessie May Webb Ball (1880 - 1929)*
Odd Fellows Cemetery
Created by: Heather
Record added: Oct 28, 2011
Find A Grave Memorial# 79481215
Frank Hamilton married Eleanor Jane Secor. Frank Hamilton also married Catherine A Secor. different bios and info have Bessie as his 3rd wife, sister, and daughter, could be 3 women all named Bessie.|
Added: Jun. 11, 2013
Added: Nov. 19, 2011