JOHN M. BALL, mayor of the city of Osceola, was born near Fairview, Guernsey County, Ohio, August 10, 1837. His parents, John and Charity (Ridgway) Ball, were natives of Maryland, each going to Ohio when very young and remaining in that State many years. They were the parents of nine children, John M. being the sixth child. In 1854 the family removed to Mahaska County, this State, settling on a farm. The subject of this notice was reared on a farm, and remained at home until he reached maturity. At the outbreak of the civil war, in 1861, he enlisted in Company H, Eighth Regiment, Iowa Infantry, serving four years and nine months in the Army of the Tennessee and the Gulf. He was taken prisoner at the battle of Shiloh and held six months at Macon, Georgia, the transferred to Libby prison, at which place he was paroled. He then went to Annapolis, thence to St. Louis, Missouri, and finally joined his regiment. He participated in the battles of Grand Gulf, Jackson, Champion Hill, Black River Bridge, the siege and capture of Vicksburg, the siege of Mobile, and any others. He was mustered out in May, 1866. Mr. Ball volunteered as a private. He was promoted to Second Sergeant, then First Sergeant, then Second and First Lieutenant, and was mustered out with the rank of Captain. He then returned to Mahaska County, and in the fall of 1866 came to Osceola, when he purchased the livery stable owned by Murrey. He continued in this business two years, then became proprietor of an hotel known for many years as the Osceola House. Here he continued twelve years. Retiring from the hotel he next commenced dealing in agricultural implements, and took the contract of tiling the Des Moines, Osceola & Southern Railroad, from Leon to Des Moines. He then formed a partnership with P. S. Fowler in the real-estate and insurance business, which he still continues. He served ten years as member of the city council of Osceola, and was elected mayor of the city of Osceola in March, 1886. In 1868 Mr. Ball was married to Miss Jennie Burrows, of this city. They have four children – C. Minor, Carrie L., Bessie F. and Gary L. Mr. Ball is a member of the I.O.O.F., Lodge No. 95.
SOURCE: Biographical and Historical Record of Clarke County, Iowa, Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago, Illinois, 1886 p. 245