Transcribed from A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans, written and compiled by William E. Connelley, Secretary of the Kansas State Historical Society, Topeka. [Revised ed.] Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co., 1919, c1918. 5 v. (xlviii, 2530 p., [155] leaves of plates): ill., maps (some fold.), ports.; 27 cm.

George R. Ballard

GEORGE R. BALLARD is one of the younger business men of Wichita County, and a successful merchant in Leoti. He was hardly old enough to be conscious of his surroundings when he was brought to this county in the fall of 1887. He has grown up here and has been successful as a teacher, public official and in business affairs.

George R. Ballard was born in Harrison County, Missouri, January 19, 1885. His grandfather, Boone Ballard, was a Kentuckian and went to Northwest Missouri when a boy. Boone Ballard was twice married and was the father of seventeen children. During the war he served as a private in the Missouri Cavalry and was affectionately known as "Uncle Boone" by his comrades. He spent his career otherwise as a farmer and died in Harrison County.

Austin Ballard, father of George R., was one of the children by his father's first marriage. He was born in Harrison County, Missouri, in 1853, grew up in the country districts, and had few advantages in the way of an education. He married a neighbor girl, Lovica Jane Allen. Her father had come to Missouri from Ohio in the early days. He had acquired a medical education, but never practiced his profession, spending his active career as a farmer in Harrison County. Austin Ballard came to Western Kansas in the fall of 1887, seeking a home in order that he might provide for his growing family. He took as a homestead land in section 8, township 20, range 38, proved it up, and enjoyed moderate success both as a farmer and stock raiser. He afterwards removed to Jewell County, Kansas, where he died July 17, 1915, and where his widow still resides. His children were: Nola, wife of Bruce Hunter, of Rice County, Kansas; George R.; Harve, of Leoti; Mont, of Reno County, Kansas; Edna, of Jewell County; Veda, wife of Claude Page, of Jewell County; Mark, Ura and Glenn, the younger children, still at home with their mother.

George R. Ballard grew up on the homestead farm in Wichita County. He aspired to a better education than could be secured in the local schools, and he spent four years in the Normal College at Nickerson. While there he prepared for teaching and followed that profession seven years. Two years were spent in Reno County, three years in the rural schools of Wichita County, and for three years he was principal of the Wichita County High School. While a teacher he was elected county clerk of Wichita County and abandoned school work during his official term. He subsequently resumed teaching.

On giving up his work as a teacher Mr. Ballard entered merchandising at Leoti associated with J. O. Kissinger. The firm of Ballard & Kissinger steadily built up a business from the start, was one of the leading concerns of its kind in the county seat, but the business is now owned by Mr. Ballard alone.

He is a republican. He first attained voting age in 1906, and in that year supported Governor Hoch. His first presidential ballot was cast for Mr. Taft in 1908. In the latter year he was successful candidate on the republican ticket for the office of county clerk, and succeeded Mr. J. F. Elder. He is also interested in Masonry, is past master of his lodge, and in 1912 participated in the work of the Grand Lodge. Mr. Ballard was reared a Methodist but has no active membership in any church. In point of of[sic] years he is still a very young man. He has had considerable business experience, has the confidence of the people whom he has served as teacher and public official, and the real achievements of his life may be expected as part of his future record.

On December 18, 1909, Mr. Ballard was married at Hutchinson, Kansas, to Miss Iva L. Miles, daughter of James B. and Nettie (Usher) Miles. Her father was born in Indiana, was a carpenter by trade and an early settler in Clay County, Kansas. Mrs. Ballard has one brother, Warren H., of Ness City, Kansas. Mr. and Mrs. Ballard have one daughter, Helen Maurine.