Bio-Pen Pictures

            Mention must be made of one of the oldest orchard properties of Santa Clara County, upon which the subject of this sketch resides.  It is located on the San Jose and Milpitas road, in the Orchard School District, about two and a half miles north of the business center of San Jose, and is of forty acres in extent.  Upon this place are eighteen acres in orchard, producing peaches principally, but also pears and other varieties of fruit.  The balance of this well-known tract is devoted to hay.  Of late years Mr. Ballou has not devoted the attention to this tract as in former years, on account of his having extensive farming and fruit lands in other sections of the county, one of which is one hundred and forty-two acres, on the San Jose and Alviso road, one and a half miles north of San Jose.  He devotes this land entirely to hay, grain, and stock.  Among the latter may be mentioned some excellent draft horses of the Norman breed.  Five artesian wells furnish the required water, one of which is worthy of special mention, being five hundred and thirty feet in depth, having a seven-inch pipe.  This well flows one thousand gallons per minute, nearly one and a half millions of gallons in twenty-four hours.  The force of the water is sufficient to raise itself thirty-five feet about the surface.  Among other properties owned by Mr. Ballou are ten and a half acres in San Jose, bounded by Empire and Jackson and Twelfth and Thirteen Streets.  This property is in orchard, producing peaches and apricots.  There is also an artesian well at this point, which furnishes a good supply of water.  He is also the owner of eleven acres, lying on the north side of Julian Street between Terraine Street and the Guadaloupe.  This is devoted to the production of hay.  Upon his home farm Mr. Ballou has erected a fine two-story residence, in which he has all the comforts that constitute a well-ordered home.

            He was born in Hartland, Windsor County, Vermont, March 26, 1827.  His parents were Otis and Lydia (Chamberlain) Ballou.  His father was a native of Rhode Island; his mother was born in New Hampshire, and was the descendant of one of the Revolutionary patriots.  In 1834 his father moved his family to Cheshire County, New Hampshire, where the subject of this sketch was reared.  His early life was spent in schooling, but at the age of fourteen years he entered the employ of the well-known boot and shoe manufacturers, G. N. Farwell & Co., of Claremont, New Hampshire.  His brother-in-law, Lewis Perry, was a member of the firm.  Mr. Ballou was of an industrious, energetic, and ambitious disposition, and at the age of twenty-two had risen to the position of foreman of the manufacturing department.  He continued in this employ until March, 1849, when he left Boston on the ship Sweden, which was bound around Cape Horn for California.  This vessel carried about one hundred passengers, and was commanded by Capt. J. G. Cotting.  Among the passengers, mention may be made of the following well-known citizens of California:  L. P. Treadwell, a prominent merchant of San Francisco, and Colonel Warren, the well-known editor of the California Farmer.  From San Francisco Mr. Ballou went to several mining points in the State, but finally located at Downieville, Yuba County, where he remained until 1852, at which time he returned East, but came back to California the same year, accompanied by his brothers, Warren S. and Charles O., and his brother-in-law, Corydon Gates.  They took up their residence at Downieville.  There the subject of this sketch remained until March, 1853, when he came to Santa Clara County.  After a short stop here he went to Monterey County and located on a tract of land, intending to make his home there, but this land proving to belong to one of the many Spanish grants which plastered this State, he abandoned the project and returned to Santa Clara County in 1854, where he followed various occupations until the fall of 1855.  Then he purchased an interest in the nursery of E. W. Case, and remained in that business connection until 1857, at which time he moved to his present residence, and established the nursery business there, which he conducted until 1863.

            Mr. Ballou has for years been considered one of the best posted men on fruit cultivation in Santa Clara County, and he is well deserving of this honor, having devoted years of time and study in obtaining the best results with the varied products which this soil would bring forth.

            In 1864, while on a visit to his New England home, he married Miss Catherine J. Kimball, daughter of Timothy D. and Jane Alice (Mann) Kimball, residents of Claremont, New Hampshire.  By this marriage two children have been born, viz.:  Allis K. and George H.

            Mr. Ballou is a member of the Masonic fraternity and affiliated with Lodge No. 10 of San Jose.  He takes a great interest in the political affairs of the day, and is a strong and ardent Republican.  In 1866 Mr. Ballou was elected as a Supervisor of his district.  He has always been a public-spirited and progressive man, and has entered into various industries which have helped to build up this county, among which may be mentioned the San Jose Fruit Packing Company, of which he was one of the original stock-holders, and from 1879 exercised a controlling interest in the affairs of the company, until 1882, when he sold out to San Francisco parties.  The many enterprises of this character that have taken Mr. Ballou’s time have caused him to somewhat neglect fruit-culture, and it is doubtful whether he will ever again resume his former life as a leading orchardist.

Pen Pictures From The Garden of the World or Santa Clara County, California, Illustrated. - Edited by H. S. Foote.- Chicago:  The Lewis Publishing Company, 1888.
Pg. 227-228
Transcribed by Kathy Sedler
Proofread by Betty Vickroy