was born in La Salle County, Illinois, August 17,
1844. His father, Marlin Ball, is a native of Ireland, where he
was born about 1807. He married there, and emigrated to Canada,
where he resided a few years, when he moved to Buffalo, New York.
He afterward moved to Illinois and settled in La Salle County. In 1850
he, with his family, left Illinois, bound for California. they
made the journey overland to Sacramento, where they located. The
next year he went in to the hotel business, and during the big fire of
1852 was burned out, which served his connection with that city.
In the spring of 1853 he settled in Santa Clara County and took up 210
acres of what he supposed was government land, but which afterward
proved to be a Spanish claim. When this fact became known, Mr.
Ball bought the land from the parties, and quite a number of years
afterward purchased 160 acres adjoining, which land is now in the
possession of his son, Peter Ball. Martin B all resided on the
place until about 1875, when he moved to Santa Clara, where he has
since resided. He is quite infirm in his old age, and , having had two
strokes of paralysis, he is left in very feeble condition. He
wife died in 1878. She was the mother of five children, of whom four
Peter Ball remained with his father up to the time he moved to Santa
Clara, when he purchased of him the 160 acres mentioned, and 109 acres
of the original purchase, which later on he sold again. The place
is under good cultivation, with about fifty acres in vineyard, all wine
grapes, the most of which are coming into bearing. Last year,
from about six acres that are four years old, the yield was about
thirtytwo tons. In 1882 Mr. Ball was appointed Deputy Assessor for
Santa Clara County, which position he held for five years. In
October, 1887, he was appointed by the Secretary of the Treasury to the
position of United States Internal Revenue Gauger of the Fifth Division
of the First District of California, in which position he now serves.
Mr. Ball was married, in 1868, to Mary E. Plunkett, who was born in
Australia , a daughter of Richard Plunkett, of this county. Mr.
and Mrs. ball have a family of five children, three daughters and two