Obituary of Charles Thruston Ballard of Louisville, Kentucky (1850-1918).

Crypt of Charles T. Ballard, Cave Hill Cemetery, Louisville, Kentucky.
Crypt of Charles T. Ballard, Cave Hill Cemetery, Louisville, Kentucky.

Charles Thruston Ballard, Ph.B. 1870
Born June 3, 1850, in Louisville, Ky.
Died May 8, 1918, in Glenview, Ky.

Charles Thruston Ballard was born in Louisville, Ky., on June 3, 1850, being one of the five children of Andrew Jackson and Frances Ann (Thruston) Ballard.  His father attended Transylvania University, practiced law in Louisville for many years, and at the outbreak of our Civil War in 1861 was appointed by President Lincoln clerk of the U.S. Circuit and District courts for the District of Kentucky.  He was the son of James and Susan (Cox) Ballard and the grandson of Bland Ballard, Jr, of Spotsylvania County, Va., who was a Corporal in Major George Slaughter’s battalion that came to Kentucky from Virginia in 1779 and who was killed in an Indian massacre in March, 1788, near the present site of Shelbyville.  James Ballard, his brother, Bland W. Ballard, a Private under his father in the American Revolution, one of the most celebrated of the Indian fighters in pioneer days in Kentucky, and later a Major in the War of 1812, and their half sister were the only members of the family who survived the massacre.

Frances Ann Thruston Ballard’s parents were Charles William and Mary Eliza (Churchill) Thruston.  Her grandfather, Charles Mynn Thruston, Jr, when less than twelve years of age, served as aide-de-camp to his father, then Captain, but later Colonel, Charles Mynn Thruston, at the battle of Piscataway in the Revolution, and later married Frances Eleanor, daughter of John and Anne Rogers Clark and sister of General Jonathan Clark, General George Rogers Clark, Captain John Clark, and Lieutenants Edmund and Raymond Clark, who served as officers in the Revolution.  One of them,—Captain John Clark,—Charles Thruston Ballard represented in the Virginia Society of the Cincinnati.   Another of her brothers, General William Clark, was too young to serve in the Revolution, but was an officer under General Wayne in 1794-95, and the Clark of the Lewis and Clark Expedition across the American continent in 1804-06.  Other Revolutionary ancestors of Charles Thruston Ballard were Lieutenant Armistead Churchill of the Fauquier County (Va) Militia and Lieutenant William Oldham, who served in Daniel Morgan’s company in the siege of Boston and in the Canadian campaign of 1775-76 and who, on November 4, 1791, lost his life as Lieutenant in command of the Kentucky Militia at the battle of St Clair’s Defeat.  Colonel Churchill came to Kentucky in 1779 and John Clark in 1785, and both settled and were buried on the present site of Camp Zachary Taylor, near Louisville.

Mr. Ballard was a member of the Society of Colonial Wars in the Commonwealth of Kentucky and of the Kentucky Society of the Sons of the American Revolution.  He was fitted for college at the Louisville Male High School and at General Russell’s Collegiate and Commercial Institute in New Haven, Conn.  At Yale he took the select course in the Sheffield Scientific School.  In Senior year he was captain of the Sheffield Boat Club, and in 1870 went on the first of Professor Othniel C. Marsh’s expeditions to the Western plains.  In the fall of that year he returned to Louisville and accepted a position in one of the banks, later becoming cashier in the office of the U.S. Collector of Internal Revenue.

In 1878 he organized the firm of Jones, Ballard & Ballard, and engaged in the milling business, using one of the first patent flour manufacturing processes which appeared on the market.  In 1884 they failed in business, were allowed to retain certain of their assets, were incorporated as the Ballard & Ballard Company, and later paid off all of their debts with interest.  They were among the first in the United States to establish profit sharing and welfare work among their employees.  Mr. Ballard remained as president of the company until his death, his brother, S. Thruston Ballard (B. S. Cornell 1878), succeeding him.  He had always taken an active part in the political, social, and civic life of Louisville. He was a Republican in politics, and was deeply interested in the affairs of that party. From 1907 to 1909 he was chairman of the Board of Aldermen.  He was president of the Louisville Board of Trade and of the Pendennis Club, and a director in the Fidelity & Columbia Trust Company, the Union National Bank, the Federal Chemical Company, and the Louisville Railway Company. He was senior warden of Christ Church Cathedral.  In March, 1916, he was elected a vice president of the Associated Western Yale Clubs.  He had traveled extensively in this country and Europe.

His death occurred very suddenly, May 8, 1918, at the family home, Bushy Park, Glenview, Ky, as the result of myocarditis.  He had not been in good health for some time, but his condition was not such as to affect his activities materially. Interment was in Cave Hill Cemetery, Louisville.

Mr Ballard was married April 24, 1878, in New Orleans, La., to Emelina Modest, daughter of Gustave Arvilien Breaux (B.A. Norwich 1847, LL.B. Harvard 1850) and Emile (Locke) Breaux. They had eight children: Abby Churchill, who was married June 1, 1899, to Jefferson Davis Stewart of Louisville; Emile Locke (born September 18, 1880; died December 10, 1886); Mary Thruston (born November 25, 1882; died February 5, 1884); Charles Thruston (PhB. 1907), who served as an Ensign in the U.S. Navy during the war; Gustave Breaux, a nongraduate member of the Class of 1909S., who held a Captain’s commission in the Coast Artillery Corps.; Fanny Thruston, who was married on August 31, 1912, to Charles Horner; Churchill (born April 30, 1890; died February 12, 1891); and Mina, who was married on June 6, 1914, to Warner LaValle Jones. His wife, five children, and four grandchildren survive.  He also leaves two brothers, one of whom, S. Thruston Ballard, was his associate in business, and the other, R. C. Ballard Thruston, graduated from Yale with the degree of Ph.B. in 1880.  His only sister, Abigail Churchill Ballard, was taken ill while in her Junior year at Vassar College and died of tuberculosis in April, 1874.

From Obituary Record of Yale Graduates, 1915-1920 (New Haven: Yale University, 1920) 16th Series, No. 11, pp. 733-36.

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One thought on “Obituary of Charles Thruston Ballard of Louisville, Kentucky (1850-1918).

  1. Wow I need to study this. Bland Nixon BALLARD (married same time same place as my ancestor Charles BALLARD) named his son Charles BALLARD also. Thanks for sending me this info. DeeDee

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