Dowan David Ballard, Jr of Indianapolis, Indiana (1868-1950).

Dowan David Ballard, Jr, the son of Dowan Ballard, Sr, was born 22 April 1868,1 in Franklin county, Kentucky.  The 1870 and 1880 US Federal Census shows that he was living in Louisville, Kentucky with his parents, and he removed to Jackson, Tennessee with them in 1886 and married first, on 2 June 1896 Henriette E. Cottles in Madison, Tennessee;2 second, on 24 May 1913 in Indianapolis, Marion county, Indiana, Leila B. Hill, who was born 15 January 1872 and died before 1927;3 and third, on 11 August 1927 Mary Summers,4 who appears as his wife in the 1930 US Federal Census.

The 1900 US Federal Census places Dowan and his family at 123 North High Street in Jackson, Tennessee. He had purchased the property on 1 January 1896 from J. M. Parker.5  The record provides his birth date of October 1865, and Henriette’s as April 1878, his son Clarence, October 1897; and his daughter Matilda, October 1898.6

The 1910 US Federal Census enumeration lists Dowan and his family as residing at 123 North High Street in Jackson, Tennessee.  The record identifies him as a letter carrier, age 39 with the following members of the household: Henny E., his wife, age 31, born in Tennessee; Clarence F., his son, aged 12; Matilda H., his daughter, age 9; Flora W., his daughter, age 8; and Dowan D., his son, age 6, all born in Tennessee.  He and Henriette could read and write, owned his house without a mortgage, and all are identified as Mullato.7

Following their father’s death, Dowan Ballard, Jr’s brother William H. Ballard conveyed to Dowan his one-half interest in their father’s house on 8 January 1910; the consideration was three hundred dollars.8  By 1913 Dowan had removed to Indianapolis, Indiana when on 24 May 1913 he married Leila B. Hill, who was born 15 January 1872 in Trenton, Gibson county, Tennessee, the daughter of James Hill and Lexanna Crafton.9  In 1920 the US Federal Census includes all the same family members (listing Leila in place of Henriette) and with the addition of Allenia Ballard, a daughter, who is 13 years old; Dowan is identified as a night watchman employed by a newspaper company.10

The 1930 US Federal Census enumeration lists Dowan D. Ballard and his wife Mary Ballard, aged 63 and 60, respectively, with their daughter and son-in-law, Matilda A. Hayes and McKinley Hayes (erroneously spelled “Hayse”).11  In 1933 all were reported to be living in Indianapolis, Indiana.

An obituary published in The Pittsburgh Courier in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on 29 April 1950 (“D.D. Ballard, Tennessean, 84, Buried in Indiana”) reports that

“Services for Dowan David Ballard, former employee of The Indianapolis Times were recently held here [in Indianapolis].  Mr. Ballard, a Times custodian for twenty-five years, died at his home, 826 North West Street after a five-year illness.  He was 84.

“He was born near Paducah, Tenn., and worked several years as mail carrier and city postman in Jackson, Tenn., before coming to Indianapolis thirty-eight years ago.

“He was employed as a night watchman for H. P. Wasson & Company before coming to The Times.

“Mr. Ballard was a member of the Old Settlers’ Club of Indianapolis and the Bethel AME Church.

“Surviving him are his widow, Mary; three daughters, Mrs. Matilda Chensue, Detroit, and Mrs. Alcenia Edmonson, Pittsburgh; four grandchildren, and a brother, Dr. William H. Ballard Sr., Lexington, Ky.”12

Dowan Ballard was interred 19 April 1950 at Floral Park Cemetery, 425 N Holt Road, Indianapolis, Indiana (Section 3/K6, Lot 9, Sp. 33) (an online record for the cemetery lists his nearest relative “Mary W. Ballard.”).  The children of Dowan Ballard, Jr and Henriette E. Cottles were:

Clarence Featherston, born 26 December 1897, at Jackson, Tennessee, married Fern Josephine Payne.  His name appears among lists of students of Hampton Agricultural and Industrial School (now known as Hampton University in Hampton, Virginia) from 1916 to 1920.  Employed as a letter carrier with the United States Postal Service, he died 23 March 1927 at Indianapolis, Indiana from a brain tumor.  Interred at Crown Hill Cemetery, Indianapolis, Indiana (death certificate).

Matilda Ann, born 23 July 1899 at Jackson, Tennessee, died 15 February 2000,13 without issue.  Married 18 September 1929 in Shelby county, Indiana William McKinley Hayes of Lexington, Kentucky, the son of R.L. Hayes and Addie Young (born 1 March 1897, died 4 September 1992).14  They appear in the 1930 US Federal Census residing in Indianapolis, Indiana, in the household of Dowan D. Ballard and Mary Ballard (as “Mckinley Hayse” and “Matilda A. Hayse”, both age 28).  In a telephone interview conducted in 1990 Matilda described her one recollection of Dowan Sr, who she said had long, silky white hair, and “every single day he would get down on his knees to pray.”  Her obituary in the Indianapolis Star stated that she worked in food services in the James Whitcomb Riley Room at Block’s department store for 30 years, retiring in 1964.  She was a member of Bethel AME Church and the American Legion auxiliary.  Burial took place 19 February 2000 at Floral Park Cemetery, Indianapolis, Indiana.15

Flora W., born c. 1902 at Jackson, Tennessee, died before 19 March 1966. She married in Wayne County, Michigan on 25 June 1932 Gossett Edward Chensue, who was born in the British West Indies, the son of Isaac Chensue and Caroline Smith.  She was living in 1950 when she is mentioned in the obituary of her father (the reporter appearing to have conflated Flora with her sister Matilda (Ballard) Hayes as “Matilda Chensue” and mentioning three daughters but naming only two), and a listing in a city directory that year for Wyandotte, Michigan.  In 1959, she appears again in a city directory for Wyandotte, Michigan (at 4181 19th), and identified as the widow of Gossett Chensue.  Her death was noted in The Indianapolis Recorder of 19 March 1966 (page 15, Col. 6), where the following announcement appeared: “CHENSUE — We wis[h] to thank our many friends for their kindnesses, flowers, cards and telegrams during the recent death of our sister and aunt Mrs. Flora Chensue formerly of Indianapolis.  Matilda Hayes, Alencenia Edmonson, sisters, Flora B. MIller, Crystal Jackson, nieces.”  They appear to have had no children.

Dowan David, III, born 14 March 1904, died 29 October 1938, and was interred 1 November 1938 at Floral Park Cemetery in Indianapolis, Indiana (Section K7, Lot 11, Sp. 14A).  Married 28 October 1923 Crystal Fay Evans in Indianapolis, Marion county, Indiana;16 she was born in Illinois in 7 May 1905, the daughter of William Evans and Flora Bell Evans.  The 1930 Federal Census records that he worked was a foreman in an ice plant.17  Their children were: 1. Flora Belle, born 14 May 1920 married 10 December 1941 Murry Julius Miller (18 July 1912-4 January 1970); 2. Crystal Leora, born 19 February 1929 at Indianapolis, Indiana, died 4 November 1989; married Joseph H. Jackson (1925-1986); interred at Washington Park Cemetery North, Indianapolis, Indiana.18

Alcenia (Althea), born 23 December 1906 at Jackson, Tennessee, residing in Detroit, Michigan, c. 1990; died 30 August 1998.  Married Andrew Edmonson, who was born 25 June 1905, died 10 March 1977.  They had three children: 1. Bernice, b. c. 1930; 2. Andrew; 3. Vivian Marie, born 9 November 1931, died 16 February 1932.19


1. Marion Co. Ind. Marriage Records, 1911-1915, Book 71, p. 83.

2. Tennessee State Marriages, 1780-2002, 2 June 1896 (the license notes “No. Col’d”, between D. D. Ballard and Henriette Cottles).

3. Ibid.

4. Marion Co., Ind. Marriage Records, Book 129, p. 462 (Record No. 6393).

5. 1 January 1896. In consideration of the sum of Three Hundred and Twenty and 00/100 dollars paid, have this day bargained sold aliened [alienated] and conveyed unto D.D. Ballard the following described land in the city of Jackson, Madison county, Tennessee: Beginning at a stake on the West margin of High St (50) Fifty North of the North West corner of J. H. Hiroch’s lot on said Street and runs thence North about Fifty-six (56) ft to the South east corner of Robert Harris’ Lot to a stake Fifty (50) feet South of the South east corner of the Cenger Lot thence West along the South side line of the Harris Lot One Hundred Seventy three and one-half feet to a stake on the ten (10) foot Alley; thence South along the East line of said Alley about fifty-six (56) feet to a stake Fifty feet North of the Northwest corner of the J. H. Hirsch Lot thence East One Hundred Seventy-three and one half feet to point of beginning, being in fourth (4) of said city of Jackson… Recorded 8 January 1896, Madison Co. Tenn. W.D. Book 54, p. 69.

6. 1900 US Federal Census, Jackson, 15th Dist., Madison Co., Tenn. Taken 6 June 1900, Sheet No. 9.

7. 1910 US Federal Census, Jackson, 15th Dist., Madison Co., Tenn. Taken 19 April 1910, Sheet No. 7A, p. 149.

8. Recorded 13 January 1910 Madison Co. Tenn. W.D. Book 76, p. 162.

9. Indiana Marriages, 1780-1922 (online record,  There are two records; one lists Leila B. Hill as “Lela B. Hill” and her mother as “Texona Crafton.”

10. 1920 US Federal Census, Indianapolis, Marion, Indiana, Page 7A, E.D. No. 105.

11. 1930 US Federal Census, Indianapolis, Marion, Indiana, Page 17B, E.D. 83.

12. “D.D. Ballard, Tennesseean, 84, Buried in Indiana,” The Pittsburgh Courier, Saturday, 29 April 1950, p. 11.  The obituary states that he was born near “Paducah, Tenn.;” this is an obvious error; there is no Paducah in Tennessee, and the 1870 Federal Census places Dowan, Jr, his brother and his parents in Louisville, Kentucky.

13. The Social Security Death Index lists 23 July 1899; the 1900 US Federal Census provided the year 1898; her death certificate lists 23 July 1899.  Indiana Certificate of Death No. 101205.

14. Indiana Marriages, 1780-1992 (online record from Mr Hayes is identified as “Widowed”.

15. Obituary of Matilda Ann Ballard Hayes, Indianapolis Star, 17 February 2000, p. C.7.

16. Marion Co. Ind. Marriage Records, 1920-1925, Book 122, p. 441.

17. 1930 US Federal Census, Indianapolis, Marion, Indiana, Roll 610, p. 1A; E.D. 90. The Census lists Dowan D., 26; Crystal F., 24; Flora B., 8; and Crystal L., 1 year, 1 month.

18. Dowan David Ballard, Indiana Certificate of Death No. 30147; Crystal Fay Evans, Indiana Certificate of Death No. 22169; Flora Belle Ballard, Indiana Certificate of Birth No.26888; Crystal Leora Jackson, Indiana Certificate of Birth No. 7626 and Indiana Certificate of Death No. 89-042029; Joseph H. Jackson grave marker (online record,

18. Social Security Death Index; grave marker of Andrew Edmonson at Woodmere Cemetery, Detroit, Michigan (online record, In a phone interview with Matilda Ballard in 1990, Matilda said: “Andrew has one child, also Andrew. Their mother told Matilda “I won’t live to go to Indiana, but I want you all to go live there.” They moved the year after she died, purchased two houses in an area called Edgemont on West Street.


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