Edward Hunter Ballard, Sr of South Pasadena, California (1899-1988).

Born 2 April 1899, in Lexington, Kentucky, Edward Hunter Ballard, the son of William Henry Ballard, Sr, died 26 June 1988.  He received his bachelor of science from the College of Liberal Arts at Howard University in 1923, and his medical degree from Howard University College of Medicine in 1926.  On 19 June 1922 in Washington, DC he married, first, Estelline Wilhite of Birmingham, Alabama, who was born 19 June 1902, died 13 April 1959 in Los Angeles, California.  She was the daughter of William (“Willie”) H. Wilhite, a mail carrier with  the US Postal Service, and Mary Josephine (“Josie”) Johnson, a teacher (the daughter of Charles Johnson and Nancie Scott), who died 4 September 1927 in Birmingham, Alabama.  They were married 6 September 1899 in Birmingham, Alabama1  Edward Hunter Ballard married, second, 22 November 1959 Betty Mae Smith (who was born c. 1929), who survived him.

He and his brother Orville resided at the YMCA in Washington, DC near Howard University, where they appear in the 1920 US Federal Census; interestingly, they also appear in the Census in their parent’s household.2  Edward Hunter Ballard entered the private practice of medicine in Birmingham, Alabama (1927-1949), then removed to Los Angeles, California, and was a realtor from 1950 to 1964.

He was the organizer and later the President and Chairman of the Board of the Bank of Finance, Los Angeles, California from its organization in 1963 until its dissolution in the 1970s.  He served on a number foundations, non-profits and community groups including the Watts Skill Center (1965); Westside Branch of the NAACP (1972-1973); Los Angeles County Health Facilities, (1972); Sickle Cell Disease Research Foundation (1965-1973); Men of Tomorrow (1967-1969); Central City Community Mental Health Center; Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce; The Urban League; and Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity.3

This biographical sketch of Edward H. Ballard appeared in 1971:4

Most people would think that working as a physician would be the highest point in a man’s career.  Edward H. Ballard retired from the medical profession in 1950, moved to Los Angeles from Birmingham, Alabama, and started a new kind of life.

He was one of the organizers and now chairman of the board, vice president and director of business development of the Bank of Finance, the first Black-organized bank in California.

Dr Ballard was born in Lexington, Kentucky, where he attended elementary and high school before going to Washington, DC to enroll in Howard University.  He earned the Bachelor of science degree and then enrolled in medical school to add MD to his name.  During his senior year he was president of the student body.

His internship was done at Kansas City Hospital, Kansas City, Missouri, and he practiced medicine and surgery in Birmingham, Alabama for many years while becoming a leading citizen of that community.5

While in Birmingham, he was the organizer and first president of the Mineral District Medicine Society.  He is also past president of the Alabama State Medical Society.

He is a past member of the executive board of the NAACP in Birmingham, a past member of the Birmingham Negro Chamber of Commerce.  For many years he served as chairman of the board of trustees of St. John’s A.M.E. Church in Birmingham.  He also joined the graduate chapter of Omicron Lambda in 1947.

When he retired to Los Angeles in 1950, he was soon appointed steward of the First A.M.E. Church of Los Angeles.  Another position he undertook that year was chaplain of the graduate chapter, Beta Psi Lambda, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.  The next year he was elected trustee of First A.M.E. Church.

In 1954 he was elected president of the graduate chapter of Beta Psi Lambda, re-elected to this post in 1955, and again re-elected in 1957, this time having the additional responsibility of serving as treasurer of the 1957 Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. General convention in Los Angeles.  He expanded his service to Alpha Phi Alpha by becoming Western National vice-president after having held so many offices on the local level.

Dr Ballard has worked with several organizations related to the medical problems he was faced with as a physician, including chairman of the board of the Sickle Cell Disease Research Foundation, which seeks to find some solution to the hereditary blood disease that strikes only blacks.  He was also a member of the board of the Los Angeles Mental Hygiene Association, and of the Central City Community Mental health Center, and on the board of Morningside Hospital Redevelopment Program.

While health problems in the Black Community have always been serious, the economic problems are even more basic, a causative factor in the generally poorer medical programs found in ghettoes, and Dr Ballard decided to attack these economic problems as well.  He served on the board of the Westside branch NAACP and of STEP (Skills, Training & Employment Program), and he was on the advisory board of the Watts Skill Center, all seeking open employment opportunities for blacks.

His interest in youth led to his work with the 28th Street YMCA and the organization of Men of Tomorrow.  He also served on the advisory board of the Committee on Cultural Resources of th Los Angeles Schools.  An additional interest was the advisory council of the District Attorney’s Office.

He left a simple will dated 15 August 1987.

Last Will

I, Edward H. Ballard, Sr. hereby declare this to be my last will and Testement.  I revoke all prior wills made by me.  I leave all my estate to my wife Betty M. Ballard.  Dated at South Pasadena, Calif., on August 15th, 1987

Edward H. Ballard, Sr.

Edward H. Ballard and Estelline Wilhite are buried at Rosedale Cemetery, Los Angeles, California.6

The children of Edward H. Ballard and Estelline Wilhite were:

Edward Hunter, born 2 December 1923 in Fayette county, Kentucky, died 5 November 2002 at Las Vegas, Nevada.  He removed to California about 1946 after serving in the Navy during the second World War, having entered active service on 9 February 1945, and honorably discharged 15 August 1946 after service on the U.S.S. Boston.7  He was a long time employee of Bethlehem Steel in Carson, California.  He converted to Catholicism and was baptized 30 September 1956 at St Agatha’s Church, 2610 S. Mansfield Avenue, Los Angeles, California.  He married 8 January 1945 Liguoria Ann Conyers of New Orleans, Louisiana, the daughter of Ludger Conyers (1881-1959) and Coralie Martin (1892-1951); she died 1 December 2016 in Los Angeles, California.  They had seven children: 1. [Son]; 2. Sidney Paul (born 6 December 1948, died 20 December 1955, Los Angeles, California); 3. [Daughter]; 4. Patricia Ann (born 26 February 1957, married [Husband], died 8 August 2006 in Santa Cruz, California); 5. [Son]; 6. [Son]; 7. [Daughter].

Don Lee, born 8 November 1930, in Birmingham, Alabama, died 18 November 1985, in Los Angeles, California.  He moved to California in 1949 and attended East Los Angeles College, where he met his future wife, Rosario Duran (born 12 January 1933, Los Angeles, California; died 16 April 2009 Carson, California; a graduate of California State University, Dominguez Hills, B.A., Education), who he married 30 July 1955.  He was an employee of Hughes Aircraft company for over 30 years.  Their children: 1. [Son]; 2. [Son]; 3. [Daughter].

The child of Edward H. Ballard and Betty Mae Smith, his second wife:



1. 1910 US Federal Census, Birmingham, Ward 2, Jefferson, Alabama, Page 14A, E.D. 46. This lists W. H. Wilhite, 32; his wife, Josie Wilhite, 26; their daughter Willie E. Wilhite, 9; also 1920 US Federal Census, Birmingham, Jefferson, Alabama, Page 23A, E.D. 49, which lists Josie Wilhite, 36 (head of household & widow); Estelline Wilhite, daughter, 17; Nettie Kedon, sister [of head of household, widowed], 60; Samer B. Braford, 28 (a lodger). W. H. Wilhite is probably the William Henry Wilhite, age 5, son of John Wilhite (a church minister), 26, and Kate Wilhite, 26, who in 1880 were residing in Eufaula, Barbour county, Alabama. Their other children were Ida Mary, 7, Blanchie, 3, and Tommy Chastuna, 1. 1880 US Federal Census, Eufaula, Barbour, Alabama, Roll T9_2, p. 7:1000, E.D. 7. The Census shows that all were born in Kentucky.  Marriage of W.H. Wilhite and Josie Johnson, Vol. 17, p. 236, Alabama, Select Marriages, 1816-1957; Death Record of Mary Josephine Wilhite, date of death 4 September 1927, Birmingham, Jefferson County, Alabama, aged 45 (born c. 1882); spouse of Willie Wilhite; parents: Charles Johnson, Nancie Scott.  Alabama Deaths, 1908-1974 database, FamilySearch, GS Film No. 1908446, Reference ID cn 18291.

2. 1920 US Federal Census, Washington, Washington, District of Columbia, Page 15B, E.D. 192; also 1920 US Federal Census, Lexington Ward 4, Fayette, Kentucky, Page 3A, E.D. 64.

3. Who’s Who Among Black Americans (5th Edition), Educational Communications, Inc.: Lake Forest, IL, 1988), p. 32.

4. James A. Goodson, ed., The Current Black Man, Decade ‘70 (Vol. 1, Part 1), Los Angeles: The Record Publishing Co., Inc., 1971), p. 5.

5. An undated photograph of his office at 1420 7th Avenue, Birmingham, Alabama, can be viewed in the Digital Collections of the Birmingham Public Library.

6. Rosedale Cemetery is located at 1831 West Washington Boulevard, Los Angeles, California 90007.

7. Certificate of Discharge, United States Naval Service, 15 August 1946.


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