Samuel Thruston Ballard of Louisville, Kentucky (1855-1926).

Samuel Thruston Ballard, the son of Andrew Jackson Ballard, was born 11 February 1855 in Louisville, Kentucky, died 18 January 1926.  Married 25 January 1883 Sunshine Harris (1861-1938), the daughter of Theodore Harris of Louisville, Kentucky.

His obituary, which appeared in the Louisville Courier-Journal on Tuesday, 19 January 1926 (page 1), provides an excellent summary of his life and accomplishments.

S. Thruston Ballard, Ill for a Year, Is Dead

Former Lieutenant governor Succumbs At His Home at Glenview.


Life of 71 Years Marked By Devotion to Duties and Philanthropy.

S. Thruston Ballard, former Lieutenant Governor of Kentucky, miller and philanthropist, died at 3:40 o’clock Monday afternoon at his home at Glenview, Upper River Road, where he had lain practically bedridden for weeks.

Mr. Ballard, president of the Ballard & Ballard Company, was stricken ill about a year ago at his winter home at Eau Gallie, Fla., and seemed on the road to recovery until last June, when more serious trouble developed.

Both Mr. Ballard and his physicians made every effort to prolong his life, which would have attained its seventy-first year February 11, but the disease, of a cancerous nature, finally pronounced inoperative and incurable.

Native of Louisville

Mr. Ballard is survived by his widow, Mrs. Sunshine Haris Ballard; a daughter, Mrs. David C. Morton; three grandchildren, Thruston Ballard Morton, Janes Lewis Morton and Rogers Clark Ballard Morton; and a brother, R. C. Ballard Thruston.

Samuel Thruston Ballard was born in Louisville February 11, 1855, the son of Andrew Jackson Ballard and Fannie Thruston Ballard.  He received his primary education in the public schools of Louisville and took preparatory work for college at Huntoon’s private academy in this city.  Mr. Ballard selected Cornell as his alma mater and was graduated therefrom with the degree of Bachelor of Science in 1878 at the age of 23.

Enters Flour Business

Upon graduation, Mr. Ballard returned to Louisville, where he became connected with Chess, Carley & Company, an oil concern later merged with Standard Oil Company.  HIs connection with Chess, Carley & Company lasted only for a year, however, at the end of which Mr. Ballard entered the flour business, 1880, with his brother, C. T. Ballard, who died in 1918, and James Jones, the firm being under the name of Jones, Ballard & Ballard.

The first Ballard & Ballard mill was built in the rear of the old Ballard home on Walnut Street, a site now occupied by the Detention Home.  In 1883, Mr. Jones left the firm and the name was changed to Ballard & Ballard, by which it was known until articles of incorporation were filed, when the name became the Ballard & Ballard Company.  It was in 1883, too, on January 25, that Mr. Ballard was married to Miss Sunshine Harris, daughter of Theodore Harris and sister of Crede Harris.

About this time Ballard & Ballard moved to 912 East Broadway, the present location of the mill.  In 1884, when there were hard times in the land, Ballard & Ballard was one of several Louisville concerns that went bankrupt, but Ballard & Ballard, unlike some of the other failures, assumed full responsibility for their indebtedness and, in time, paid off every dollar with interest.

Beneficent Employer

Mr. Ballard was a pioneer in the development of friendly relations between capital and labor, and was one of the first employers to introduce the profit-sharing plan.  This innovation took place in 1889 and ever since, as before, Mr. Ballard was known as a kind and beneficent employer.

President Woodrow Wilson appointed Mr. Ballard a member of the Commission on Industrial Relations in 1913.  While he was giving this service, Mr. Ballard had headquarters at Washington, from which city he traveled to and from various sections of the United States until the commission’s report was completed.

At the outbreak of the World War, England and France sent representatives to this country in quest of flour and other foodstuffs.  Practically every large milling company in the United States was asked for samples of its flour.  Contracts were placed by the foreign governments.

These contracts were filled.  American millers sent flour to the peoples of England and France.  At the end of the first year representatives of the two Governments came to Louisville, where they called on Mr. Ballard, and told Mr. Ballard that his company was the only one that furnished flour equal to the samples originally submitted.

S. Thruston Ballard was the second name in the Republican column on the ballots submitted to the electorate of Kentucky in 1919.  Mr. Ballard was the party’s nominee for Lieutenant Governor and the ticket, with Edwin P. Morrow at the top, was elected by an overwhelming majority.

As Lieutenant Governor, Mr. Ballard presided over the deliberations of the State Senate during two stormy sessions of the General Assembly, the first in 1920, immediately after his induction into office, and the second in 1922.  Both sessions were difficult for the presiding officer, especially the last, when there was a large Democratic majority and when, as the session was drawing to a close, there was an all-night filibuster.

Interested in Parks, Education

Mr. Ballard always evinced interest in education, in parks and in playgrounds, particularly parks and playgrounds for the poor.  The Rogers Clark Ballard Memorial School, costing between $35,000 and $40,000, was given tot he city by M.r and Mrs. Ballard in memory of a son who had died.

Jointly, with his two brothers, C. T. Ballard and R. C. Ballard Thruston, Mr. Ballard was the donor of Churchill Park, part of the old Remount Station, twelve and one-half acres; George Rogers Clark Park, part of the Camp Zachary Taylor site, forty-three acres; Ballard Park, with equipment in the negro section of the city, and Thruston Square, on The Point.  Subsequently, Mr. Ballard personally added another square to Thruston Square.

Mr. Ballard was especially interested in Berea College, Berea, Ky., and served as one of its trustees.  He was also interested in and was a patron of the arts and of music and science.  His home at Glenview, one of the most beautiful estates near Louisville, has been the scene of numerous pageants and elaborate social affairs.

Good Roads Advocate

The Good Road movement in Kentucky found in Mr. Ballard one of its first as well as its strongest supporters.  He was the organizer and first president of the Jefferson County Road Improvement League and took an active part in the work of that organization for many years.

In addition to being president of the Ballard & Ballard Company, which office he has occupied since the death of his elder brother in 1918, mr. Ballard was president of the Liberty Coal & Coke Company and was vice president of the Louisville National Bank and the United States Trust Company.

Mr. Ballard was a member of the Sons of the American Revolution, the Sons of Colonial Wars, the Society of Cincinnati of Virginia, the South Park Fishing Club, the Eau Gallie Yacht Club of Eau Gallie, Fla., where he was accustomed to spend his winters, the Metropolitan Club of Washington, D.C., the Chevy Chase Club of Maryland; the Canadian Camp of Ontario, Canada; the Alpha Delta Phi Fraternity of New York; the Juniper Hunting Club, the American Game & Protective Association, the Pendennis Club, the Arts Club, the Sleepy Hollow Club, the Louisville Country Club and the River Valley Club.

He was interred at Cave Hill Cemetery, Louisville, Kentucky.  He and Sunshine Harris had issue:

Mary Harris, born 28 April 1884, died 3 June 1927; married 28 January 1906 Dr David Cummings Morton.  Issue: 1. Thruston Ballard Morton; 2. Janes Lewis Morton; 3. Rogers Clark Ballard Morton.

Theodore Harris, stillborn 14 September 1886.

Samuel Thruston, born 17 December 1891, died December 1895.

Rogers Clark, born 11 August 1897, died 5 May 1909.