WILLIAM C. BALL is head of the William C. Ball & Son, lumber dealers, the oldest and largest organization of its kind in Jackson County.

Mr. Ball was born at Madison, in Jefferson County, Indiana, September 27, 1865. His parents were James M. and Eliza A. Ball and his grandfather was Spencer Ball, who came from Delaware to Indiana. Spencer Ball was a building contractor. When the Jefferson, Madison & Indianapolis Railway was built he was a contractor for its depots, round houses and other buildings and later in life became a coach builder. His son, James M. Ball, followed in his example as a building contractor.

William C. Ball was one of five children. He was educated in the grade schools at Madison until fifteen, completing his schooling at Brownstown. Like his father and grandfather before him he learned the trade of carpenter, but when he was twenty years of age, in 1884, he started in the lumber business and that has absorbed his energies and activities almost wholly for the past forty-five years. William C. Ball & Son now have a place of business occupying an entire block of land at Ewing, Brownstown, and handle everything needed in the building line. In former years the firm did considerable service in contracting, building a number of churches in Indiana, but the activities of the firm are now confined strictly to dealing in building material.

Mr. Ball is a member of the Brownstown Chamber of Commerce and during the World war took an influential part in the Liberty Bond, War Stamps and Red Cross drives. He is a member of the Masonic fraternity and Knights of Pythias and is a trustee and deacon of the Christian Church. Politically his activities have been with the Democratic party.

Mr. Ball married Alice Humphrey, of Washington County, Indiana. They became the parents of eight children, all of whom graduated from the Brownstown High School. The oldest, Stella V. is now in charge of the primary department of the Brownstown public schools. Ethel is the wife of George H. Conner, a Brownstown business man. Clarence B. is associated with his father as a junior member of William C. Ball & Son. The younger children are Grace Ann; Dr. William L., a dentist; Ester E.; Kenneth H., a student of aviation; and Charles L., who attended Butler University, and is now at the University of Louisville, Louisville, Kentucky.

INDIANA ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTY YEARS OF AMERICAN DEVELOPMENT Vol. 5
By Charles Roll, A.M.
The Lewis Publishing Company, 1931


JOSEPH M. ROBERTSON. One of the leading citizens and vigorous and far-sighted business men of Southern Indiana is Joseph M. Robertson, of Brownstown, president of the Jackson Brick & Hollow Tile Company of Brownstown, and of the Medora Brick Company, of Medora, with farming and other interests. For many years the family name of Robertson has been a respected and familiar one in Jackson County, where its founder, the great-grandfather of Joseph M. Robertson, settled in 1816. Acquiring a large amount of Government land, he became an extensive farmer in Hamilton Township and a man of importance. A Virginian by birth, his early years were passed in Kentucky.

Joseph M. Robertson was born October 9, 1876, in Jackson County, Indiana, and is a son of Hon. Jonathan and Carrie (Miller) Robertson, a grandson of John Blaze Robertson, and a great-grandson of Andrew Robertson, the pioneer of the family in Indiana. John Blaze Robertson, a lifelong resident of Jackson County, was a farmer of ability, resource and great industry, and also a civil engineer who made an established place for himself in that difficult calling. He was active in public affairs, and served two terms each as county surveyor and county clerk. Jonathan Robertson, the father of Joseph M. Robertson, was born in Jackson County, where he was reared and educated, and chose the life of an agriculturist, being engaged in tilling the soil throughout his career. He became prominent and influential in public affairs, representing Jackson County in the House of Representatives of the State Legislature from 1901 until 1903, and also being president of the County Council for ten years. He had extensive interests in several lines, and at one time was the owner and operator of a mill. Mr. Robertson married for his first wife Miss Carrie Miller, who died, leaving two children: Amy Robinson, who married George W. Gunder; and Joseph M., of this review. After the death of his first wife Mr. Robertson married Mary E. Swain, and they became the parents of two children: Genevieve, who married Dr. Joseph McNinch; and Carrie B., who married Harry Mather.

Joseph M. Robertson, who traces his ancestry back to a Robertson who was at one time secretary to a governor of Virginia in Colonial times, attended the public schools of Jackson County and the high school at Brownstown. He commenced his career at the age of eighteen years, as an employe in his father's flour mill and grain elevator, and in 1903 bought an interest therein, which he still retains. In 1920 Jonathan Robertson retired from active business and sold his interest in the mill to R. M. Robertson, a cousin of Joseph M. Robertson, and at this time they are the proprietors. In 1906 Mr. Robertson of this review became one of the founders of the Jackson Brick & Hollow Tile Company, of Brownstown, and served as its treasurer until 1920, in which year he was elected president, and has remained in this capacity. In 1923 the company bought the Medora Shale Brick Company, and is still its president. The Jackson Brick & Hollow Tile Company manufactures brick and building and drain tile, employing thirty-five people and shipping its product throughout the central states territory meeting with a ready market in six states, its output being over 100 tons daily. The Medora company, operating at Medora, manufactures common, face and paving brick, its output being 50,000 bricks daily, manufactured in down draft kilns, and its market being the central states territory. Mr. Robertson is one of the best known and most thoroughly informed men in his line in the state, and is a member of the National Face Brick Manufacturers Association and the Structural Tile Manufacturing Association. He is also active in farming and at present has 600 acres of fertile Jackson County soil under a high state of cultivation. Fraternally he belongs to the Masons, the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks and the Knights of Pythias. He is also active in civic affairs, and during the World war served as food administrator for Jackson County, being also active in the Loan, War Stamps and Red Cross drives.

Mr. Robertson married Miss Bessie Burrell, of Jackson County, a daughter of John B. Burrell, who for many years was a prominent merchant of Brownstown and a substantial agriculturist of Jackson County, as well as president of the County Council. Mr. and Mrs. Robertson have one daughter: Carolyn, a student.

INDIANA ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTY YEARS OF AMERICAN DEVELOPMENT Vol. 5
By Charles Roll, A.M.
The Lewis Publishing Company, 1931


MOODY I. MASSENA. In the world changes that have taken place in comparatively recent years through war and subsequent adjustments, many sections of different counties have become familiar names in innumerable households; but still, Napoleon and the battle of Waterloo of a past century have not lost their historical interest. It is possible, however, that very few of the veterans of that great battle spent their last days in peace on a quiet farm in Pennsylvania, as did the brave French General Mazzine, who was the grandfather of Moody I. Massena, former postmaster and prominent citizen of Medora, Indiana.

Moody I. Massena was born at Lexington, Scott County, Indiana, April 8, 1878, a son of Uriah Massena, as the family has written it since it became a family name early in 1800. Uriah Massena was born in Pennsylvania, where he was reared, receiving his education in the public schools, and in his youth learned the trade of carpenter, subsequently developing into a building contractor. When the war between the states was precipitated, in 1861, he enlisted in Company K, Twenty-sixth Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry, and loyally and bravely served his country for three years and three months. After the close of the war he moved with his family to Scott County, Indiana, and his ten children were reared there and in Lawrence County. The father continued to be engaged in the contracting business until his death and was one of his community's highly esteemed citizens.

After acquiring a public school education in Scott and Lawrence counties, Moody I. Massena secured employment in a sawmill, and continued to be engaged in that business until 1918, when he was elected township trustee of Carr Township. He discharged the duties of that office ably until 1921, in which year he was appointed postmaster at Medora by President Harding, and in June, 1926, was reappointed to this position by President Coolidge. During his incumbency he did much to improve the service in the way of efficiency and expeditiousness in the correct handling of the mail, and at all times proved himself a courteous and capable official. He belonged to the Tri-State Postmasters Association, was a Mason, and passed through the chairs of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and the Knights of Pythias. He had various business interests and was a member of the board of directors of the Medora Building & Loan Association. Politically he was a stanch Republican and wielded a distinct influence in his party in Jackson County. During the World war Mr. Massena was greatly active in the various movements for the success of American arms, and was so successful in his efforts in selling Liberty Bonds that he was awarded a medal by the United States Government, which trophy was fashioned of metal taken from a captured German cannon.

Mr. Massena married Miss Stella Russell, a native of Jackson County, and to this union there were born three children: Wilma, a graduate of the high school at Medora, who attended Danville College one term and the Indiana University two terms, and was engaged in teaching in the public schools until her marriage to Ernest J. Mason, a veteran of the World war who saw active service in France as a member of the Aviation Corps; Eula Mae, who attended Indiana University, married John W. Hill, of Medora, and they have a daughter, Donna C.; and Ruth, a graduate of Medora High School, is now the wife of Len Shipley. Moody I. Messena died November 2, 1930.

INDIANA ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTY YEARS OF AMERICAN DEVELOPMENT Vol. 5
By Charles Roll, A.M.
The Lewis Publishing Company, 1931


VIRGIL T. ABEL, M. D. The medical profession in Jackson County, Indiana, can justly claim many able and widely-known practitioners, men of stable characters who are valued members of representative medical organizations, and who, as laymen, are foremost in serving the best interests of their communities. Not a few of these are native sons of Indiana and descendants of her pioneers. One of these is found in Dr. Virgil T. Abel, a capable and thorough physician and surgeon for many years at Vallonia.

Doctor Abel was born September 12, 1877, at Jonesville, Bartholomew County, Indiana, and is a son of John and Maria (Thomas) Abel. The founder of the family in Indiana was his great-grandfather, Pollard Abel, a native of Virginia, who paused first in Kentucky but was yet a young man when he settled permanently in the Hoosier State, where he rounded out his career as an agriculturist. His son was Francis Abel, also an Indiana farmer, and John Abel, the father of Doctor Abel and a native of Bartholomew County, also spent his life in the tilling of the soil. The latter married Maria Thomas, of Jackson County, this state.

Dr. Virgil T. Abel passed his boyhood on his father's farm and was one of a family of thirteen children, all of whom were reared comfortably and all had school opportunities, but Doctor Abel was the only one to devote his life to medical science. Almost from early youth his natural inclination was in this direction, and ultimately the goal of his ambition was reached when he was graduated from the medical department of the University of Cincinnati, with the degree of Doctor of Medicine, being a member of the class of 1901. He chose the pleasant little City of Vallonia, Indiana, as his first field of practice, and here, more than a quarter of a century later, he is found, now one of the leading men of his profession in Southern Indiana , and universally honored and trusted by those he has faithfully served so long. Although interested in civic politics to some extent and a member of the Pension Board, he has never accepted office that would absorb too much of his time from his medical work. He is a constant student of his profession, and a member of the Jackson County Medical Society, the Indiana State Medical Society and the American Medical Association, and occasionally contributes to their literature. Fraternally he is a Mason and a member of the Knights of Pythias, and is active in the latter order, of which he is chancellor commander.

Doctor Abel was united in marriage with Miss Mabel Hunsucker, of Vallonia, and to this union there have been born two children: George Emerson and Joseph Neal, both of whom are attending school.

INDIANA ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTY YEARS OF AMERICAN DEVELOPMENT Vol. 5
By Charles Roll, A.M.
The Lewis Publishing Company, 1931


WILLIAM P. PATTERSON, president of the Gary board of public works, has several times been called upon for important service in the great steel city of Northern Indiana, though he has never been classed as a politician and has never been an office seeker. His citizenship in Gary has been a source of sound civic influence and public benefit, almost from the time that Gary was started on the sand dunes. He is perhaps Gary's oldest realtor, and through his own business he has been able to realize some of his ideals in the development of a community which is unique in the history of American municipalities.

Mr. Patterson is a member of an old Indiana family. He was born on a farm about twenty-six miles east of Vincennes, in Daviess County, near the town of Washington, February 28, 1864. His parents were William P. and Elizabeth (Padgett) Patterson. His grandfather, Joseph Patterson, went from West Virginia to Kentucky and later to Daviess County, Indiana, locating on land in the woods four miles from the nearest neighbors. He and his wife are buried in the Loogootee Cemetery in that county. William P. Patterson, Sr., was a native of Kentucky and was a child when the family moved to Daviess County, Indiana, and during much of his life he lived on the old homestead which has been in the family possessions for fully a century and has never had a transfer recorded against it since it was taken up from the Government. He died in 1892, at the age of seventy-eight, and is buried at Loogootee. His wife, Elizabeth Padgett, was also a native of Kentucky, was reared and educated in that state and taught school there for a time. She was a devout Catholic. She died in 1881. There were eleven children in the family, six sons and five daughters: Presley, Mary Ann, George, Mrs. Ellen McCauley, Charles, Joseph, William P., Malinda, Mrs. Alice Norris, of Loogootee, Eva and Lawrence. Only three are now living, Mrs. McCauley, the Gary realtor and Mrs. Norris. The member of the family occupying the old homestead in Daviess County is Mrs. McCauley.

That old homestead is a place of particular interest to students of the life of Lincoln. The Gary Post-Tribune on Lincoln's birthday in 1930 published an interesting feature story from information supplied by Mr. Patterson and serving to supplement the rather meager information concerning the movements of the Lincoln family during their life in Indiana. The Lincolns, it will be recalled, left their old home in Spencer County, Indiana, and started for Illinois in the spring of 1830. Young Abe was then just twenty-one years of age. The route they followed was the old Buffalo trail through Daviess County and at the close of a cold, rainy day in March the oxen stopped in front of the Patterson home and the Patterson's welcomed these forlorn travelers and made them comfortable for three days, during which time, according to the family tradition, young Abe made friends with everybody and with every animal on the farm, and when he went away he wore a sleeveless coat of the kind known as "wampus," which one of the Patterson family gave him after noting how thinly clad he was.

It was in that rural environment in Southern Indiana that William P. Patterson grew to manhood. He walked back and forth during the winter to a country schoolhouse four miles away, getting up long before daylight in order to help with the chores and hurrying home after school session to take care of the stock before dark. Mr. Patterson at the age of twenty-one went to Indianapolis, served an apprenticeship in a mercantile house and when he was thirty years of age established himself in business as a general merchant at Alexandria. He built up a big and flourishing trade there, and enjoyed prosperity and contentment until his continued application to the work of the store brought about a serious condition of health so that on the advice of a physician he sold out in 1904 and moved to Indiana Harbor. There he resumed his connection with merchandising on a more modest scale, but after two years was again threatened with a complete breakdown. The decision was made to get into some line that would keep him out of doors.

It was on February 26, 1906, that Mr. Patterson paid his first visit to the steel town that was growing up on the site of Gary. His companions were Mayor A. F. Knotts, of Hammond, and his brother, Tom Knotts, the first mayor of Gary. Soon afterward Mr. Patterson rented an office over Sam Miller's clothing store and established a fire insurance business, being able to make a complete canvass of the scattered business houses and homes of the city every thirty days. In 1908 he and Carl Stout, another Gary pioneer, formed the partnership of Patterson & Stout, with offices at 664 Broadway and doing a real estate brokerage and loan business. They became local representatives for the Union National Savings & Loan Association of Indianapolis, which made their first loans on Broadway through this office. Mr. Patterson in 1921 joined Samuel Muscat in organizing the first successful Chamber of Commerce in Gary. Over a period of twenty-five years his operations in real estate have made him a continued factor in the growth and development of the city. In many ways he has been able to influence the trend of appropriate civic planning and bring about an improvement vital to the future development of the city. Mr. Patterson first served on the board of public works for four years during the second administration of Mayor R. O. Johnson. In 1922 he and Mr. Stout established a branch office for their business in South Bend. The following year Mr. Patterson acquired his partner's holdings and has since conducted business alone. His offices are at 113 West Sixth Avenue.

Mr. Patterson is individually a large property owner in the Gary district. He was appointed president of the board of public works January 6, 1930. On different occasions he has made public-spirited efforts to cooperate in behalf of some special improvement demanded or needed by the community, and since becoming head of the board of works he proposed to donate a portion of lake frontage owned by him to the west of Grand Boulevard as part of a site to be developed by the city as a harbor for pleasure boats. Mr. Patterson is an active member of the Chamber of Commerce, the B. P. O. Elks and in politics has always been a staunch Republican.

He married at Washington, Indiana, in June 1890, Miss Roberta Rodgers, a native of Tennessee. By this marriage he has a daughter, Mildred, now the wife of Robert Patterson, of Chicago, Illinois. Mr. Robert Patterson was for some years in the service of the city government at Chicago and is now looking after his oil interests there and in California. Mr. and Mrs. Robert Patterson have two children, Robert, Jr., and Patty Ann. Mr. William P. Patterson married at Gary in 1920 Miss Effie Kain. She is active in the Presbyterian Church and various social clubs of Gary.

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INDIANA ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTY YEARS OF AMERICAN DEVELOPMENT Vol. 5
By Charles Roll, A.M.
The Lewis Publishing Company, 1931


FRANK L. RANDALL, general manager of the Randall Mills, is an energetic representative of the business interests of Delaware County. He is a man of liberal education and of unusual business training and experience.

Mr. Randall was born at Anderson, Indiana, February 2, 1904, son of William and Anna (Thompson) Randall. His father was a lifelong resident of Madison County and had a farm near Anderson, but later gave most of his time to the management and development of the oil wells brought in on his own land. He died in 1906 and is buried at Anderson. His wife, Anna Thompson, was born and reared near Elwood, attended school there and now resides at Muncie, where she is an active member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. She is a daughter of Frank and Sarah Thompson, the former being identified during his active life with farming interests. Both her parents are buried at Elwood. William Randall and wife had three children: Raymond, of Auburn, Indiana; Lawrence, of Chicago; and Frank L.

Frank L. Randall attended public schools at Gaston, graduating from the high school there in 1921. For three years he was a student in what is now the Ball State Teachers College at Muncie, and in the intervals between his school terms he taught for two years at Gaston and one year at Matthews, Indiana. After giving up school work he went to Chicago and spent four years with Montgomery Ward & Company and one year with Bell & Howell.

Mr. Randall returned to Gaston in February, 1930, and acquired the Gaston Roller Mills and is now giving his entire time and attention to the management of the Randall Mills. Mr. Randall is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church.

He married in Chicago, March 20, 1925, Miss Mabel DeGries, daughter of Ralph and Kate (Terbourgh) DeGries. Her father was an accountant in Chicago and died in 1929, being buried in that city. Mrs. DeGries resides with Mr. and Mrs. Randall. Mrs. Randall graduated from the Schurz High School of Chicago in 1922 and from the Metropolitan Business College of that city in 1925. She was a stenographer in the offices of Montgomery Ward & Company until her marriage. She is a Methodist. Mr. and Mrs. Randall have two children, Ruth Evelyn and. Robert William.

Mr. Frank L. Randall acquired his knowledge of the milling business during his youth as an employee of the Gaston Roller Mills, then owned by his uncle and benefactor, the late Dr. George W. Huber. Mr. Randall was in many ways befriended by Doctor Huber, who was one of Gaston's outstanding citizens. Doctor Huber was born at Gaston, May 2, 1867, and lived there all his life. He died February 2, 1930, at the age of sixty-two years and nine months. His parents were Frederick and Susan (Boyle) Huber. Doctor Huber was educated in the grade and high schools at Gaston, attended the old Muncie Normal School and in 1894 was graduated from the American Medical College of Cincinnati, and subsequently took a degree from the Eclectic Medical College of Indianapolis. He had an extensive medical practice, but much of his time was also given to business affairs. He was identified with the Gaston Milling Company from 1882. This industry was established by his father as a carriage making shop in 1860, at a time when Gaston was known as New Corner. In 1880 a saw mill and flour mill were added to the equipment and Doctor Huber took charge of the flour mill in 1882. After the death of his father, in 1898, he owned and conducted the business under his personal supervision. He was a member of the Indiana Millers Association and from boyhood was a devout communicant of the United Brethren Church. He made his religion a part of his every day life, and the community of Gaston will always respect his memory as that of a sincere Christian, an able physician and a citizen of utmost public spirit.

Doctor Huber married, March 2, 1890, Miss Corrina May Barrett, daughter of Samuel and Lana Barrett, of Delaware County. She died December 9, 1898, leaving two children, Alderd W. and Beatrice B., of Gaston. Doctor Huber on December 25, 1900, married Miss Nannie Thompson, a daughter of Frank and Sarah Thompson. She survives him. Doctor Huber was also survived by four brothers and one sister, James F., William E., Frederick, Jr., Frank and Amanda C. Huber.

INDIANA ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTY YEARS OF AMERICAN DEVELOPMENT Vol. 5
By Charles Roll, A.M.
The Lewis Publishing Company, 1931


HORACE M. PAYNTER, physician and. surgeon at Salem, is a native of Washington County, Indiana, and has distinguished himself by many loyal services in private practice and in the opportunities for work open to a skilled representative of his profession.

Doctor Paynter was born at Salem, November 2, 1865. His great-grandfather was a native of England, of German ancestry, and was sent to Quebec, Canada, with some British troops at the time of the war with the American colonies. Learning the true inwardness of the war, that the Americans were fighting for freedom, he crossed the Saint Lawrence River and joined the American troops and fought for independence. After the war he moved to Virginia, and from that state the Paynters went west to Kentucky about 1795, and a few years later came to Indiana. Doctor Paynterís grandfather was John R. Paynter, a native of Virginia, who was a child when taken west to Kentucky. He married a Miss Etzler, of Virginia. Doctor Paynter's father, Dr C. L. Paynter, was a pioneer physician of Washington County, Indiana, where he practiced forty years. He was born in that county and married Sarah J. Smith, who was born at Elizabethtown, Kentucky. Dr. C. L. Paynter served as a first lieutenant in the medical department, under General Taylor, in the war with Mexico. Horace M. Paynter was one of four children, three sons and one daughter.

Doctor Paynter attended grade and high schools at Salem, and in 1890 was graduated from the medical department of the University of Louisville. For one year he practiced in Omaha, Nebraska, where he became a member of the Omaha Medical Society and the Douglas County Medical Society. For eight years he was in practice at Bedford, Indiana, and since then his professional duties have been in his old home community. Doctor Paynter during the Spanish-American war was Government examing surgeon. During the World war he was issued a certificate, authorized by the National Council of Defense, on October 8, 1918, for valuable services rendered. The Government Treasury Department also awarded him a special certificate for his valuable work during the influenza epidemic of 1918-19. He is a member of the Lawrence County Medical Society and the University of Louisville Alumni. Doctor Paynter has been affiliated with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows since 1893 and the Knights of Pythias since 1895, and was a member of the Elks while at Bedford.

He married Miss Jessie Trotter, of Valley City, Harrison County, Indiana. They have four children: Eva, wife of J. Marly Hall, of Eagle Grove, Iowa; Grace, wife of Joe Killeen, of Detroit; Howard, who is married and living in Milwaukee, Wisconsin; and Margaret, wife of Charles Pitts, local agent at Salem for the Standard Oil Company.

INDIANA ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTY YEARS OF AMERICAN DEVELOPMENT Vol. 5
By Charles Roll, A.M.
The Lewis Publishing Company, 1931


Deb Murray