Transcript:Indiana, United States. Biographical and Genealogical History of Wayne, Fayette, Union and Franklin Counties/B/Ballinger, Isaac


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Isaac Ballinger (p 659)

A native of Logan County, Ohio, born June 10, 1820, a son of Samuel and Ann (Walker) Ballinger, the subject of this article is now approaching four-score years, and is living retired in the town of Liberty, where he is an honored citizen. His father was born in Burlington County, New Jersey, and after his marriage removed to Ohio, about 1808, and lived and died on his old homestead in Logan County, his death occurring when he was nearly seventy-five. His father, Samuel Ballinger, Sr., a member of the Society of Friends, came from Birmingham, England, to America prior to the Revolutionary War. The family originated in France, whence it was banished at the time of the persecution of the Huguenots. Rev. Thomas Ballinger, a brother of Isaac, was a very popular minister of the Universalist Church and was a public speaker of high repute. At various times he held public debates, chaining the attention of his hearers and causing them to believe that few could equal him. He died in his eightieth year, in June 1898, in Oskaloosa, Iowa, where he had made his home for years.

When he was nineteen years old Isaac Ballinger left home and for two years or more worked in Preble County, Ohio. Then, coming to Union County, he engaged in threshing grain, using a machine, which had a capacity of seventy-five to one hundred bushels a day, was a one-horse power and had an endless chain attached to the cylinder. The winnowing had to be done separately by hand. Having gained a start in a financial way Mr. Ballinger began farming in Harrison Township, in Union County, Indiana, on the homestead now owned by his son: coming thither in 1841 on attaining his majority, he resided there until twenty years ago, when he retired. He has since dealt in real estate to a limited extent. The farm was formerly the property of Robert Bennett, a native of Virginia, and father of the lady whom Mr. Ballinger married. Mr. Bennett, however, had been accidentally killed before the marriage of Mr. Ballinger, and the latter bought the farm of the heirs, and added land later, making it a fine place of two hundred and forty acres. Both farms are now owned and carried on by his sons.

On the 15th of August 1844, Isaac Ballinger wedded Orinda C. Bennett, daughter of Robert and Sarah (Welden) Bennett. She was born on the old homestead in Harrison Township, and was an orphan at the time she became acquainted with her future husband. Her father was killed by a runaway team some years before her mother died in 1851. Her brother, Hon. William H. Bennett, was a representative in the Indiana legislature from Union County for several years, as a Whig. He owned a large estate in Harrison Township, but had no family to inherit it. Another brother of Mrs. Ballinger, Prof. Hampton Bennett, was born February 2, 1832, and died at Carlisle, Ohio, June 6, 1898. He graduated at Antioch College, and was a member of the signal corps (of the Union army of the Civil War), for four years was a famous teacher, and for twenty-nine years was superintendent of the Franklin (Ohio) schools and occupied similar positions at other towns. John F. Bennett, a third brother, was the father of General Thomas Bennett, whose sketch is printed elsewhere in this work. A sister, Maria A., is the widow of the late Daniel Maxwell, of Liberty.

The children born to Mr. and Mrs. Ballinger were as follows: Samuel H. (see his sketch); Amanda Ellen, wife of William Moss, of Harrison Township; Thomas Corwin, a commercial traveler, of Burlington, Kansas, who has served in the Kansas State legislature for two terms and was treasurer of Coffey County for two terms; Albert Allison, who owns one of the farms above mentioned; William Bennett, who died July 31, 1887, aged thirty-two years; Inez, wife of Jackson Stivers, of Fairmont, Indiana; Mary Idella, who is at home; and two who died in infancy. William B. had been engaged in merchandising for four years in Franklin, Ohio, and for some years prior to his death was in business with his brother, Samuel H. His widow, Mrs. Laura (Young) Ballinger, is now living in Oxford, Ohio.

In his boyhood, Isaac Ballinger was reared in the doctrines of the Quakers, but as he trained with the militia and refused to acknowledge sorrow for so doing, he was turned out of the society. For many years he has been a faithful member of the Christian Church, and for two-score years has held the office of deacon. He is an ardent Republican, and once a candidate for county treasurer, and has voted for every president from W. H. Harrison down, with one exception.