John Ball (1794-1884) was the son of Nathaniel and Deborah Ball, who were early New England pioneers. John traveled extensively throughout his life after being educated at Dartmouth College. He farmed in New Hampshire. Later, John traveled to New York, was shipwrecked on the coast of Georgia, and voyaged on a whaling ship to Rio de Janeiro. In 1832, he went to Oregon with Captain Nathaniel Wyeth. Afterwards, he settled in Vancouver where he taught children who lived in that settlement.
In 1836, John settled in Michigan Territory and for the next 48 years he called the Grand River Valley his home. With James H. McKee (born 1823), Ball was a partner in the law firm of Ball and McKee, 1849-1884. Ball was highly active in his community, operated a law office, served in the Legislature, and served on the school board for 37 years.
Ball married Mary Ball, with whom he had three daughters: Lucy, Flora Ball Hopkins, and Kate Ball Powers. (This information is from the collection.)