Mr. Ball was born in a little log cabin on Tenney's Hill, in Hebron, N. H., Nov. 12, 1794.

He was the youngest of ten children.

His early years were passed out of society, with no school advantages except such as were afforded by a winter school of about two months.

Liking books better than hard work on the farm, and feeling that if he had a chance he could be something more than a poor plodding being, he became impatient, and importuned his father to let him go away to school.

Consent was obtained, and for a time he studied with a clergyman, who had a few pupils.

Here he pursued English studies with great diligence, so that after a few months his teacher set him to studying Latin.

Religiously trained at home, he, at the early age of twelve years, became skeptical, thoughtful and an independent thinker.

He must see and realize for himself.

The result has been with him as with thousands of others not anchored in unquestioning faith, he has ever been the prey of doubts and fears - uncertain, as all will be, who, by searching, try to find out God.

Under the kindly encouragement of his teacher, he resolved to concentrate all his energies upon- the one great object - an education. He fitted for college at Salisbury Academy, living in the most economical way, and supporting himself as best he could.

He entered Dartmouth College, and like thousands of other poor, but energetic boys, went through, helping himself by teaching and work, and by the backing of some friends.

And here let the writer say, that any young man who has a mind worth educating, can educate himself.

His character and his energy will open the way.

Knowledge is not locked from the poor; it is from the indifferent.

After graduating, he went to Lansingburg, N. Y., where he taught school and studied law for two years.

Then he started out to seek his fortune; went to Darien, Georgia.

Was wrecked on the passage, but fortunately all but one got ashore with their lives.

At Darien he kept a private school.

The next summer he returned to New York, resumed the study of law; and in due time was admitted to practice.

He was soon after elected Justice of the Peace at Lansingburg.

The death of his brother-in-law necessitated the abandonment of legal practice, and his devotion to the interests of the estate for two years.

Free once more, with a restless longing to visit other regions, in conjunction with a gentleman from Boston, he set out in the spring of 1832, for Oregon.

On their overland journey they joined a party of mountain fur-traders at Independence.

In this route, Mr. Ball passed over the same region that Fremont had the honor of exploring ten years later.

On his return, at the request of Prof. Silliman, he gave the result of his observations in a series of articles in the Journal of Science.

These articles were considered an important contribution to geographical science.

Mr. Ball has not, as he should have done, vindicated his priority to Fremont.

He spent a year in Washington Territory, in the winter teaching the half-breeds at Fort Vancouver, and the next summer in starting a farm.

He got tired of farming, sold his crops to the fur company, went to California, and from there to the Sandwich Islands, " Restless ever; ever roving."

Having seen what was worth seeing among the Islands of the Pacific, cruising awhile on a whaler, he turned himself homeward, and we find him soon in the Grand River Valley.

As his history subsequently is given in the valuable contribution from his pen on the early times, which here appears, we will summarily dismiss Mr. Ball.

He has gone through a long life with his eyes open; has traveled extensively in Europe and America; has been a close observer of men and of nature; has in an uncommon degree won the confidence of those who have known him, and now at the advanced age of 82, is erect and athletic in person, and with intellectual powers unshaken by age, is still the careful observer and student of nature.

He has always been characterized by the youthfulness of his feelings, and by his love for, and interest in, the young.

With them he has always been the genial associate and wise counselor.

Known as “Honest John Ball,' he has made his mark on the financial, social, educational and moral interests of the Grand River Valley.

He, in independent, cheerful age, is biding his time.

He has the happiness of knowing that he is appreciated, and of feeling that he has good years of life still before him.