This name is recognized as belonging to one of the most solid citizens of Jefferson Township, Greene County. He has improved one of the finest farms within its limits and has been no unimportant factor in bringing this section of country to its present condition, socially, morally and financially. Within this county he has spent his entire life and was born December 1, 1826, in Caesar’s Creek Township. He comes of a good family, being the son of John BALES, a native of Pennsylvania and born March 6, 1789.
The paternal grandfather of our subject was Elisha BALES, SR., likewise a native of the Keystone State, and who ancestors like himself were Quakers in religious faith. He was reared to farm life and married a lady whose first name was Rebecca. She also was of similar parentage and of the same faith. They lived for a few years in their native State, then removed to Virginia where they sojourned until 1806. They then decided upon another change of residence and set out with teams overland for the young State of Ohio, and after a tedious journey of several weeks arrived in Greene County and located on land included in the military tract and in what is now Caesar’s Creek Township. There Grandfather BALES improved a farm and spent the remainder of his life, dying when quite aged. He maintained his adherence to the Friends’ Church to the last. Politically, he was a stanch Democrat, a man who kept himself thoroughly posted upon leading events and a man who opinions were generally respected. His wife also lived to be quite aged.
Among the children born to Elisha BALES, SR. and his excellent wife, was John, the father of our subject, who was the second of four sons and two daughters, all of whom lived to mature years and all are now deceased. John was youth of seventeen years when his parents removed from Virginia to Ohio and he was married about 1812. He, however, later enlisted as a soldier in the war which was then in progress, being in a company under the command Capt. Joseph Lucas. Soon afterward occurred the battle of Lake Erie under the famous Commodore Perry. There was also in his same regiment his brother Jonathan, who was the first one to discover that the battle was raging by hearing the noise, as he was lying in camp with his head on the ground, of the cannonading that jarred the earth. Soon afterward the troops were put in motion and started for the fray, but before reaching the scene of conflict found that the British had surrendered. This practically wound up the war and the BALES boys returned home.
The father of our subject now resumed farming and in common with his neighbors labored early and late in the building up of a home and the accumulation of a competence. In due time he became the owner of two hundred acres of choice land, lying along the waters of Caesar’s Creek, where he made his permanent home. There he spent the remainder of his life, passing away March 11, 1864. He was a hard working man, honest and upright in his dealings and one who was intrusted with many positions of responsibility in this township. He served as Justice of the Peace fifteen years and from first to last maintained his allegiance to the Democratic party, casting his first Presidential vote for Gen. Jackson. He was at one time the nominee of his party for Representative to the State Legislature, running against Judge John Fudged and being defeated as his party was in the minority. He, however, made a fine race, enough to indicate his popularity among the people.
The father of our subject was married in Caesar’s Creek Township, about 1811, to Miss Sarah LUCAS. Mrs. BALES was born in 1795 at Maysville, Ky., and was the daughter of John and Frances (RAINS) Lucas, a prominent family of the Blue Grass State. Her Uncle Simon RAINS served as a soldier in the War of 1812, under Gen. Jackson and fought at the battle of New Orleans. John LUCAS and his wife, after the birth of a part of their family, removed from Virginia to Ohio, settling in Caesar’s Creek Township, Greene County, before the Indians had left the country. Mr. LUCAS cleared a farm from the forest, building up a good homestead where he spent the closing years of his life, surrounded by every comfort. He made for himself a good record as a man and a citizen and died in 1851, at the ripe old age of eighty years. Mrs. LUCAS survived her husband a number of years and then she too passed away when quite aged. Both were members of the Old School Baptist Church. Mrs. Sarah BALES died at her home in Caesar’s Creek Township June 8, 1874. She was a lady possessing all the Christian virtues and consistent member of the Methodist Protestant Church.
The subject of this notice was reared to man’s estate on the home farm, receiving a good education and developed into a successful teacher which he followed until about 1860, mostly during the winter season. The balance of the year he was employed upon the farm. He contracted matrimonial ties April 15, 1852, with Miss Margaret KEITER, the wedding taking place at the bride’s home in Caesar’s Creek Township. Mrs. BALES was born May 18, 1831, in Hampshire County, Va., to Frederick and Mary (WEAVER) KEITER, who were likewise natives of the Dominion and representatives of its first families. MR. KEITER was a blacksmith by trade which he followed after coming to Ohio until 1835. He settled on a farm in Caesar’s Creek Township where he and his wife lived comfortably the remainder of their lives, both attaining to more than threescore and ten years. They had been since their youth members of the Old School Baptist Church in which Mr. KEITER officiated as a Deacon.
To the parents of Mrs. BALES there was born a family of five sons and seven daughters, nine of whom are yet living: Margaret A., was, like her brothers and sisters, subjected to careful parental training and obtained a fair education in the common schools. Of her union with our subject there have been born six children, of whom Mary E. died at the age of fifteen months and Frederick K. when an interesting child of seven years. The survivors are recorded as follows: Susan became the wife of Joseph O. AVY, a farmer of Gage County, Neb., William married Miss Lordelia Jane FAULKNER and they live on a farm in Clinton County, this State; Silas R. took a wife Miss Laura CLINE and they live on a farm in Jefferson Township, Green County; Sarah E. remains at home with her parents. Mr. BALES like his honored father, votes the straight Democratic ticket. No man can point to a dishonest act of which he has ever been guilty and he is looked upon as one whose word is as good as his bond.
Portrait and Biographical Album of Clark and Greene Counties, Chapman Bros., Chicago, published 1890