The Bales Family in Madison county, dates from the coming of Moses Bales, who was a resident of Virginia. With his wife, Mary, he settled in Somerford township, two miles north of the village of Somerford, near where Val WILSON now lives, and where he was a neighbor to the original Valentine WILSON, the grandfather of Val. The farm consisted of about three hundred acres of land and is still owned by members of the family. Moses Bales lived and died upon his farm, passing away in 1855, at a very advanced age. He built the present house on that farm. His third wife survived him several years. By his first marriage there were two sons, Calvin and Thomas, both of whom were farmers and stockmen, and two daughters, Catherine and Elizabeth. David Bales, a son of the third wife, lived in Madison county for a time, but finally emigrated to Texas, where he is still living. Late in life, Catherine married a Mr. LANSDALE, of Champaign county. Another daughter was Mrs. Susan MARKLEY. Another daughter, Betsy, died unmarried. Another daughter, Mrs. Sarah LOCKE, removed to Iowa. The daughters of of Thomas Bales own the old home place near Tradersville. They are Mrs. Carrie FITZGIBBONS, of Mechanicsburg; Talitha, the wife of Dr. Timothy Beach, of near London; and Alta, who married Charles GRAY, of Jeffersonville, Ohio. In 1914, Mrs. Gray was killed at a railroad crosing near Springfield, Ohio, when here automobile was struck by a car.

Calvin Fenton Bales was born on January 30, 1821. On October 19, 1843, he married Julia Ann Rigdon, the daughter of Charles and Lydia (MITCHELL) RIGDON, of Somerford towship. The former came to this county from Kentucky, the latter from Pennsylvania. Julia Ann (RIDGON) BALES was born in Champaign county, September 26, 1825. Her parents died in London after having sold the old home farm.

A short time after his marriage, Calvin Bales removed to the present homestead near Tradersville. At the time it consisted mostly of wild land. He set about to clear and drain the land and put about seventy-five acres in cultivation. Having started with four hundred acres he sold land until he had only two hundred and fifteen remaining. The main part of the present homestead building was probably here when he came but his widow remodeled and enlarged the house. Calvin Bales was very much interested in stock raising, and handled many cattle and sheep. He rented a great deal of land for grazing purposes. A short time before his death he purchased four hundred and thirty acres of land located near London. His death occurred in 1863, and he left a widow with five children. Mrs. Calvin Bales sold the London farm and returned to the old home farm near Tradersville. After a life of devotion to the Methodist Episcopal church and her family, she died in the old home, July 25, 1911. Mrs. Bales was a member of the Methodist church all her life, and was one of the liberal supporters of the Tradersville church. Calvin Bales was also interested in church work, and strictly observed all the requirements of the church. In fact, Calvin Bales' home was well known as the home of the Methodist preachers.

Calvin Fenton and Julia Ann (Rigdon) Bales were the parents of five children: Emeline married Daniel HENDRIX and died on October 3, 1887. Mary Jane married William HOUSTON, the father of L. C. Houston, and now lives in London. Charles E. is a stock raiser of Madison county and Kansas. Milton McKendree Bales, who was born on October 14, 1855 is now a Doctor of Divinity in the Baptist church. He was a Methodist minister for thirty years, but became a Baptist. He is now located at Homestead, Florida. He is a graduate of the Garrett Biblical Institute. Lydia Minerva is the wife of Dr. E. U. WOOD, of Columbus, Indiana, a practicing physician and surgeon of note.

Charles E. Bales was born in the house where he now lives on November 17, 1848, and has spent most of his life on this farm. Having been associated with his father in farming since he was ten years old, Charles Bales was able to take charge of the home farm upon his father's death. The first year after his father's death he carried three hundred sheep during the winter. When he took charge of the farm it consisted of two hundred and fifteen acres, but it now comprises three hundred and seventy-six acres. In the meantime, Charles bought the interests of his brothers and sisters in the home farm. He is a well-known stockman, who is much devoted to his business of crop raising and sheep feeding. Mr. Bales owns about five thousand acres of wheat and grass land in Kansas, which is well stocked with Hereford cattle. He has never had any desire to hold public office.

 

From HISTORY OF MADISON COUNTY - W. H. Beers [Chicago, 1883]