1895 Accident Claims Life of Levi Ball


Transcribed by Norma Knotts Shaffer from microfilm of the Calhoun Chronicle dated 9/17/1895.

Last Tuesday Louis Ball was hauling a wagon loaded with thirty railroad cross ties to the river about a mile above town, his father, Levi Ball, was riding on the wagon, when one of the oxen became unyoaked.  He jumped off the wagon to catch the ox, when he slipped and rolled under the wagon.  A wheel passed over his right leg, below the knee, mashing the flesh into a jelly and breaking the bone in three or four places.  He was carried to S.T. Stump's, who lives near, and Dr. Dye hastily called to attend the wound.  An examination of the injury showed that there was but one thing to do, and in all haste preparations were made to amputate the limb.  It happened that both Drs. Swentzel and Blair were away from home and could not be gotten.  With what help could be provided by the bystanders Dr. Dye amputated the limb above the knee.  To all appearances the operation seemed to be successful, the patient yielded readily to the anesthetic and did not appear to suffer from the shock during the operation, which lasted about one hour from the time of administering the ether.  For one hour after the operation the patient showed signs of rallying.  After that time the symptoms changed and he began to sink and died in eight hours after the close of the operation.  He was burried at the Bethlehem Cemetery on the following day, a large congregation of people assembling to show their respect to his memory and his bereaved family and friends.  The subject of the foregoing sketch was about sixty years of age, and was a son of John and Rachel Ball.  He was born in this county and had spent his life in farming pursuits.  His wife died a little over one year ago almost as suddenly as he was called away.  He was the father of nine children, all of whom are grown.  All were present at the funeral except John, who resides in Wyoming county, and was too far away to reach home in time for the funeral.  Mr. Ball was one of Calhoun County's best citizens and his loss will be keenly felt.  He was a member of the Bethlehem Baptist Church, and had always lived to adorn his profession.  To the sorrowing friends, and especially the children, we extend heartfelt sympathy.
It has been remarked that some families are ill fated.  The death of Levi Ball brings to memory the peculiar fates of that family.  Of the six brothers, Samuel died while a little child, David died of fever when about twenty-two years old.  These both died at home.  John was drowned in the Ohio river, Frank was shot and killed in Gilmer county in time of the war, Alpheus died from an operation in Baltimore, and Levi from shock at S.T. Stump's, about two miles from his home.