IAGenWeb Project

Audubon County


1915 Bios Index


One of the best-remembered men of the past generation of Audubon county, Iowa, is John Ballman, who at the time of his death, was living retired in Audubon on nine acres of land. Of Air. Ballman personally, it may be said that he was a man of strong and active sympathies, his temperament was warm and ardent, his feelings deep and intense. These and other attractive characteristics unconsciously drew him an unusual number of devoted friends, upon whom, under all circumstances, he could rely and who, now that he has past [sic passed] from all earthly scenes, revere his memory. He was a close student of human nature and comprehended with little effort the motives and purposes of men. He was a lover of truth and honesty; in brief, is remembered as a manly man of pleasing but dignified presence, a student of many subjects and an influential man in the circles in which he moved. Of sound character and unflagging energy, he stood as a conspicuous example of symmetrically-developed manhood and his position as one of the community's representative citizens was conceded by all.

The late John Ballman was born on August 22, 1836, in Germany and died in October, 1900. John Ballman came to America in 1868 and located first in Chicago, Illinois, where he kept a boarding house and a restaurant. He was married in Chicago, May 18, 1868, to Elizabeth Bobet, who was born on June 23, 1844, in Germany, and who came to America in 1868.

After the marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Ballman, they moved to Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, where he worked at the carpenter's trade for three or four years. They then located in Pottawatomie county, where he taught school. Mr. Ballman then bought a farm in Shelby county and lived here for five years. At the end of this period he sold the farm and moved to Fonda, in Pocahontas county, and after one year there, came to Audubon county in 1885. Mr. Ballman lived retired in Audubon county on nine acres of land.

Mr. and Mrs. Ballman had twelve children, only five of whom are living, Mrs. Mary Plaehn, who lives in Audubon; Mrs. Anna Coleman, who lives at Bridgeport, Nebraska; Paul, who lives in Chicago; Michael, who lives at North Branch; Mrs. Sophia MacNair, who lives in Omaha, Nebraska. The deceased children are Katie, Peter, Lena, John, and three others who died in infancy.

The late John Ballman served three years and eight months in the Danish War of 1866, then came, in 1868, to America, where he remained for one year and a half. He went back to Germany for one month when the Franco-Prussian War broke out and he returned to American to escape service.

He was well known in Audubon county, Iowa, and especially in Audubon and vicinity. Mrs. Ballman, who lives on the home place, is a refined woman and takes a keen interest in the welfare of Audubon county and who is admired and respected by all of her neighbors.

Transcribed from History of Audubon County, Iowa Its People, Industries and Institutions With Biographical Sketches of Representative Citizens and Genealogical Records of Many of the Old Families, by H. F. Andrews, editor, Indianapolis: B. F. Bowen & Company, 1915, pp. 426-427.