Buena Vista County, IA
USGenWeb Project

Extracted from:  Wegerslev, C. H. and Thomas Walpole. 
 Past and Present of Buena Vista County, Iowa
Chicago:  S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., 1909, p. 427-28.

Transcribed by Mary Alice Schwanke and Cyndi Vertrees

Biography of  Loyal E. Ballou

The distinctive and specific office of biography is not to give voice to a man's modest estimate of himself and his accomplishments but rather to leave the perpetual record establishing his character by the consensus of the public opinion on the part of his fellowmen. Throughout Buena Vista county, Loyal E. Ballou is spoken of in terms of admiration and respect. While he has in no sense been a man in public life, he has, nevertheless, exercised a beneficial influence on the city and county of his residence, being one of he men of large affairs in this locality. His interests have been a factor in the county's development and in the control of his investments he has displayed marked business ability and energy.

Loyal E. Ballou was born in Essex County, New York, in 1839, and was the third in order of birth in a family of seven children. His father, Collin Ballou, was born in Rhode Island, and came of English ancestry. He was a farmer by occupation and removed to Iowa at an early period in the development of the west. He settled in Clayton County and then went to Red Oak, where his remaining days were passed. In politics he was an old-line whig [sic] and when that party passed out of existence he joined the new republican party. He married Miss Samson, who was born in New Hampshire, and died in 1857. She too was of English lineage.

Loyal E. Ballou was reared on the home farm and mastered the common branches of learning in the district schools, while later he attended a private school. He followed the occupation of farming in his youth and was early trained to the work of the fields. He afterward engaged in he tilling of the soil until the outbreak of the Civil war, when his patriotic spirit was aroused by the attempt of the south to overthrow the Union and in May, 1861, he offered his services to the government and enlisted in Clayton county, Iowa, as a member of Company K, First Iowa Cavalry. He thus served until September, 1864, and was mustered out at Davenport. At Prairie Grove, Arkansas, he was taken prisoner and was confined at Fort Smith, Arkansas for two weeks, after which he was exchanged. He then returned to his regiment and was in a number of skirmishes. He faithfully performed every duty that devolved upon him, whether it called him to the firing line or! stationed him on the lonely picket line.

When Mr. Ballou was mustered out he returned to Clayton County with a creditable military record and there remained for a year. He afterward went to Madison County, this state, where he resided until 1886, when he came to Storm Lake, where he made a permanent location, and has since been one of the men of large affairs in this city. On the 18th of February, 1908, he and W. A. Jones organized the Security Bank, with a capital of fifty thousand dollars, and they are now doing a general banking business, Mr. Ballou being president and Mr. W. A. Jones, cashier.

Mr. Ballou married Miss Ellen M. Taylor, a native of Massachusetts, and they have two sons; Loyal E., Jr., who is now assistant cashier of the Security Bank; and Ernest S. Both are graduates of Storm Lake high school and of the commercial department of Buena Vista College. They are still at home with their parents.

Mrs. Ballou is a member of the Presbyterian church, and the family are prominent socially. In his political views Mr. Ballou is a republican but without desire for office, his business interests making full claim upon his time and attention.