Portrait from the 1887 Illustrated Cincinnati Business Directory.
A distinguished name in Ohio law circles during the mid 19th century, a name like "Flamen Ball" is certainly worth a laugh......how many men do you know of that possess a name that immediately conjures up images of a bright fiery ball...a "flamin' ball", if you will!! During a career in law that extended over forty years, Ball operated a law practice with future Ohio Governor and U.S. Chief Justice Salmon P. Chase, and in 1861 was appointed as U.S. District Attorney for Ohio's Southern District. Ball was also honored by being elected to multiple terms as Mayor of Clifton, Ohio (a satellite village within Cincinnati.)
A native of New York state, Flamen Ball was born in New York City on January 9, 1809, being the son of Flamen Ball Sr. and Anna Western Ball. In the late 1820s, he began to study law under the tutelage of his father and would put his studies on hold to work in a mercantile business for a time. Ball married in New York in 1829 to married Evelina Candler Ball (1810-1864) with whom he would have ten children. They are listed as follows in order of birth: Evelina Candler (born 1831), Flamen (died in infancy in 1834), Samuel Candler (died in infancy in 1836), Flamen III (1837-1912), Charles Henry (1841-1843), Laura Amelia (born 1844), George Harry (died in infancy in 1846), Susan Louise (1847-1934), Alice Devereux (died in infancy in 1852) and Allen Devereux (1854-1860).
In 1832 Flamen Ball relocated to Cincinnati, Ohio to continue in business, and did not resume his law studies until the late 1830s, when he entered the Cincinnati College as a law student. He graduated in the class of 1838 with his law degree and shortly thereafter formed a law practice in Cincinnati with Salmon Portland Chase (1809-1873), later to find nationwide prominence in politics, serving at various times as Governor of Ohio, Lincoln's Treasury Secretary and Chief Justice of the Supreme Court from 1864-1873. The firm of Chase and Ball would exist for twenty years, until being discontinued in 1858, when Chase was re-elected as Governor of Ohio (having first been elected in 1856.)
Three years after the dissolution of the Chase and Ball firm, Flamen Ball was appointed by President Lincoln to be U.S. District Attorney for Ohio's Southern District. He served in office from 1861-1869 and two years before leaving office was named as a U.S. Register in Bankruptcy by his old friend Salmon Chase, who was then serving as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. Ball would serve as register until his death in 1885, and his time in office was profiled in Volume 13 of the American Law Record, which notes that:
"As a Register he transacted the majority of the bankruptcy business of this county. The questions passed upon by him were numerous and important. His opinions were frequently able, elaborate, and, in almost every case, affirmed by the court. He examined all questions submitted to him with exemplary care and thoroughness, and never failed to dispose of every question submitted."
Flamen Ball (portrait courtesy of Find-a-Grave).
Prior to his service as district attorney Flamen Ball had been instrumental in the incorporation of the village of Clifton, Ohio, a small satellite community within the city of Cincinnati. Ball first proposed a charter to incorporate the village in 1849 and after presenting the charter/petition to the Ohio General Assembly the village officially came into being in March 1850. Ball would later serve the village as its mayor on multiple occasions, serving from 1851-1855, 1856, and again from 1869-1871.
Despite being over fifty years old at the dawn of the Civil War, Flamen Ball was a staunch Union man, and as such organized a company of volunteers, mainly consisting of Clifton residents. Ball later was commissioned as a captain and served as an aide to Major General John Ellis Wool, and at the war's conclusion returned to Cincinnati to resume his law practice.
In 1864, Flamen Ball's wife of over thirty years, Evelina Candler Ball, died at age 54. He would remarry in 1873 to Elizabeth Parmalee, a native of Brooklyn, New York. Several years prior to his death Ball removed to Glendale, Ohio, and continued in the practice of law until six months before his death. Health concerns plagued him during his last weeks of life, and two days before his passing "was attacked with a hemorrhage of the brain" and died on January 20, 1885 at his Glendale home. Ball was later buried at the Spring Grove Cemetery in Cincinnati, the same resting place as that of his wife Evelina.