Biography - John Ballance

JOHN W. BALLANCE, M. D. The medical profession of Johnson county is represented by some of the most skilled and learned men of this calling to be found in the state. They have devoted themselves, their time, energy and lives to the preservation of public health and the alleviation of human ills, but their work is not always appreciated nor is it always remunerated as befits the efforts they have expended, yet they have cheerfully accepted conditions as they are and have continued to carry on the great work without which no community could thrive. One of the successful physicians and surgeons of Johnson county who has attained a high place in his profession is Dr. John W. Ballance, engaged in practice in his home place, the nourishing city of New Burnside, Illinois, where he was born October 6, 1871.

His father, James H. Ballance, was a son of James H. and a Miss (Farland) Ballance, and was fifteen years of age when brought to Johnson county from Kentucky in 1851. He was reared on his father's farm, and at the age of twenty-one years was married to Jency A. Whiteaker, a sister of Captain Whiteaker, and daughter of Hall and Elvira (Dameron) Whiteaker, natives of Tennessee. Hall Whiteaker was a son of Mark Whiteaker, who came to. Southern Illinois in 1818 and lost his life soon thereafter, while Elvira Dameron was the daughter of John Dameron, a Revolutionary soldier and one of the early pioneer settlers of Burnside township, Johnson county. In 1862 James H. Ballance enlisted in the One Hundred and Twentieth Regiment, Illinois Volunteer Infantry, but after one and one-half years' service contracted sciatic rheumatism and was invalided home. He served as first lieutenant of Company G, under Captain Mark Whiteaker, and was stationed in and around Memphis, also doing scout duty in Arkansas, Mississippi and Tennessee, and taking part in a number of battles, including Vicksburg. On his return home he resumed his farming operations and became a successful and prominent agriculturist, accumulating one hundred and sixty acres of land, in two farms of eighty acres each, and died in 1909, his wife passing away when she was sixty-five years of age. They had a family of seven children, namely: George, who is a court reporter and resides in Johnson county; Thomas, an agriculturist of this county; M. W., a well-known dentist of Marion, Illinois; Adam, a physician of Tulsa, Okla; Earl, a bookkeeper of Hutchinson, Kansas; Mrs. Sarah Wood; and John W.

John W. Ballance received his preliminary education in the public schools in the vicinity of his father's farm and the Southern Illinois State Normal University, at Carbondale, Illinois, and after teaching school for two years entered Rush Medical College, Chicago, from which he was graduated with the degree of M. D., in 1896. Beginning the practice of medicine at Harrisburg, Illinois, he continued there until 1909, as surgeon for the Big Four Railroad, and in that year came to his home town of New Burnside, which has since been his field of practice. Dr. Ballance's skill as a surgeon has been demonstrated in a number of complicated and discouraging cases, and as a physician he stands among the foremost medical men of this section. He belongs to the American Medical Association, the Association of Railway Surgeons and the Illinois State Medical Society, in all of which he is well and favorably known. As a public-spirited citizen of New Burnside he has always given of his time and means in supporting progressive movements, and although he has never allowed his name to be used in connection with public office he takes a keen interest in matters that pertain to the welfare of his native county.

Dr. Ballance was married in 1897, to Miss Emma G. Cummings, of Chicago, daughter of Charles and Abigail (Hadlock) Cummings, of that city, and to this union there has been born one son, Senn, who is now four years old.

Extracted from 1912 A History of Southern Illinois, volume 2, pages 603-604.

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