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Before there were Ball jars there were five Ball brothers

If it wasn’t for the Ball fruit jar, Minnetrista wouldn’t exist. That humble jar, so important to food preservation, generated an industry that put Muncie on the map and provided the Ball family with the wherewithal to give back to their community, particularly in the form of Ball Memorial Hospital, Ball State University and, later, Minnetrista.  


Before there were Ball jars, however, there were five Ball brothers – Lucius, William, Edmund, Frank and George (another brother died at age two). The brothers, along with their sisters Lucina and Frances, were born to Lucius Styles and Maria Bingham Ball and grew up in Ohio and New York State.

  • Lucina Amelia Ball (1847-1901)
  • Lucius Lorenzo (1850-1932)
  • William Charles (1852-1921)
  • Edmund Burke (1855-1925)
  • Frank Clayton (1857-1943)
  • Mary Frances (1860-1926)
  • George Alexander (1862-1955)
  • Clinton Harvey (1867-1869)

The father, Lucius Styles Ball, as his son Frank noted in his Memoirs, “… was a man of good, sound judgment, high moral character, modest, refined, a sensitive nature, a man of few words, fond of his family.” He was a farmer, carpenter and inventor.  Maria Polly Bingham was teaching school in Greensburg, Ohio where she met and married Lucius Styles Ball. Frank described their mother as “… a remarkably strong woman, physically and mentally, with a sweet Christian spirit.” Maria “… urged us (the five brothers) always to stick together and help each other.”

clientuploads/Blog/Lucius Styles Ball-1.jpgLucius Styles Ball

clientuploads/Blog/Maria Bingham Ball.jpgMaria Bingham Ball

clientuploads/Blog/Frances Ball Mauck.jpgFrances Ball Mauck
clientuploads/Blog/Lucina Ball.jpgLucina Ball

The brothers did stick together in work and in life, building a business empire and living side-by-side. Stay tuned to read more about the Ball brothers and sisters and their families, plus the company and other business interests.