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Dee Burris Blakley ([personal profile] dee_burris) wrote2010-11-19 06:19 pm

Surname Saturday: Balding

The Baldings in my family came originally from New York, but made a stop to beget several generations in Vigo County, IN before coming to Arkansas.

James Henry Balding was born on 11 Jul 1841 in Sunfish, Pike Co., OH to Henry Balding and Hannah Morrell. I think Hannah was at least partly responsible for that leg of the Balding family coming to Arkansas, because Morrells came too, including her younger brother, John Clement (known as J C) Morrell.

In any event, after Henry Balding's death in 1843 in Vigo Co., IN, I found Hannah in the 1850 census, living with James Henry (her youngest child) and her younger brother, John and his wife and young son, in Memphis, Shelby County, TN.

By September 1854, the whole clan had settled in Des Arc, Prairie Co., AR, and J C Morrell had established and was editor of the Des Arc Citizen, a local newspaper that served the area until at least 1866.

James Henry Balding served in the Civil War, as a musician in the 15th Regiment, Arkansas Infantry (Josey's). On 6 Aug 1862, by order of Brig General Cleburne, he was detailed to Polk's Brigade Band. He mustered out of Granbury's Texas Brigade (Confederate) in accordance with terms set out in a Military Covention between Gen Joseph E Johnston and Maj Gen W T Sherman, entered into on 26 Apr 1865. He was paroled at Greensboro, NC. He came back home to Prairie Co., AR.

On 26 May 1868, James Henry Balding married Ann Elizabeth "Bettie" Booth in Prairie County. They had a daughter, Hannah Amelia Balding, who died in 1870, when she was about a year old. A second daughter, also named Amelia, was born on 26 May 1871 in DeValls Bluff, and Bettie Balding died, possibly during or shortly after Amelia's birth.

James remarried to Laura Isabella Cunningham on 27 Nov 1873 in DeValls Bluff. Their first son, Victor Claude Balding, was born in Prairie County on 9 Mar 1874, followed by Nelly Ione on 5 Jan 1876, James Ernest on 2 Mar 1878, and Ethel Clare on 16 May 1881. Amelia Balding died in 1879 when the family lived in Newport, Jackson Co., AR.

It must have been at his uncle J C Morrell's knee that James Henry Balding learned the newspaper trade. By 10 Jun 1874, the Arkansas Gazette reported that he was a member of the Arkansas Press Association, representing the DeValls Bluff Journal. In 1876, he was a member of the same association, but representing the Beebe Magnet.

By 1880 James and Laura had moved to Little Rock in Pulaski County, AR., and James was employed as a printer. Ethel Clare died in Little Rock on 11 Oct 1890.

By 1900, Laura was living with Victor, Nelly and James (Ernest) in Little Rock, and James Henry was listed as an "inmate" in the Arkansas Confederate Soldier's Home, established by the Arkansas Legislature in 1890 for Confederate veterans. In 1905, the Legislature opened admissions to the home to also include mothers, wives and widows of Confederate veterans. He was also listed on the home's 1910 census.

Laura Isabella Balding died on 16 Jun 1910 in Little Rock. She is buried in Oakland Cemetery there. James Henry Balding died on 21 May 1917 and is buried in the Confederate veterans section of the Little Rock National Cemetery.

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