While our physical offices are closed until further notice in accordance with Austin's COVID-19 "stay home-work safe" order, the Handbook of Texas will remain available at no-cost for you, your fellow history enthusiasts, and all Texas students currently mandated to study from home. If you have the capacity to help us maintain our online Texas history resources during these uncertain times, please consider making a 100% tax-deductible contribution today. Thank you for your support of TSHA and Texas history. Donate Today »


George Ball
Picture of Ball High School, named after George Ball. Image available on the Internet and included in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107.

BALL, GEORGE (1817–1884). George Ball was born in Saratoga, New York, on May 9, 1817. At the age of twelve he moved to Albany, where he was reared and trained for business in the family of his uncle. He arrived in Texas during the cholera epidemic of 1839 and in Galveston opened a dry goods business, which he operated in partnership with his brother Albert. In 1847 he became a director of the Commercial and Agricultural Bank at Galveston, the first incorporated bank in Texas, and in 1854 he opened the banking house of Ball, Hutchings, and Company. During the Civil War he moved to Houston and used the facilities of his banking house and mercantile experience to aid the Confederate government by getting goods shipped through Mexico. At the close of the war he reestablished his banking business in Houston and invested in the Mallory Steamship Line. He contributed generous sums to hospitals, asylums, and public schools but always endeavored to keep his charities concealed. On April 19, 1848, he married Sarah Catherine Perry; they were parents of six children. He died in Galveston on March 13, 1884. Ball High School in Galveston is named for him.


John Henry Brown, Indian Wars and Pioneers of Texas (Austin: Daniell, 1880; reprod., Easley, South Carolina: Southern Historical Press, 1978). Galveston News, March 13, 1884. S. C. Griffin, History of Galveston, Texas (Galveston: Cawston, 1931). History of Texas, Together with a Biographical History of the Cities of Houston and Galveston (Chicago: Lewis, 1895). David G. McComb, Galveston: A History (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1986). Ruth G. Nichols, "Samuel May Williams," Southwestern Historical Quarterly 56 (October 1952).

Image Use Disclaimer

All copyrighted materials included within the Handbook of Texas Online are in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 related to Copyright and “Fair Use” for Non-Profit educational institutions, which permits the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA), to utilize copyrighted materials to further scholarship, education, and inform the public. The TSHA makes every effort to conform to the principles of fair use and to comply with copyright law.

For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml

If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.


The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Handbook of Texas Online, "BALL, GEORGE," accessed June 03, 2020, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fba46.

Uploaded on June 12, 2010. Modified on September 7, 2016. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
visit the mytsha forums to participate

View these posts and more when you register your free MyTSHA account.

Call for Papers: Texas Center for Working-Class Studies Events, Symposia, and Workshops
Hi all! You may be interested in this call for papers I received from the Texas Center for Working-Class Studies at Collin College...

Katy Jennings' Ride Scholarly Research Request
I'm doing research on Catherine Jennings Lockwood, specifically the incident known as "Katy Jennings' Ride." Her father was Gordon C. Jennings, the oldest man to die at the Alamo...

Texas Constitution of 1836 Co-Author- Elisha Pease? Ask a Historian
The TSHA profile of Elisha Marshall Pease states that he wrote part of the Texas Constitution although he was only a 24 year-old assistant secretary (not elected). I cannot find any other mention of this authorship work by Pease in other credible research about the credited Constution authors...