I was so fortunate to inherit my Great Grandmother's Bible. In between the Old Testament and New Testament I found that my Great Grandmother, Nora (Nell, Nellie) Ellen (Baley) Ball had imprinted each of her children's footprints in her bible. This first posting, shows my Grandmother, Zelma Fern Ball's footprints. She also had an entry that mentioned Zelma's brother, Granville. What a unique and interesting way to commemorate her children's arrival in this world!
Nora Ellen Baley was born December 23, 1885 in Iron County, Missouri to John Riley Baley and Susan Harriet Buxton. She married William Edward Ball 1910 in Ellis County, Oklahoma after her parents and his father took up homesteads during the early part of 1900's.
My mother, never got to know Nora. She died in 1937 when my mother was 4 years old. Nora died due to a stroke and high blood pressure when she was 52 years old. So young. If only she knew or if there was medication at the time that could stave off any symptoms?
We will never know.
Nora's husband, William Edward Ball was a painter and paper hanger in Salem, Oregon. Apparently he was good in his trade and kept busy. I imagine that the paint that she used to imprint her children's feet were from paint cans that he may have had on hand.
Zelma Fern Ball married in 1931 to John Doran May. My mother, was their first born. Zelma never liked her name, she told me. She became a "born again Christian" in the early 1950's and was an early member of the Minnehaha Church of Christ. She did her best to walk the walk and talk the talk. She passed away in October 2005 and her memorial service was comprised of the old hymns that she so dearly loved. My cousin played the piano. I have good memories of her but remember that she was stern in her beliefs and didn't always approve of people's lifestyles. No matter what, she is missed as the matriarch of our family and is still remembered and loved so dearly!