Biographical sketch of HON. W. H. BALLENTINE from the book entitled, "Biographical Memoirs of Saint Clair County, Michigan," published in 1903 by B. F. Bowen Publishers in Logansport, Indiana.
This bio spans three (3) pages: 518-520
HON. W. H. BALLENTINE
Among the many respected citizens of this community none deserve more favorable recognition than does he whose career for more than forty years has been closely identified with the political, commercial, intellectual and moral life of this most important section of St. Clair county.Few have done as much to transform it from its primitive condition of forest and swamp, and none have done more to advance its social side, which has more than kept pace with material progress, till few communities in the state can lay claim to a better citizenship.For a generation, from 1863 to 1901, Mr. Ballentine was one of St. Clair county’s energetic merchants, finally retiring with a reasonable competence, though still devoting his attentions to that line of thought and activity that stands for moral progress.W. H. Ballentine was born at St. Andrews, New Brunswick, July 11, 1832, his parents, William and Ruth Ballentine, being of sturdy Scotch stock.As a youth it was necessary he should early become an earning power, and when but thirteen he was apprenticed to the hatter’s trade, which was then one of the important openings for a boy, though it is now scarcely a line to be chosen.Growing up in close touch with the great pine forests, it was quite natural that he should also be attached to the saw-mills of his native country and thus much of his life before attaining his majority was spent in the line of lumber manufacture.Nearly two years were so spent in Canada, whither he had gone upon reaching mature years, though, like so many more of Michigan’s prosperous men, he secured a tract of land near old Brockway, to which he turned expecting to make a farm, though while doing this he found it necessary to secure employment in the mills along the St. Clair river.He thus assisted for some years in converting the timber into a more convenient commercial commodity, the lumberman making it possible for the farmer to secure and established foothold.
In the fall of 1863 Mr. Ballentine opened a store at Brockway and there for thirty years supplied the community with the countless supplies so necessary.The latter seven years of his career as a merchant were passed at Yale, whither he had come in 1893.Early becoming a citizen of the States, he naturally took a deep interest in public questions and in 1880 was chosen to serve in the lower house of the legislature, being the regular Republican nominee.While his education, being largely self acquired, did not fit him to take a leading part in forensic matters, his service in the house was of more than ordinary value to his constituents.He was postmaster for more than twenty years at Brockway, where he was also retained in the office of justice of the peace, a position to which he was again chosen in 1901, when he decided to retire from active mercantile life.His probity, his reading, observation, experience and natural inclination peculiarly fit Mr. Ballentine to be an honored dispenser of local justice, and it is but just to observe that his decisions are rendered with that painstaking investigation and careful weighing of facts that each circumstance demands, that they are seldom found at fault by superior courts and are generally accepted by parties concerned as most reasonable and just.For twenty years he has also served as a notary public, much of the legal business of the community having passed under his inspection.
Mr. Ballentine was married at Calais, Maine, to Miss Jean F. Barclay, who was also born at the same place as himself, though reared mainly in the Pine Tree state.Their children are Henry S., William F., Mary L., who is the wife of Frank J. Minnie; Alice, wife of Harvey E. Drake; Wallace B., Jennie, wife of Henry E. Martin, and Glenn.A believer in the principles of the Christian religion, Mr. Ballentine holds membership in the church of Christ, in which he is a deacon.
PLEASE NOTE:I do not have any personal interest in researching the BALLENTINE surname or the St. Clair county, Michigan location.I am merely posting a select number of the biographical sketches found in the above-referenced book *upon specific written request* as a service to the genealogical community; these transcriptions are intended for personal use and are not being done for profit.Please do not contact me with regard to research interests in the above as I have no personal ties.Thank you.