Biography of Stephen F. Balo
Coshocton County, OH Biographies

Honorable in business, loyal in citizenship, charitable in thought, kindly in action, true to every trust reposed in him, the life of Stephen F. Balo was the highest type of Christian manhood and thus his death, which occurred April 9, 1907, was the occasion of deep sorrow to his many friends. He was born in Canton Berne, Switzerland, May 7, 1835, a son of Francis and Elizabeth (Strom) Balo, who in 1853 emigrated to the. United States, Landing in New York the family made their way to Cleveland, whence they journeyed by canal boat to Adams Mills and this has been the home of the Balos to the present time. When the family arrived here they were in ver limited financial circumstances and were strangers in a new country, without friends and unable to speak the English language. They therefore, endured many hardships and privations in establishing a home. The father and two of the sons, however, secured employment, in the construction of the Pennsylvania Railroad, for which they never received their pay. Soon after arriving here sickness overtook them, all of the family, with the exception of the two youngest members, having the ague, which was prevalent at that time. One of the children died from the sickness and owing to this unfortunate circumstance the little money which they had saved was soon exhausted and they were reduced to abject want and were obliged to call upon the county for assistance, which soon supplied them with the necessities of life.

After regaining his health, Stephen Balo secured employment with a farmer in the neighborhood, with wham he worked until the time of the Civil war when, feeling that his first duty was to his country, he enlisted in August, 1862, as a member of Company H, Ninety seventh Ohio Volunteer Infantry. He served under Sherman and Hooker and was mustered out June, 1865, at Columbus, Ohio.

Following his return from the war he engaged in farming with his father and later farmed on his own account, owning a well improved tract in Virginia township, where he carried on general agricultural pursuits and stock raising. Deprived in his youth of many of the necessities and advantages of life, as the years passed and he prospered in his undertakings, he availed himself of all the comforts and conveniences of life and occupied one of the finest and most modern country homes in this section of the state.

Soon after returning from the war, Mr. Balo established a home of his own by his marriage, November 9, 1865, to Miss Martha J. Bird, a daughter of Joshua and Martha (Pepper) Bird. Their union was blessed with six children: Laura, the wife of Abe Ridgeway; Elizabeth E., the wife of Hamilton S. Scott; Jerre F.; James H.; Mary A.; Rhoda B., now the wife of George F. Bainter, a practicing physician of Strasbürg, Ohio.

Mr. Balo gave his political support to the men and measures of the democratic party, 'while his religious faith was indicated by his membership in the Presbyterian church at Adams Mills. Mr. Balo was a remarkable man in many respects. In him were embodied the virtues of the early pioneers - the steadfast purpose, rugged integrity and religious zeal - virtues to which the splendid civilization of America is indebted for its wonderful development and its glorious progress.

Centennial History of Coshocton County, Ohio
By William J. Bahmer
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co.
Chicago 1909

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