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Clay Adra Ball papers

Identifier: MSS-051

Scope and Contents

The collection contains various materials about the life of Dr. Clay Adra Ball. The first series, probably put together by his son, Dr. Phil Ball, includes Dr. Clay’s account book, 1959-1969, his birth certificate, correspondence, organizational memberships and his will, written in 1975. The series also contains magazines articles and newspaper clippings about Dr. Clay Ball.

The collection also includes photographs of Dr. Ball and his office, as well as images of various medical groups, and a videotape of Clay and Phil Ball, entitled “A Father and Son Portrait,” shown on WIPB-TV, 28 January 1980


  • Creation: 1877-1980

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Legal title, copyright, and literary rights reside with Archives and Special Collections, Ball State University Libraries, Muncie, IN. All requests to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted to Archives and Special Collections.

Biographical Note / Historical Note / Administrative History

Clay Adra Ball was born November 19, 1877 on the family farm in Monroe Township near Socum (or Sockum) in Delaware County, the fifth of six children born to George Mansfield Ball and Susannah Hale Ball. He attended school in a one-room country schoolhouse, Number 9, until he was 17. After a year of high school in Cowan, he spent a summer at another rural school taught by the Superintendent of Schools in southwest Delaware County, which qualified him to teach school. After teaching for two years, Clay enrolled in Indiana University in 1898 to further his teacher training. By 1903, he had decided to leave teaching and go into medicine and so applied to the Medical College of Indianapolis. By the time that he graduated in 1906, the medical college had merged with others in the state system and so he actually received his medical degree from Purdue.

Clay Ball’s brother was a practicing attorney in Muncie, so after graduating, the young doctor also decided to settle in Muncie. He practiced alone for a while and then joined Drs. Andrews and Mix who operated a hospital in the Old Star Building Office. In 1913, Dr. Ball again went into practice for himself. This time he opened an office in the Western Reserve Building, corner of High and Jackson Streets, where he stayed until 1916, when he met and married Helen Mauk. The young couple bought a brick home at the corner of Adams and Franklin Streets and after some remodeling, Dr. and Mrs. Ball established offices downstairs and living quarters upstairs, where they raised their four sons. After World War II, one of his sons, Dr. Phil Ball joined him in his practice.

Dr. Clay Ball lived to be one hundred and two years old, passing away June 19, 1980.


0.8 Cubic Feet (2 boxes, 1 VHS tape)

Language of Materials



This collection is arranged in the following series:

Series 1: Clay Adra Ball records, 1959-1969

Series 2: Clay Adra Ball subject files, 1877-1980

Series 3: Clay Ball photographs, undated

Series 4: Clay Ball oversize photographs, 1906-1979

Series 5: Clay Adra Ball videotape, 1980

Series 6: Clay Adra Ball cassette tape, 1973

Custodial History

This collection was received by Archives and Special Collections as a donation from Dr. Philip Ball on 1991/01/19 and Craig Roth on 1994/02/04.


No further additions are expected.

Processing Information

Collection processing revised 2007/07/17 by M. Read. EAD finding aid created 2012/10/01 by Julie Hausknecht. EAD finding aid revised 2013/07/31 by Leslie Nellis. EAD finding aid revised 2017/06/27 by Rebecca Marangelli.

Clay Adra Ball papers
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the Stoeckel Archives of Local History Repository

Alexander M. Bracken Library
2000 W. University Avenue
Muncie Indiana 47306 USA