HISTORY- Ball-Caldwell House
Robert Caldwell, born in 1762, came to Washington County,
Ohio in 1795 from Chester County, Pennsylvania. A revolutionary
war soldier, he surveyed this area of Ohio for Rufus
Putnam who helped settle Marietta, the first settlement
of the Northwest Territory.
Robert married Jane Fulton, niece of steamboat pioneer
Robert Fulton. The marriage produced eleven children,
including Samuel born in 1800 at Lower Salem. In 1808
Robert acquired 600 acres of land in Olive Township,
then part of Morgan County. In 1809 he built a log cabin
making it the first clearing in the area. Robert and
his wife both died in 1831 and are buried in Olive Cemetery.
Samuel married Sarah Brownrigg, a native of England
in 1827. In 1832 Samuel built the existing brick home
on the site of an Indian camp, a fact verified by artifacts
found on the grounds. Samuel was a prosperous farmer
and by 1836 owned both a sawmill and a gristmill.
In 1851 the Ohio Legislature created Noble County,
the last and youngest in the state. In 1854 Samuel Caldwell
donated the land for the location of the Noble County
Court House and the surrounding square. The county commissioners
named the town in honor of its benefactor.
Ed and Elizabeth Ball purchased the property in 1920
from Norwista Caldwell Parker, granddaughter of Samuel
Caldwell. Their son Bob was 1 year old when the family
moved from Middleburg into their new home. There were
10 children born to Ed and Elizabeth. Two died in infancy
at Middleburg. Eight grew to adulthood while living
in Caldwell. The youngest child Carroll was the only
one to be born in this house in 1922.
In 1983 Bob and Mary Ann, his wife, purchased the home
from the Ball family heirs. He remembered very well
what the interior and exterior of the house looked like
and they began a 7 year project to restore it accordingly.
The nine room brick and wood house has undergone extensive
restoration, however, they have avoided doing anything
irreversible to the house or to the surrounding grounds.
Unique to the structure is the technique used in laying
the brick on the front of the house. Samuel Caldwell
in the contract dated 1832, requested the Flemish bond
method whereby one brick is laid long, the next short,
the next long and so on.
The 1832 original porch wood pillars are in storage
and will eventually be replaced.
At one time the overhanging "sleeping" or
"airing" porch at the front of the home was
accented with six over six windows.
Inside the house the decor has not been confined to
any particular period but a feeling of warmth and cheerfulness
has been achieved. It might best be described as a "gentlemen's"
Some of the furniture has been purchased from local
residents at auctions. The Ball family has also contributed
to interior furnishings.
Several different woods are used throughout the home
including Chestnut. Much stenciling has been used to
decorate walls. Original stenciling was uncovered and
left intact in a bedroom. The stenciling pattern uncovered
on the parlor walls was copied, reproduced and re-stenciled
as you see it today.
In 1832 oil lamps provided light. Wood and coal were
used in the 5 fireplaces for heat. In 1898 gas was available
and gas fixtures were installed for light and gas used
in fireplaces. Around 1911 a "Wise" wood and
coal furnace was installed in the basement for central
In 1927 electricity was available and light fixtures
in the home today are the originals. An attempt has
been made to retain as much authenticity as possible
both inside and outside the home. This includes flagstone
and brick walks, flower gardens, and a hand dug well
for drinking and cooking water. In 1895 a flagstone
7 inches thick, 11 feet at its widest point, 22 feet
at its longest length was placed at the entrance door
to the dining room by Fulton Caldwell.
On March 27, 1980 the home was listed in the National
Registry of Historic Places by the federal government.