Since they came to Muncie in 1885, the Ball family generously and continuously invested in the surrounding community and contributed to the growth of its culture. Attracted by the resourcefulness of the Ohio-Indiana gas belt, they opened their first factory in Muncie in 1888, and they subsequently expanded and diversified their enterprise; thus, they provided jobs to a growing number of employees and contributed to the commerce of the city and region. Business and employment, however, were not their only endowments to the community. By 1937, the monetary value of the Ball's philanthropies, most of which were concentrated in Muncie, was estimated at around seven million dollars. Locally, their generosity focused on the YMCA, Camp Crosley, Ball State University, Ball Memorial Hospital, the Masonic Temple, the American Legion, and the Minnetrista cultural center and golf course.
Pictured here in 1913, from left to right: George Alexander Ball, Lucius Lorenzo Ball, Frank Clayton Ball, Edmund Burke Ball, William Charles Ball.
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