Topic: Ball Road, Alton (TDN 21/12/2019)

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Ball Road, Alton 

The south Taranaki district of Alton was first established in the 1870s. After initial surveys were completed, a village was planned and sections were subdivided. Locals called the new settlement Woodville. By 1887, to avoid confusion, the name was changed to Alton.

Ball Road was named after one of the earliest settlers in the area, James Ball. He had arrived around 1850 and bought land beside the main road. Ball was later reported as the first Pākehā to buy land and settle in the Pātea area. He served on active duty during the Taranaki Wars, where his bravery was noted. After the wars ended, the government presented him with a revolver in appreciation.

The road probably wasn’t named until the 1870s, when money was allocated to level and form it, and the village was surveyed.

For some years there was a railway station on Ball Road, until declining usage forced its closure.

James Ball, married with six children, retired to Whanganui where he remained very active until his death, aged 85, in 1909. Many mourners turned up in Pātea to attend his funeral, not knowing that he had asked to be buried quickly, in Whanganui.

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Ball Road, Alton (TDN 21/12/2019)