Know Your Neighbours – Reverend Richard Amos Ball


Photo Attribution: Carol Ball, St. Catharines Museum, T2008.16.9

On November 30th, 1845, Richard Amos Ball was born in St. Catharines, Ontario, the son of Henry Ball and Sophia Hussey.  Henry Ball was a fugitive slave from Virginia who had fled to freedom via the Underground Railroad.  Sophia was from Liverpool, England.


Amos Ball married Mary T. Jackson on December 7th, 1864.  They had 8 children together.  Ball’s first line of work was as a barber which he did from the 1860’s to 1880’s.  He became active in the British Methodist Episcopal Church, just as his father had and as his son Richard Randolph Ball would as well.  Reverend Ball was ordained as a deacon at a BME conference in Windsor in 1892.   He also enjoyed music.  He and his family sang and played instruments and had been invited to perform at various events.  He worked hard to offer counsel and shelter to other African Canadians.  He also supported soup kitchens and shelters to help those in need.  He and his family were also known to have continued the mission of the Underground Railroad. It is suspected that Ball likely knew Harriet Tubman, one of the most famous conductors on the Underground Railroad and a St. Catharines resident.

He retired in 1924 and passed away in 1925 while visiting Windsor with his wife for a birthday/anniversary trip


  1. […] from the St. Catharines directories is record of the Ball family’s extensive involvement with the British Methodist Episcopal Church, the primary place of worship for the local Black community since the 1850s. The B.M.E. Church was […]

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