JOSEPH CALVIN BALES. In the year 1880 Calvin Edward Bales established this worthy family in Montague county, where its efforts have in a quiet way added materially to the wealth of the community as well as to the financial welfare of its domestic circle. He was from Fannin county hither, and the place where he settled was on a quarter section of Panola county school land four and a half miles east of Bowie. He dropped into the stock business for a few years but gradually confined his efforts to the farm, as the range began to close up. From the material point of view his life was a fairly successful one and when he died, in 1889, he left a homestead as his estate.
Calvin E. Bales was born in Buncombe county, North Carolina, in 1806, and he grew to manhood in Georgia, whither his mother had moved about 1811. For his wife he married Mary E. Hale, who passed away at her home, where her son now lives, in 1888, at sixty-three years of age. They left Hall county, Georgia, in 1870, bound for the Lone Star state. En route they stopped two years in Franklin county, Alabama, finishing their journey in 1872 and settling in Fannin county. There they purchased a farm and were occupied with its cultivation until their removal into Montague county some eight years later. Mr. Bales, Sr., was the father of Noah LaFayette, who returned to Hall county, Georgia, about 1881; Franklin, of Pierce, Indian Territory; Mattie and Lou, twins, the former Mrs. Frank Howard and the latter died in Fannin county, Texas, as the wife of Charles Forsythe, and both left families; Jesse, of Fannin county; George, who passed away in the Chocktaw [sic] nation leaving a family; Ed, who was drowned in Red river, single; Joseph C., our subject; and John, of Chocktaw [sic] Nation.
The country schools of Fannin county provided Joseph C. Bales with a fair education and he made himself indispensably useful on the range and the farm in their new home in Montague county. His pioneer home in Montague was little better than a log pen, but it served its purpose and during its occupancy it never lost is significance as expressed in the strains of John Howard Payne in his world-familiar hymn, “Be it ever so humble there’s no place like home.”
The domicile that provides shelter and comfort to the present occupants of the old Bales home was erected by our subject in 1899 and it and its surroundings form one of the beautiful and attractive places along the public highway. Mr. Bales started life with his young wife with very inconsiderable means. He bought out the other heirs to the old home and was forced to borrow the money with which to have the papers executed and put of record. Possessing great industry themselves, practicing rigid economy and exhibiting good business judgment the apparently monumental debt with which they began life was wiped out and the home has long since been their own. One hundred and thirty-three and two-thirds acres are devoted to fruit. His place is among the choicest of the fruit-growing region of the county and Providence has ordered and decreed, in the past, that it shall support its owners in comfort and in plenty.
December 13, 1881, Mr. Bales married Mattie, a daughter of Wilson and Mary (Griffin) Wilcox, who came originally, from Missouri. En route to Texas they stopped in Louisiana, where Mrs. Bales was born in 1869. Mr. and Mrs. Bales’s children are: Zella, the wife of Robert Nichols, of Montague county, whose child is Tennie L.; Benjamin, Andrew, William, Florney D., Etta, Josephine, deceased. Mark and Ruby constitute the remainder of the family.
Mr. Bales has allied himself with the prevailing political party of Texas and he has considered his political duty when he has cast his vote. He has permitted nothing to draw his attention from his farm and to his tenacity and persistency is attributable his substantial success. He was born in Hall county, Georgia, July 16, 1862.
Source: B. B. Paddock, History and Biographical Record of North and West Texas (Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co., 1906), Vol. II, pp. 190-191.