Ball, Emma (nee Freeman) (1844-1910)

Primitive Methodist Magazine 1911

Transcription of obituary published in the Primitive Methodist Magazine by S.A.B.

The Curzon Street Church, Leicester Third Circuit, lost an old and faithful member on October 18th, 1910, in the person of Mrs. Emma Ball, who passed away suddenly through an apoplectic seizure. Our sister was originally a Baptist, and rendered useful service as a Sunday School Teacher and chorister in the Belvoir Street Church, Leicester. She was also a zealous total abstainer and temperance worker; and in youth, at the cost of some persecution, supported the work of the famous “Dicky Horn.” 

After her marriage to Mr. William Ball, who, though in frail health, survives her, she, with him, joined our George Street Church. Some thirty years ago our friends became connected with Curzon Street, where their loyalty and consistency have made them highly esteemed. While health and strength permitted, Mrs. Ball was a regular attendant and an earnest worker. She also did much good in sick nursing. Hence, she became locally known as “Nurse Ball.” 

Infirmities kept her from the services in her latest years, but her interest in the Church, and in all that was good, remained unabated. At the close of her life she was spared a lingering illness. A few hours of unconsciousness, and she fell asleep in Jesus. The funeral was conducted by the Rev. N. Jefferson, an old ministerial friend of the family; and appreciative reference to the departed was made by the writer.

And so a life of beautiful ministry came to a close. It is not in great gifts that is to be found the assurance of the Master’s “well done,” but in the faithful use of such gifts as have been entrusted to us. “Nurse Ball” served her fellows with faithfulness and devotion along the line of her endowment. Causes that make for the advancement of the Kingdom of God could count on her enthusiastic support.


Emma was born abt1844 at Leicester, Leicestershire, to parents Thomas Freeman and Mary Moore.

She married William Ball (abt1842-1917), a shoe riveter (1891), on 11 June 1871 in Franklin Street methodist Church, New York, USA. Census returns identify six children.

  • William Thomas (1872-1965) – a shoe riveter (1891); later a boot salesman
  • Lily (1875-1966) – married John William Barsby, a fish dealer (1911), in 1896; emigrated to New Zealand circa 1913
  • Minnie (b1877) – a boot & shoe machinist (1901); married Harry Rastall in 1903; emigrated to New Zealand in 1938
  • Arthur Ernest (1878-1918) – a pensioner soldier (1911)
  • George Frederick (1880-1955) – a sadler (1901); a harness maker (1911); emigrated to New Zealand in 1914
  • Ada Elizabeth (1882-1936) – a boot & shoe machinist (1901); married Albert Smith, a shoe clicker, in 1902

Emma died on 18 October 1910 at Leicester, Leicestershire.


Primitive Methodist Magazine 1911/495

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

Note: “Dicky Horn” was an eccentric preacher and temperance lecturer.

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