Arden H. Ballard (? - 1867) was an early settler of Washtenaw County, arriving in the Ypsilanti area in 1824, and establishing a trading depot. Chapman notes that Ballard "came here determined to charge a good price for each and every article pertaining to his stock." In 1826, Ballard cofounded the Ypsilanti Distillery, and, in in 1839, constructed the Eagle Flouring Mill at what Chapman refers to as the site of "the woolen factory" in 1888, likely north of Depot Town? Ballard sold the flour mill in 1843; it burned down in 1856.

Ballard was quite active in civic life, serving on the Ypsilanti Vigilance Committee in 1838, and, in 1844, Ballard co-founded the Ypsilanti Sentinel, a Whig newspaper supporting Henry Clay's presidential campaign that did not last the year, collapsing after Clay's defeat. Ballard served as Council President of the village of Ypsilanti from 1847-1849, and 1856-1857, when Ypsilanti adopted a City Charter, and the served as the second Ypsilanti Mayor in 1859.


Arden H. Ballard (B167, Lot 14) lived in the home at 125 N. Huron (the Ballard-Breakey House) and Ballard Street is named after him. He was president of Ypsilanti when it was still a village, and also served as mayor for a year, in 1859-60.

Ballard, Arden H. Arden H. Ballard papers, 1830-1865.

The Ladies' Library was built by Arden Ballard in 1849 for its first owners, and bought in 1875 by John and Mary Starkweather, who owned a farm northwest of the city. Mrs. Starkweather, who contributed much of her inherited fortune to the community, donated her house to the Ladies’ Library Association in 1890.

  • History of Washtenaw County, Michigan : together with sketches of its cities, villages and townships...and biographies of representative citizens., Charles Chapman & Co., 1881. Arden H. Ballard search in this text.