The Ball Brothers, consisting of Lucius; William; Edmund; Frank; and George, are widely known as the leading global manufacturer of plastic and metal food and beverage containers. They were also manufacturers of equipment and suppliers of services to the aerospace industry.
Originally born in Eastern Ohio, the brothers grew up in upstate New York. Upon their father’s death, their uncle became a father figure to the boys. Later in their lives, the Ball brothers became the benefactors of the college their uncle founded, furthering their wealth. The Ball brothers went into business together in 1880 in Buffalo, New York. In 1886 they moved their manufacturing plant to Muncie, Indiana where there was an abundance of natural gas. They remained there for most of their lives and continued to grow the business, expanding into the aerospace industry.
Upon their deaths, all five brothers were buried at Beech Grove Cemetery in Muncie. The families of William and Frank Ball commissioned the George Dodds Granite Company to construct their mausoleums out of Stony Creek Granite. The mausoleums are some of the most beautiful buildings the company produced. Even today, the mausoleums are well preserved. Along with the Ball family, several other members of the community entrusted the Dodds Brothers to construct their mausoleums and family estate memorials. Stony Creek granite and Victoria White were the granites of choice.
The community of Muncie also knew the Ball brothers for their philanthropy and community service, most notably Ball State University, Ball Memorial Hospital, the local YMCA, and Ball Stores department store, and Minnetrista. The Ball Brothers Foundation, established in 1926, continues the family’s philanthropic interests.