Obit: Balch, Rella William #2 (1859 - 1912)
Contact: Ann Stevens
Surnames: Balch, Herrian, Tourigny, Tragsdorf, Lloyd, Heath, Whipple, Sontag, Risser
----Source: Neillsville Times (Neillsville, Clark County, Wis.) Jan 2, 1913
Balch, Rella William (14 Sept 1859 - 23 Dec 1912)
Died - Rella William Balch, Dec. 23, 1912. Born in Sheboygan Falls, Wis., to Frederick and Henrietta Balch, on Sept. 14, 1859. He grew to young manhood there, receiving a common school education and also attending the state university for a short time. In Dec. 1880 he and his father came to Neillsville and engaged in the mercantile business in the store building now occupied by Jos. Herrian. They later removed their business to the south side and occupied what is now the Tourigny warehouse, and still later occupying the building now occupied by the Tourigny hardware store. In 1890 Mr. Balch, Sr. retired from the business and R.W. Balch formed a co-partnership with B. Tragsdorf, which continued for about 14 years. During their partnership the mercantile business was moved into the Lloyd building and then to the present home of the Big store. Owing to ill health Mr. Balch retired from the Big store, but in 1904 he again entered the mercantile business with H.H. Heath. In two years Mr. Heath retired from the business and Mr. Balch conducted it for about a year under the of the R.W. Balch Mercantile Co. About 1888 Mr. Balch also served one term as clerk of the circuit court of Clark county.
On Nov. 22, 1881, Mr. Balch was united in marriage to Nettie Whipple at Hingham, Wis., and deceased is survived by his wife and two sons, Leland and Harold. One brother F.O. Balch of Milwaukee and one sister, Mrs. J.W. Sontag of St. Paul, also survive him.
Rella Balch was a man who occupied an unusual position in that he might be truthfully said to have been without an enemy. He was strong minded and self-reliant, but seemed to have an inborn faculty for making and retaining friends. He took a great deal of interest in all public questions, for he thought for himself and acted as he thought for the best. In this community Rella was esteemed as a man of concise thought, good business ability and unusual integrity. For many years he has served as a member of the school board, was one of the charter members of the local M.W.A., was a Blue lodge and a Chapter Mason and at the time of his death filled the position of master of the Blue lodge.
The funeral of Mr. Balch was conducted at the home last Thursday afternoon according to Masonic rituals. Rev. Risser read a scripture lesson and gave a very eloquent prayer. The Woodmen also attended the funeral in a body.
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