JOSEPH A. BALE is one of the prosperous and progressive farmers of Sunfield township and is a citizen who commands unqualified esteem in the community. He was born in Niagara county, New York, May 15, 1850, being a son of Charles G. and Anna (Shippy) Bale, both natives of the state of New York, and the latter being now deceased. Charles G. Bale now lives retired in the village of Vermontville, this county. He served twenty months in the civil war, having enlisted as a private in company L. Eighth New York Heavy Artillery, in which he was promoted orderly sergeant. In 1865 he sold his farm in New York and came with his family to Eaton county, arriving in Vermontville on Christmas day. He bought eighty acres of land, in Vermontville township, improving the property and there continuing to reside until within the past few years; he removed to Vermontville and is now living retired, enjoying the rewards of former years of earnest toil and endeavor. His wife died on the old homestead. Of their thirteen children three died in infancy, and concerning the others the following data are available; Ella, who became the wife of James McNabb a farmer of Sunfield township, is now deceased; Eliza is the wife of Washington Barnum, of this township; Joseph A. is the immediate subject of this sketch; Amanda is the wife of Frank Bailey, of Vermontville; Charles W. is a resident of Fenville, Allegan county; George W. and Samuel are residents of South Dakota; Gideon is a farmer of Sunfield township; Mary is the wife of Loren Blanchard, of Gaylord, Otsego county; Homer E. is a farmer of Vermontville township; and Perry O. resides in Montgomery county. Joseph A. Bale, the immediate subject of this review, was afforded the advantages of the common schools in his native county in New York and was fifteen years of age at the time of the family removal to Eaton county, Michigan, where he was reared to maturity, and where he has since maintained his home. He assisted in the clearing and other work of the home farm and remained with his father until he had attained the age of twenty years, when he began working by the month, as a farm hand. February 21, 1872, Mr. Bale was united in marriage to Miss Eva Wells, who was born on the farm which is now their home, the date of her nativity having been October 124, 1851. She is a daughter of William A. and Mary (Chatfield) Wells, concerning whom more specific mention is made in the sketchy of the career of their eldest son, John, appearing elsewhere in this volume. they were numbered among the first settlers in Sunfield township and Mr. Wells was a citizen of influence and prominence, honored by all who knew him. Mr. and Mrs. Bale have eight children, concerning whom the following data are properly incorporated: Charles W., who was born August 8, 1875, and who was educated in the Michigan State Agricultural College, near Lansing, is now an expert draftsman for a leading shipbuilding concern in the city of Detroit; he married Miss Minnie Day, and they have one child, Verna Mae; Roy H., who was born July 14, 1878, and who is now a successful farmer of Barry county, married Miss Alice downing, and they have six children, Stanley, Grace, Bertha, Bernard, Letha and Carlton; Grace E., who was born January 15, 1881, is the wife of Henry Carey of Sebewa, Ionia county, and they have two children, Opal and George J.; Bertha B., who was born December 8, 1883, is the wife of Louis B. Allen, and they remain at the home of her parents; Joseph A., who was born May 8, 1886, is in the employ of a prominent manufacturing concern in the city of Detroit; Leslie, born August 22, 1889; Nellie, born March 23, 1892, and Shirley born September 12, 1893, are the younger members of the home circle. For several years after his marriage Mr. Bale worked the homestead farm for his father-in-law, he and his wife having resided on the place from the time of their marriage and being now owners of the property, into possession of which they came in 1901, having purchased the interests of the other heirs. They also own seventy acres on the opposite side of the road, in Vermontville township, making the total acres of their landed estate one hundred and ninety acres. The old homestead is equipped with a large and attractive residence and other substantial buildings erected by the original owner, and since coming into possession of the property Mr. Bale has built a large horse barn, with the best of equipment. He is a man of progressive ideas and keeps his place up to the highest standard in all particulars, and both he and his wife enjoy unqualified popularity in the community. He is a stanch adherent of the Republican party, but has never had ambition for public office.