Just after Etta and Elmer Ball were married on March 18, 1914, Groveland, Kansas, they rounded up their team of gray horses, a saddle horse, a walking hand plow, a harrow, a four-wheeled grain bed wagon, a hundred fence posts, some furniture and the family organ, and boarded an emigrant railroad car destined for Briggsdale, Colorado.
Etta’s mother gave them a milk cow, and Elmer’s father gave them four dozen Brown Leghorn hens, which kept him busy collecting eggs on the ride to Colorado. Over the next fifty years, they weathered many adversities, including the Dust Bowl and drought, but as Etta explained, “We had planned, prayed and were determined to make this our little grey home in the west.” During the next half century, they transformed their homestead into a full ranch, where they raised eight children. Known as the Lazy S Over S Ranch, the land has been passed down to family members and today is jointly owned by Wayne Ball, Merietta West and Roland and Leonard Ball, who work the land today as a cattle operation. The property is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and several buildings, including the 1914 two-room farmhouse and chicken coop and 1920s barn, cow sheds and windbreak, are still in use.