John Ball (November 12, 1794February 5, 1884) was a pioneer from Hebron, New Hampshire. After studying and traveling extensively throughout the United States, he set up residence in Kent County and served in the Michigan legislature, representing West Michigan. He helped the Governor of Michigan select a large area of land in the Grand River valley to be used for development and improvement[1]


Ball's name is perhaps best associated with John Ball Park (neighborhood), John Ball Park (park), and the John Ball Zoo. He donated the original 40 acres of land on which the Park and Zoo stand.

He is buried in the Fulton Street Cemetery in Grand Rapids.


There is a statue of John Ball with his two great-grandchildren, Albert Ellis "Bobby" Ball (March 12, 1912–July 16, 1969) and Virginia Lee (Ball) Kniskern (March 8, 1917-) at the entrance to the Zoo.


Aside from his home in Grand Rapids, Ball also owned property over-looking Bostwick Lake in Cannon Township.