Hiram P. Ball was the son of George Loyal Ball, founder of three Pittsburgh chemical companies, and Lilian William Ball. He was educated in the public schools of Pittsburgh and the University School of Pittsburgh, from which he was graduated in 1932. He then attended Lehigh University, but transferred to Franklin and Marshall College, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1937. He attended Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration in 1937 and 1938. In 1968, he was awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Thiel College in Pennsylvania.
On Oct. 16, 1943, in Covington, KY, Bro. Ball married Florence H. Campbell of Indianapolis, IN. They had one son and two daughters. The Balls have been members of the Glade Run United Presbyterian Church, Cooperstown. PA.
Bro. Ball's first job (1938-1940) was as a laboratory technician with a small company in New York City that manufactured paint and industrial coatings. He then joined his father's Ball Chemical Co. as secretary-treasurer and director (1940-1959) and later became president and chairman of the board (1959-1984). Bro. Ball also was secretary-treasurer of the family-owned Cleanola Co. (1940-1985). During the same period, he was secretary, director and later president of the family-held Pittsburgh Insulating Co. Later, he also was president and director of B.B.I., Inc. (1967-1981), a company he established and developed a system of mechanics to pull fiberglass and resins through heated molds into various shapes used by the electric industry. His memberships in professional organizations were numerous and he held leadership offices in most of them.
In addition to his industrial interests, Bro. Ball was a partner with his two brothers in Ball Associates (1941-1985), which ran the largest purebred Hereford breeding farm in the East and was the first in Pennsylvania to develop polled (hornless) cattle. He belonged to a number of livestock and breeders associations and served leadership roles in most of them.
He was a trustee of Franklin and Marshall College (1952-1972), a member of the advisory board of the Allegheny Center Branch of the Pittsburgh National Bank (1960-1969), on the board of trustees of the Union Dale Cemetery Co., and president (1954-1965) of the Middlesex Twp. School Authority.
Hiram P. Ball became a Mason in Harmony Lodge No. 429, Butler County, in 1941 and served as its Worshipful Master in 1944. He resigned in 1947 to become a member of his father's lodge, Corinthian Lodge No. 573, Allegheny County, from which he resigned in 1959 to become Warrant Master and trustee of Col. Henry Bouquet Lodge No. 787. In 1978, that lodge merged with Lodge No.45 in Pittsburgh.
In Grand Lodge, Bro. Ball served as the 48th Masonic District Deputy Grand Master from 1961 to 1963, and was elected Junior Grand Warden in 1964. He served as R.W. Grand Master in 1970 and 1971. Grand Master Ball advocated stronger administration and increased interest in the Masonic Homes in Elizabethtown and toward those ends held the first "Grand Master's Day." The existing Pennsylvania Freemasons' Hospital was extensively renovated and plans were approved in 1971 for a multimillion dollar medical facility to be called the "Masons Care Building."
Bro. Ball was a York Rite member of Chapter, Council, Commandery, and Red Cross of Constantine in Pittsburgh. He received the Scottish Rite degrees in the Valley of Pittsburgh and also maintained membership in the Valley of New Castle. He was coroneted a Sovereign Grand Inspector General, 33º, in Detroit in 1964. He was a member of Syria Temple of the Ancient Arabic Order, Nobles of the Mystic Shrine, Pittsburgh, and served as Illustrious Potentate in 1957. He was a member of the Royal Order of Jesters, Islam Grotto, Tall Cedars of Lebanon, the National Sojourners, and the Pennsylvania Masonic Homes High Twelve Club No. 629.
Bro. Ball's Masonic honors included the Pennsylvania Franklin Medal from the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania, the Henry Price Medal from the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, the Erasmus James Philipps Medal from the Grand Lodge of Nova Scotia, the Honorary Legion of Honor Degree from the International Supreme Council of the Order of DeMolay, and the Grand Cross of Color from the International Order of the Rainbow for Girls.