Born in Mankato, Minnesota, April 11, 1866, Evangeline Ballou was the only daughter of A. D. Ballou and Addie Hart. Her parents divorced in 1869, leaving her brothers (ages nine to thirteen years old) under the legal custody of their father. Three-year-old Eva remained under the custody of her mother, a well-traveled Spiritualist lecturer.
Thus, Eva grew up knowing little of her brothers and nothing of her father until one week in late July 1888 when the twenty-two-year-old decided to visit her father in Delphos, Kansas. Learning of her daughter’s plan, Addie Ballou hurried back from Australia to supervise the reunion, making it a discomfited series of days for all.