Nicholas Ball was born on December 31, 1829 on Block Island. He was married twice; first to Eliza Millikin (born 1851), she died in 1870, he later married Almedie Rose in 1871. Nicholas Ball, an islander first went off to sea at age nine. Later at fourteen, Nicholas Ball went to sea in a subordinate capacity. He sailed many trips along the Atlantic seaboard and across the Atlantic. One of his many adventures in 1849, included mining during the California Gold Rush. He came back to Block Island in 1854; where he engaged in business. He became a representative in the General Assembly in 1854 and 1855, and State Senator most of the time from 1858 to 1872. His efforts toward procuring for Block Island its breakwater, life-saving station, signal-station, and submarine cable are matters well known to most as well as his career a hotel proprietor. Nicholas Ball was responsible for the construction of the Old Harbor breakwater, the life-saving stations, and the Southeast Lighthouse. He also built the largest hotel on the island the Ocean View Hotel.
The two Twin Cottages on Chapel Street were built for Nicholas Ball for his daughters by a carpenter during the winter of 1886-87 (Block Island, The Sea written by Robert M. Downie).