The community is located on Missouri Route 18 approximately four miles west of the Bates-Henry county line. Adrian on U.S. Route 71 is about ten miles to the west. Tributaries of North Deepwater Creek drain the area to the south.
Ballard was named for Hon. J. N. Ballard, a county judge and afterward state senator. A post office was briefly located in Ballard before it was replaced by Rural Free Delivery routes. A 1918 Bates County history reported that the mercantile store in Ballard had a "nice, clean stock of merchandise".
Ballard R-2 School District provides education for the community.
- U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Ballard, Missouri
- Spruce, MO, 7.5 Minute Topographic Quadrangle, USGS, 1962
- Eaton, David Wolfe (1916). How Missouri Counties, Towns and Streams Were Named. The State Historical Society of Missouri. pp. 285.
- Atkeson, William Oscar (1918). History of Bates County, Missouri. Brookhaven Press. p. 670.
- "Home". Ballard R-2 School District. Retrieved September 20, 2020.