Bally is a borough in Berks County, Pennsylvania, United States. The population was 1,062 at the 2000 census.
The Borough of Bally was originally called Goshenhoppen
, an Indian word meaning "meeting place". Mennonites and Catholics settled it in the early 1700s. Clergyman Ulrich Beidler erected the first house of worship, the Mennonite Church in 1731. Father Theodore Schneider, a Jesuit priest, came to the area in 1741 and established what would be just the third Catholic mission church in the 13 original colonies. On land received from the Mennonite community, Father Schneider built St. Paul's Chapel in 1743. St. Paul's is now known as the Most Blessed Sacrament Church, and it is the oldest existing Catholic place of worship in Pennsylvania and the fourth oldest Catholic structure in the thirteen original colonies.
Later in 1743 Father Schneider started a Catholic school at the mission church. The school, originally called St. Aloysius Academy, also marked the beginning of Catholic education in the 13 original colonies. After several name changes, it is currently known as St. Francis Academy, and is the oldest currently operating Catholic school in the nation.
To reflect the many churches in the town (as there were also several other churches in the area of different denominations), Goshenhoppen was renamed Churchville. When the post office was established in 1883, it was named Bally in honor of Father Augustin J. Bally, a Catholic priest and spiritual leader. Bally was incorporated as a borough in 1912.
Bally has traditionally been a home of many Pennsylvania Dutch settlers and their descendants.
There are numerous business and industry in town, some of which are known internationally. Among the largest industries are Bally Ribbon Mills
and Bally Block Co.
Two other major manufacturers, Bally Case and Cooler (now Bally Refrigeration) and Great American Knitting Mills (now Gold Toe Brands) were founded in Bally, and were located there for decades. The area is also well known for its agriculture.
Renowned Italian artist and furniture designer Harry Bertoia settled in the area, and established his Bertoia Studio on Main Street in Bally.
Bally is located at (40.401044, -75.588365).
According to the United States Census Bureau, the borough has a total area of 0.5 square miles (1.3 km²), all of it land.
As of the census
of 2000, there were 1,062 people, 413 households, and 304 families residing in the borough. The population density
was 2,030.4 people per square mile (788.5/km²). There were 426 housing units at an average density of 814.5/sq mi (316.3/km²). The racial makeup of the borough was 98.78% White
, 0.47% African American
, 0.19% Native American
, 0.47% Asian
, and 0.09% from two or more races. Hispanic
of any race were 0.28% of the population.
There were 413 households out of which 28.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 59.3% were married couples living together, 10.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 26.2% were non-families. 22.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.57 and the average family size was 2.98.
In the borough the population was spread out with 22.6% under the age of 18, 7.9% from 18 to 24, 27.7% from 25 to 44, 23.0% from 45 to 64, and 18.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females there were 100.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 96.7 males.
The median income for a household in the borough was $49,063, and the median income for a family was $56,406. Males had a median income of $37,750 versus $25,000 for females. The per capita income for the borough was $24,537. About 0.7% of families and 1.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 2.2% of those under age 18 and none of those age 65 or over.
The Borough is served by the Boyertown Area School District.