Tricounty News

Early history of Kimball



Reprinted from the

Tri-County Messenger dated Thursday, October 1, 1936, V.H.Mason, Editor

Part XIV

The year 1921 was marked by two outstanding events of community interest. The Kimball Community Club was organized, with a membership more than 100; the club still functions and takes a leading part in all community affairs.

The other event was the incorporation of the Kimball Livestock and Sales Pavilion Association, more commonly known as the Fair Association. Thirty men of the village and adjoining territory took a $100 share each and practically everyone donated labor for the grading or articles for the benefit auction sale that was held. An exhibit building was erected the same year and in 1925, the Legion Post added a dance pavilion. The grounds which include several acres, are used for all community events, baseball games and other recreational activities.

In 1922, the Tri-County Oil Company was organized to deal in petroleum products, with some 150 local stockholders. This corporation operated eight years, and the last year of operation sold in excess of 3 million gallons of gasoline through its four bulk plants. The company sold out to the Cities Service Oil Company in 1930, for in excess of $50,000.

Harry E. Keene came to Kimball in 1922, and has been the successful manager of the Farmers Co-operative Equity Elevator since that time. While Mr. Keene was mayor in December 1927, a preliminary survey was made in connection with a proposed waterworks system.

In 1930, Trunk Highway No. 55 was constructed from South Haven to the Meeker County line west of Kimball. The highway as construdcted laid just around the platted portion of the village on the north. The Community Club sent a committee to St. Paul, which was joined by County Commissioner Chas. Weber to interview Commissioner Babcock in an effort to secure a rounting through the village. Mr. Babcock said that such an arrangement would slow down through traffic and failed to yield to their demand. However, he appropriated $5,000 for a cutuff through the village which was constructed after the village purchased the right-of-way from the west edge of the village to connect with the highway one-half mile west. The entire stretch was treated with tar and new curbs and gutters were installed where necessary. This road was of great benefit to the village and was greatly appreciated by the residents.

In 1935, a waterworks system was built at a cost of about $25,000. It was constructed under a PWA grant of about 35 percent. This improvement filled a long-felt need in the village and made it possible for the village to advance from Class nine to Class eight for fire insurance rate classification. The bond issue necessitated by the system matures over a long period of years and it is felt that the revenue from the operation of the plant will eventually carry the fixed charges in connection therewith. At present, there are nearly 60 connections to the system.

In 1936, after the consolidation of the Mount Hope School District with the village District No. 80, a special election was held to determine the advisability of building a new addition to the school. A bond issue in the amount of $25,000 was voted, and this in addition to a federal grant and some floating indebtedness was used to build the recently completed addition to the school which includes eight classrooms and a much-needed gymnasium-auditorium with a seating capacity of about 600. A dedication ceremony in connection with the new school will be held in the near future.

Thus, we find ourselves up to the present time (1936). The information contained in this sketch is as accurate as the writer was able to obtain it from records and the word of residents past and present. There are no doubt errors of omission and commission and for such, we ask your forebearance, trusting that you may enjoy reading this as much as we have assembling it.

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Our apologies. It has come to our attention that the short stories written by Elizabeth Cooper Mike are far more fiction than history, and that some were potentially hurtful to people who are no longer here to defend themselves. We will no longer be running her stories in the History Matters column.

Travel back in time and visit our booth Saturday, March 26, at Kimball's Business and Community Expo. Dozens of exhibits, prizes, samples, entertainment, and it's free.

Other important dates: Saturday, April 16ÐHistorical Society Board of Directors' meeting at Kimball City Hall 10 a.m. Tuesday, April 26Ð"Sweetness from Mother Nature" featured at historical society event at Kimball City Hall; watch for future details here.

It's not too late to renew your historical society membership. Tax-deductible dues have never increased: individuals are $10, families are $15, businesses are $25.

The Kimball Area Historical Society can be reached at P.O. Box 100, Kimball MN 55353, or phone (320) 398-5250, or e-mail
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