Published on Wednesday, 30 November -0001 00:00
Reprinted from the Tri-County Messenger dated Thursday, October 1, 1936.
V. H. Mason, Editor
Part IV Beyond 1889
The opening of the various business places necessitated more houses and building of homes which went forward rapidly. Among the first to build houses were the Lytles, C.W. Salisbury, Eliel Peck, John Nelson, and Joe Donohue.
As the town continued to grow, it became evident that additional platted property was needed. To fill this need, Michael and Amelia Patten platted and dedicated to the public Oct. 7, 1890, Patten's First Addition to the Village of Kimball. About this time, W.H. Metcalf and sons were operating a feed and saw mill on their farm in the southeast corner of the village for the convenience of the neighbors.
At this early date, Kimball had a millinery store which had been opened by Emma Lytle in a building that stood where the Kimball Oil Company is now located. Al Tompers opened a feed and flour store in the house now occupied by Mrs. Ella Peters and family.
With the continued growth of the village and the increase in population, it became increasingly evident that a closer form of government was needed for police protection, street improvement and some sort of fire protection. Fire, being one of the greatest obstacles to be overcome in an unincorporated community, had already struck at Kimball, having burned the depot, lumber yard which had been opened by Sawyer and Arnold, and the Mielke Hotel.
Late in 1891, upon petition of a number of residents, incorporation papers were issued by the county board and a special election called for February 1892. The council elected Geo. R. Calkin as mayor; A. Mumford, M.J. Kennedy and G.W. Beckman as trustees; J.L. Cass as recorder; J.F. Lytle as Justice of the Peace; and Eliel Peck as treasurer. The men elected had all been active in the development of the village. George Calkin was the first clerk in Peck's store, later running the hotel which was built on the corner where the Post Office is now located. A. Mumford, the genial doctor, had spent many weary nights at the bedside of the sick in the community, where little pay was expected and less received, and had always been behind any movement for the benefit of Kimball. M.J. Kennedy had been instrumental in the location of the village and had always been among the leaders in community affairs. G.W. Beckman was the first druggist and a principal factor in the early progress of the village. J.L. Cass was the owner and publisher of the first newspaper, The Kimball Prairie News, and as such, much interested in the development of the village. Eliel Peck, being the pioneer in business, was worthy of the office which should control the finances.
In those days "men were men" and in the absence of local courts, arguments and disputes were usually settled by hand, hence the selection of a clear-minded, sober-thinking man of honest judgement such as J.F. Lytle, as the first Justice was a wise selection.
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Monday, May 31, Memorial Day brings the recollection of many of our hometown boys who fought for the freedom America enjoys. Their courage and honor will endure for all time. We are grateful for the opportunity this Memorial Day weekend offers to remember and appreciate the bravery of all our military, then and now.
Save this day June 22: Another unique and first-time feature will be at 7 p.m. in Kimball's historic City Hall.
Save this day June 26: Kimball's Historical Society's booth-exhibit and historians at Old Settlers festival in Fairhaven, including a special parade.
Keep watching this column for more details, plus events in August, September, October, and November. Won't you help us celebrate our Society's 10th anniversary.
It's not too late to join or renew memberships and it's not too late to pledge or pay toward Kimball's historic City Hall restoration. Through experiences like this, the Kimball Area Historical Society is able to help citizens today gain an accurate understanding of our history. The very buildings, trades, documents and objects which helped to shape our nation is the responsibility that belongs to all of us as citizens. Your support has helped Kimball's City Hall remain a national treasure and tell the extraordinary story of how this came to be. Thank you.
As you know, Kimball's Historical Society's mission is to share the stories and the relevance of our area's founding. We do this by working to connect with the people, events, and objects of history.
The Kimball Area Historical Society can be reached about all the above and more at Box 100, Kimball, MN 55353, or (320) 398-5250, or
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Paying respect to whom respect is due