Reprinted from Oct. 19, 2000, Tri-County News; originally from the Tri-County Messenger, Oct. 1, 1936.
James M. Kimball, for whom the village of Kimball was named, was one of the very earliest settlers in Maine Prairie Township. His homestead was the quarter section lying one-half mile north of the village, bordering on the St. Cloud Highway 15. Mr. Kimball had secured a "patent" for the land from the United States Government June 1, 1861. In 1907, the land passed to his son James D. Kimball, who owned it the rest of his life.
Around the year 1859, just after Minnesota became a state, Mr. Kimball and his brother-in-law John Dolan were looking for hay to cut down on Willow Creek. At that time, the old Forest City trail passed through the present town site, about one block east of Main Street, and this was the road they followed. At that time, the Chippewa and Sioux were fighting most of the time to keep control of the territory for many miles north and south along that trail, and there had been a battle a short time before Mr. Kimball started looking for hay.
In the woods and brush at the foot of the hill and north of the present railroad tracks, they ran into an encampment of Sioux who were resting after the battle. They had a stockade of poles set up, and some pits dug for hiding places in case of attack.
Mr. Kimball told about it afterward and said that he had lost all interest in hay. Three years later, the Sioux went on the warpath in earnest against the whites, but no settlers were bothered at the time mentioned by Mr. Kimball.
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Tuesday, Feb. 23, 7 p.m.: Come one, come all - we're kicking off our 10th anniversary. Retribution that followed 1862 Indian uprising will be featured by author, historian, and retired teacher Dean Urdahl, as he speaks on some of his favorite topics at Kimball's Historic City Hall. A legacy that still lives with us today, the war reached Stearns County, as well as the Minnesota River Valley. Dean Urdahl will not leave you disappointed. Everyone is welcome to this free event, including refreshments. Learn more about what's happening at Kimball Area Historical Society by attending Feb. 23.
Share your heritage. Help your family reconnect to their heritage by participating in events throughout the year. Help save Kimball's heritage. Get on board and become a member of the Kimball Area Historical Society during this membership season. Membership renewals for 2010 are also needed, just a reminder, if you have forgotten. Consider buying a friend or relative a gift membership. Thank you for your support.
Phase five of Kimball's showcase city hall restoration has begun, another step towards completing the indoors. There's no other city hall in Stearns County on the National Register of Historic Places. It's no wonder, as the preservation continues, that residents and visitors alike are proud and committed to the finish. Thank you for inspiring everyone with your ongoing commitments and tax-deductible donations.
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Today in history: In 1847, American inventor Thomas Alva Edison was born in Milan, Ohio. In 1861, President-elect Abraham Lincoln departed from Springfield, Ill., for Washington.
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You just completed "History Matters" column #263. History special events for 2010 are the months February, March, April, June, Augudst, September, October, and November.