Tricounty News

Kimball is prosperous village in southern Stearns County-Part Two

Text from The Daily Journal-Press, St. Cloud, March 20, 1928.

Pioneer hardships came to the Maine Prairie people as to other early settlers. In addition to many other discomforts of their lives, the food problem became a serious one. Not enough crops were produced from the farmers in 1856 to carry the people through the winter. The crops of 1857 were destroyed by locusts. Frosted corn was ground in coffee mills to make a meal which was cooked into mush and with a number of families was the main food supply. The crops of 1858 were excellent and attracted wide attention. But in 1862 came the Indian ravages. In 1863 there was a drought, and it was not until 1864 that the agriculture prosperity of the town was firmly established.


This week in the American Civil War: July 6-12, 1864

Major Highlights for the Week

Wednesday, July 6, 1864

Confederate Lieutenant General Jubal Early’s troops captured Hagerstown, Md.; skirmished at Sir John’s Run and Big Cacapon Bridge, W.V.; and at Antietam, Md. Brigadier General John McCausland, commanding the Confederates at Hagerstown, levied $20,000 on the citizenry in retribution for Federal Major General David Hunter’s depredations in the Shenandoah River valley. In Washington, Federal authorities conferred on reinforcing the defenses of the capital.

Cavalry operations and reconnaissances continued on the Atlanta front with skirmishing occurring at Sandtown and Nickajack Creek, Ga.

Around Petersburg, Va, skirmishes occurred at Mount Zion Church near Aldie.


Lost towns and places in Stearns County

Join us at the Stearns History Museum at 9 a.m. Wednesday morning, July 9, for Breakfast Club. Minnesota Regional author, Rhonda Fochs, will be providing a historical presentation and an overview on “Minnesota’s Lost Towns” the newly released local history book published by North Star Press of St. Cloud.

Rhonda Fochs will share her interest in “ghost towns” and the research and methods for this topic. The book tells the tale of more than 125 northern Minnesota lost locations. Each town, once thriving and now no longer existing as a town, is covered in a short, fun-to-read narrative. Read how the towns were created, how they grew and prospered, why they died and what you will find there today. Filled with anecdotes, historical photos, current photos and the history of each community, the book appeals to historians, genealogists, tourists, travelers, area residents and anyone that enjoys a good story. The presentation will include Rhonda’s research on many of the ghost towns in Central Minnesota. This is free for members, $7 for non-members.

Stearns History Museum is located at 235 33rd Ave. S. in St. Cloud. 

This week in the American Civil War: June 29-July 5, 1864

Major Highlights for the Week

Wednesday, June 29, 1864

Confederate President Jefferson Davis assured Georgia’s Confederate Governor Joseph E. Brown that he had sent General Joseph E. Johnston all available troops as reinforcements.

Skirmishes marked the day at Charles Town and Duffield’s Station, W.V.; LaFayette, Tenn.; Davis’s Bend, La., and Meffleton Lodge, Ark.


Kimball is prosperous village in southern Stearns County Part One

Maine Prairie chosen by eastern settlers in 1854; Alvin Messer staked first farm claim; log house built by Greely in 1856

Hercules Dam and son plowed first land on “prairie” after several claims had been staked; first home was mere shanty; settlers came in rapidly.

Reprinted from Tri-County News Nov. 14, 2002.

Text from The Daily Journal-Press, St. Cloud, March 20, 1928.

Maine Prairie Township, in which Kimball is situated, lies in the southeast portion of the county, and has an area of 36,000 acres. The western and southern portions of the town are undulating, and in some places quite broken. The balance of the town is a gently rolling prairie, interspersed with a clay sub-soil. This town is dotted with numerous lakes, the principal of which is Pearl Lake, lying in the northern part of the township and having an area of about 700 acres.