Tricounty News

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.


July 8: Basics of researching your family history



Interested in genealogy but not sure how to get started? Join other beginners at the Stearns History Museum at 7 p.m. Tuesday, July 8, to learn the Basics of Researching Your Family History. This workshop is free for members, $7 for non-members. Archivist Sarah Warmka will give an overview of what you need to get started along with some helpful tips for bridging gaps in your information. She’ll also discuss how to use the Ancestry Library Edition database, which is available at the Stearns History Museum, to search for family records.

Come early to attend the Intro to the Research Center and Archives class at 6:30 p.m. This class will highlight the many resources available in the Research Center and Archives of the Stearns History Museum, and show how easy they are to access. Beginning at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, July 8, Sarah Warmka will show patrons how to use the archives and many of the different databases and collections that are available. Please RSVP to Sarah Warmka, Stearns History Museum Archivist, (320) 253-8424, or by email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . Feel free to contact Sarah with any questions or for more details.




This Week in the American Civil War: June 22-28, 1864

Major Highlights for the Week

Wednesday, June 22, 1864

Confederate General Robert E. Lee was aware of the move planned by Federal Lieutenant General Ulysses Grant to extend the siege lines to the south and west of Petersburg, Va. Confederate Lieutenant General Ambrose Powell Hill’s corps moved out and struck the Federal Second Corps, commanded by Major General David B. Birney who took over for Major General Winfield Scott Hancock, who was on sick leave from a war wound. The Second Corps was driven back, losing 1,700 prisoners in an engagement on the Jerusalem Plank Road, halting Grant’s drive against the Weldon and Petersburg Railroad.


This Week in the American Civil War: June 15-21, 1864

Major Highlights for the Week

Wednesday, June 15, 1864

Federal Major General William F. Smith, from Bermuda Hundred Landing, had orders from Lieutenant General Ulysses Grant, through Major General Benjamin Butler, to move early and attack Petersburg, Va. Major General Winfield Scott Hancock, commanding the Federal Second Corps which had just crossed the James River, had farther to go but could have cooperated fairly well. Confederate General P.G.T. Beauregard had approximately 3,000 troops in defense, which could never have stopped 16,000 Federals. But a mix-up of orders, lack of rations, poor maps, missed opportunities and delays by commanders, along with courageous Southern defense, saved Petersburg and lengthened the war by several months. Grant spent the day on the James River supervising the crossing of other troops at the pontoon bridge.

Beauregard informed Confederate authorities and General Robert E. Lee that the main attack would occur at Petersburg and requested reinforcements. Lee still believed that Grant’s army was north of the James River, which suggests that the Federal deception worked.


Marl beds opened in Stearns County


Text from the Tri-County Messenger dated Nov. 19, 1936.

Reprinted from the Tri-County News July 18, 2002.

Work to be done by WPA to aid farmers of this county

For several years, the county extension service has been interested in getting growers of alfalfa and other legumes to use marl in getting better stands of these legumes. After a considerable amount of effort, two marl mines will be opened in the county this week. These projects are made possible as a result of work through the county agent’s office, St. Cloud; A.C. Libby, Anoka; the district representative of the soil conservation service; and the two cooperating farmers who own the marl land.