Biography of O. A. Kimball

In a history of the business development of Clarinda and Page county mention should be made of O. A. Kimball, who for some years figured prominently in connection with the lumber trade and later with the agricultural interests of the community. He was born in New Hampshire in 1835 and was a son of Edwin and Elizabeth (Prescott) Kimball, both of whom were natives of New England. The father followed the occupation of farming in New Hampshire, where both he and his wife died. The Kimball family was established on American soil in the early period in the colonization of the new world, and representatives of the name served as loyal soldiers in the Revolutionary war.

O. A. Kimball was reared in his native state, remaining in New Hampshire until nineteen years of age. In the meantime he attended the Pembroke Academy, thus supplementing his early public-school education. At nineteen years of age he went to Peoria, Illinois, where he spent two years in working at the carpenter’s trade. On the expiration of that period he came to Clarinda in 1857 and here embarked in the lumber business, hauling his first load of lumber from Council Bluffs. He was in partnership with Charles P. Osgood and the enterprise which they established and for some time conducted is now carried on under the name of the Green Bay Lumber Company. In 1887 Mr. Kimball and his partner sold out to the White Pine Lumber Company, which later disposed of their yard to the Green Bay Lumber Company. On withdrawing from lumber circles Mr. Kimball retired and turned his attention to the cultivation of his farm southeast of Clarinda for two years. At the time he sold his lumber interests he built an elegant residence at No. 201 North Eighteenth street and it continued to be his home until his death and is yet occupied by his widow.
In 1863, at Clarinda, Mr. Kimball was married to Miss Eva Pierce, a daughter of Joseph and Mary (Woods) Pierce, natives of Ohio and of Pennsylvania respectively. Her father and mother came to Iowa in 1859, locating at College Springs, and Mr. Pierce devoted his attention to general agricultural pursuits. He died there in 1866, having survived his wife for but five days. In the Pierce family were eleven children: Mary Jane, who became the wife of Charles Mower, of Greenville, Pennsylvania, but both are now deceased; William B., who joined Company K of the Fourth Iowa Infantry and died during his service in the Civil war; Sophronia, who is the widow of Azariah Dunham and lives in Warren, Pennsylvania; Melissa, who is the widow of Dr. J. N. McMurray and is living in Franklin, Pennsylvania; Marilla, who is the wife of Rev. William Hayes, now living retired in Winfield, Kansas; Elizabeth, who is the widow of T. R. Stockton and makes her home in Ridgewood, New Jersey; Mrs. Kimball; Mrs. N. M. Bodwell, of College Springs, Iowa ; Mrs. M. B. Feltch, of Golden, Colorado; John, who joined Company K of the Fourth Iowa Infantry and died while serving at the front in the Civil war; and Albert L, who married Enuna Pratt and lives in Hardy, Nebraska. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Kimball were born three children but Frank and Albert Edmond are now deceased. The only surviving member of the family is Ruth, now the wife of Dr. R. J. Matthews, of Clarinda.

The death of the husband and father occurred in 1892. He was a member of the Presbyterian church and lived an upright, honorable life. His political allegiance was given to the republican party and all who knew him esteemed him for his genuine worth and his sterling traits of character. He took an active and helpful interest in promoting the business development of Clarinda and at all times was a progressive citizen, doing everything in his power to advance the interests of the community at large. Mrs. Kimball still owns a beautiful country residence on North Eighteenth street, together with the lumberyard property and buildings on Washington street. Her husband left her comfortably situated in life, her income being sufficient to supply her with all of the comforts and many of the luxuries of life. She, too, is held in warm regard throughout Clarinda and this Dart of the state, and like her husband has many stanch friends.



Kershaw, W. L. History of Page County, Iowa: also biographical sketches of some prominent citizens of the county. Chicago: S.J. Clarke Publishing Co. 1909.

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