Biography of Richard Henry Kimball

Richard Henry Kimball. One of the widely known and highly esteemed residents of Manhattan Township, Riley County, Kansas, is Richard Henry Kimball, who has been a witness of the development of the great West and has borne his part in the work that transformed the unbroken prairie into the richly cultivated fields that make Manhattan Township notable as an agricultural section. Not alone as an early settler is Mr. Kimball worthy of consideration, important as that is in the truthful annals of Kansas, but he is also a veteran of the great Civil war, in which he risked life and health for three years as a soldier in the Union army.

Richard Henry Kimball was born at Goffstown, New Hampshire, May 12, 1838, and his parents were John and Sally Collins (Putnam) Kimball. The father was a native of New Hampshire and the mother of Massachusetts. She came of Revolutionary stock, her maternal grandfather being General Collins, who signalized himself as a gallant soldier in the Revolutionary struggle, and her kindred on the paternal side including the brave Gen. Israel Putnam, of Revolutionary fame, whose character is well depicted by the words inscribed on his tomb, “He dared to lead where any dared to follow.”

Richard Henry Kimball and his brothers were reared in New Hampshire and attended the district schools. In the spring of 1856, J. Augustus and John Melville Kimball, older brothers of Richard, ventured as far west as Kansas and located in what is now Manhattan Township, Riley County. Joseph Augustus was accidentally killed in June of that year. Following his brothers, Richard Henry Kimball came also to Riley County, reaching what is now Manhattan Township on December 30, 1856. He soon acquired a land claim in the township and in the spring of 1857 his parents and the rest of their children came also to this section. Before settling down to the hard work that he knew awaited him on his farm, Mr. Kimball explored farther west and made two trips across the plains in the sixties, before enlisting on August 13, 1862, as a private in Company G, Eleventh Kansas Volunteer Infantry for service in the Civil war. This regiment afterward became the Eleventh Kansas cavalry and he followed its fortunes until the close of the struggle, participating in many battles, including the battle of the Blue, West Port and Mine Run. and received his honorable discharge in June, 1865. He is a member of Lew Grove Post, Grand Army of the Republic.

When Mr. Kimball was released from military service, his duty well done, he soon made a journey to New Hampshire, where he knew that a beloved maiden awaited him, and on July 12, 1865, was united in marriage with Miss Elizabeth F. Greer. She was born at Goffstown, New Hampshire, January 17, 1839. Immediately after marriage Mr. and Mrs. Kimball came to Kansas and settled on the farm in Manhattan Township on which they have since lived and where they had the privilege of celebrating together their golden wedding anniversary in 1915. Unto them were born the following children: Fred Greer Kimball, who is a resident of Manhattan, Kansas; Sarah Bertha, who is the wife of Prof; Albert Dickens, of the Kansas State Agricultural College; John Benjamin Kimball, who manages the paternal farm; and Stella Victoria, who is the wife of W. P. Tucker of Florida.

Mr. Kimball has always taken an active interest in public affairs in relation to improvement and development of this section. His vote has always been cast independently and according to his own intelligent judgment. In former years he was prominently identified with the Grange movement and also with the Good Templars but as a rule fraternal organizations have had no appeal to him. He has seen wonderful changes come to Kansas, changes which have justified his foresight in making this state his permanent home, and the part that he has performed has been one that has been creditable to himself, his family and his community. Mr. and Mrs. Kimball spend their winters in Florida.



Connelley, William E. A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans. Chicago : Lewis, 1918. 5v. Biographies can be accessed from this page: Kansas and Kansans Biographies.

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