Transcribed from History of Labette County, Kansas and its Representative Citizens, ed. & comp. by Hon. Nelson Case. Pub. by Biographical Publishing Co., Chicago, Ill. 1901

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Charles H. Kimball

HON. CHARLES H. KIMBALL, one of the able lawyers of Labette county, Kansas, is widely known throughout this section of the state by reason of the numerous public enterprises which he has founded, fostered and controlled. As a lawyer, he has given evidence of his ability in many important cases of more than local prominence.

Mr. Kimball was born at Carthage, Jefferson county, New York, January 1, 1846, and is a son of Charles H. and Eleanor (Planck) Kimball. Charles H. Kimball, Sr., was born in 1812, at Haverhill, Massachusetts, where he was reared, and whence he moved to New York State when a young man. He was a contractor, and followed that line of work all of his life, dying in 1882, in his native town. He was first united in marriage with Susan Vinton, who died, leaving five daughters, as follows: Julia L. (Briggs), of Rome, New York; Augusta B. (Smith), of Brooklyn, New York; Caroline S. (Wilmot), of Watertown, New York; Mary L., deceased wife of O. M. Mason, until her death, in 1900, a resident of Jamestown, New York; and Deborah, wife of T. M. Foster, of Ypsilanti, Michigan. Mr. Kimball's second wife was Eleanor Planck, who died when the subject of this sketch was a child, - he being the sole issue of this union.

Charles H. Kimball was reared at Carthage, New York, and attended the public schools there. He entered the academy at Rome, New York, which he left to join the army, in 1863. He enlisted as a private in Company D, 10th New York Heavy Artillery, but owing to parental objections was not mustered into service, although he spent some months with the regiment. He was permitted to enter the military academy at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and in October, 1864, was appointed second lieutenant in the 43d Reg., U. S. Colored Troops, - remaining with that command until mustered out in the summer of 1865. He participated in the engagements at Hatch's Run; Petersburg, on the Bermuda Hundred front, between the James and Appomattox rivers; the capture of Fort Harrison; and he was among the first of the troops to enter the city of Richmond, in the spring of 1865. He was, later, quarantine officer in charge of Fort Jackson, near Savannah, several months, and was appointed first lieutenant in the 116th Reg., U. S. Colored Troops, for service on the Rio Grande or Mexican frontier, - being finally mustered out in the spring of 1866. He returned home and took a course in law and art in St. Lawrence University at Canton, New York. As the law department of that institution was discontinued, he entered the Albany Law School, from which he was graduated in 1871, in a class of 50. He began practice in New York State, after admission to the bar, but soon determined to go west.

Mr. Kimball located in Parsons, in 1872, and his subsequent career has been one of the greatest activity. He formed a partnership with T. C. Cory, now deceased, which lasted from 1873 until 1877. He was then in partnership with Judge A. H. Ayers until the latter's death, on June 17, 1882, since which time he has been associated with A. A. Osgood, a very able lawyer. They are engaged in general practice, and have a large and well established clientage. Mr. Kimball has been employed at different times by several counties in tax litigation, and, especially, was he prominent in the early "seventies," in the contest over the Osage Ceded Lands. He was employed by the county in the prosecution of Marion Ashbell for wife murder, - a case which attracted no little attention. He has occupied his present suite of offices over the First National Bank, since 1874. In 1878, he organized the Memphis, Kansas & Colorado Railway Company, with local capital and built 47 miles of narrow-gauge railroad from Parsons to the junction with the "Frisco" road, near the east line of the state. This was afterward sold to the Kansas City, Fort Scott & Gulf Railroad Company, and by that company changed to a standard gauge. This gave Parsons another route through the coal fields to St. Louis, inciting competition and greatly reducing the price of coal. In 1884, he organized the Parsons & Pacific R. R., now a branch of the Missouri, Kansas & Texas Railway. In furtherance of this enterprise, he went to New York to interest eastern capital, thus securing the construction of the road to Coffeyville and Paola. The city water works system, - small originally, - was bought by Mr. Kimball and Edwin H. Edwards, and by them rebuilt in 1892. They have a thirty-years' franchise and give good service to the city. In 1888, Mr. Kimball organized, a and built the ice plant, of which L. R. Roter is manager. He also organized, a company which operated a telegraph line from Kansas City to Coffeyville, and is now a part of the Western Union system. He was president of all these enterprises at one time, and to him is largely due their growth and present flourishing condition. In 1881, he built the Kimball Hotel, which he still owns. He erected the first three-story building in Parsons, and put in the first plate-glass windows used, in the city. He owns a large amount of business and residence property in Parsons.

In 1878, Mr. Kimball was united in marriage with Helen Webster, of Fort Plain, New York. She was born in 1851, and is a daughter of Hon. Peter G. Webster, a prominent lawyer of Fort Plain. Her grandfather was a cousin of the illustrious Daniel Webster, and, her grandmother was a Wagner. Her mother, whose maiden name was McCall, was a daughter of Dr. McCall, a relative of Roscoe Conklin. Six children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Kimball, namely: Charles W., Eleanor, Paul H., Pierre M., Bruce P., and Webster W. Charles W., who is twenty years of age, is attending Lawrence University. He served one year in the United States Navy during the Spanish-American War, and received favorable mention for his conduct. He is preparing for a journalistic career, and has written several articles relating to his travels, which have been published by the leading papers of the country. He edited the High School Sentinel during his senior year in college. Eleanor died in infancy. Paul H., aged fifteen years, attends school; Pierre M. is fourteen years of age; Bruce P. is twelve years of age; and Webster W. is aged ten years. The subject of this sketch is a Republican, in politics, and in early years served as city attorney. In 1884, he was elected to the state senate, and served from 1885 to 1893. He is a thirty-second-degree Mason, and is a member of Topeka Consistory, Scottish Rites, and of Abdallah Temple, Nobles of the Mystic Shrine, of Leavenworth, Kansas. He is a member of Antietam Post, G. A. R., of Parsons. Religiously, Mrs. Kimball attends the Episcopal church.