The Story of Kimball in Central MN
In 1856 in Central Minnesota a fort was built north of what is now the town of Kimball. That fort and settlement was called Maine Prairie. In 1886 the railroad went through a location south of Maine Prairie where present day Kimball is now located. That new location was called Kimball Prairie and was later shortened to Kimball. The railroad still goes through the southern part of Kimball. A post office has been in operation in Kimball since 1887and the community is named for settler Frye Kimball.
Kimball is a town of approximately 800 people located a short 15 to 20 minute drive south on Highway 15 from St. Cloud.
To tell the story of Kimball I was joined by longtime Kimball residents Cindy Stelten and Karla Davis. Stelten is a current city council person and former Mayor. She also is a graduate of Kimball High School and a resident of Kimball for more than 50 years. Davis is the current Mayor of Kimball and a resident of Kimball for 24 years.
Stelten indicates Kimball had and currently has many thriving businesses in their community. Knaus Sausage House has been owned and operated by the Knaus family since 1912. A.M. Maus and Sons has been the community's car dealership and Arnold's has been their implement dealer for many years. Stelten says Kimball used to have numerous grocery store options, a pickle factory, grain elevator, ballroom, black smith shop, a furniture store, a hotel and many other businesses that served the community over the years.
Kimball area High School continues to operate on the west side of town but it wasn't always located there. Stelten says the high school used to be on the east side of town where the elementary school is now.
Kimball is growing community according to Karla Davis. She says they have some housing developments on the north side of town and new businesses including a salon. Stelten says she is proud of their library and historic city hall. Other unique things about Kimball is Power Ridge Winter Recreational area to the north and Kimball Golf Course to the south. Davis explains they also have a large park in the city limits called Willow Creek just behind the baseball field on highway 15. Other thriving businesses in Kimball include Johnson Rail Car, Styme Industries, Gas Service, Land O Lakes Oil Company, and Willow Creek Concrete.
A special thanks to Karla Davis, Cindy Stelton, Kimball City Hall, Ed Maus, Carol Newman and Ronnie Knaus for their help in providing the information for this story.
If you'd like to listen to my conversations with Cindy Stelten and Karla Davis they are available below.
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Gallery Credit: Stacker