Century Farms

  9 JUNE 1951

Kimball Farm

Situated in a valley surrounded by rolling hills and stately trees on the Dry Brook Road near the village of Kennedy, lies the farm lands of Ira B. Kimball.  Five generations of Kimballs have lived on this farm during the past 104 years.

This dairy farm of 201 acres now supports 70 head of cattle, including 40 milkers, a number of which are registered Holsteins.  In 1946, under the conservation program, about two miles of diversion ditches were constructed and various other conservation practices were undertaken including pasture improvements and farm ponds.

Ira Kimball, born in Riga in 1815, purchased 98 acres of the present farm from Wesley Forbes for $1,000 in 1847.  Here he lived in a log cabin on the banks of Dry Brook until the construction of a frame house during the 1860's.  In 1849 he married Harriet Briggs Green, the daughter of a neighbor, and to them were born nine children, the two eldest and two youngest being the only ones to live beyond childhood.

Ira Kimball cleared a small portion of his land and operated a self-sufficient farm, raising stock and grain for his own use.  In addition, he hand-shaved pine shingles in his shingle shanty for use on his own buildings as well as other buildings in the community.  His wife Harriet wove her own linen from flax and cloth from wool.  She taught school prior to her marriage.  Ira Kimball later purchased 58 acres bringing the total up to 156 acres during his lifetime.  Harriet Kimball died in 1883 and Ira followed in 1890.  After this, the farm was divided between the two youngest children Ezra and Bryant.

At this time the house was divided, the upright portion being moved near the location of the old log cabin.  Improvements were made on both places.  A few years later Bryant sold his share to Ezra and moved west with his family.

Ezra Kimball born in 1865, married Jennie DeBell, Kennedy, in 1887, and they continued to live at the old homestead.  To them were born four children, Bernice Kimball Sprague, Ira B. Kimball, Marian A. Kimball and Elton B. Kimball.  Elton died in North Dakota during the flu epidemic of 1918.

During the lifetime of Ezra Kimball land was purchased to increase the farm to its present size of 201 acres.  For many years he operated a stump-pulling machine powered by oxen with which he cleared a large portion of his own land and also did custom work around this section including parts of Jamestown.  Considerable part of this work was done for John T. Wilson of the Wilson Lumber Mills, Jamestown.

Ezra KIimball was the first highway superintendent of the town of Poland under the tax system, serving from 1905 until his death in 1914.  After his death the farm was operated by his wife Jennie and son, Ira B. Kimball.

In 1921 Ira B. Kimball purchased the farm from his mother and sisters and within a short time married Irene Schermerhorn, Kennedy.  They have two children, Stanley B. Kimball and Shirley Kimball Shanahan.

During the 31 years he has operated the farm the dairy herd has been doubled, a large addition has been made to the barn and both houses remodeled. He is now installing a hay-drier.

Stanley B. Kimball, born in 1921, is a graduate of the Ohio State University College of Agriculture.  While attending school he met and married Mary K. Hauffe, Columbus, Ohio.  Following his service in World War II, he returned to the farm in 1945.  They have two children, Marilynne Ann, 7, and Stephen Neil, 4.

Due to the finding of many arrowheads, rough implements and flint chips on this and near by lands, it is believed that Indians once wandered freely through this area.  The present owner has found may relics near a salt marsh known by early settlers as a "deer lick".

This farm lies in the section where in the early days the main highway between Kennedy and Falconer was laid running south of the present highway in Kennedy branching off near the Conners property to what is known as Orrin Hill or the Wheelock Road going across the present Dry Brook Road just above this farm to connect with the Sprauge Hill Road.  Part of that road was abandoned several years ago due to very little travel on the road, but the old bridge which crossed the creek still stands.