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Kimball, Nebraska

Kimball, Nebraska

When you visit Kimball, you will find a town with many stories to tell. Kimball began simply as a stop on the Union Pacific Railroad. Freight trains still rumble through town and will remind you of Kimball's humble beginning. Farming was the major source of revenue during those early days, and remains vitally important to Kimball's economy. Driving through the county, you will find family farms surrounded by fields of wheat, sunflowers, and of course, corn.

Kimball was spawned about 1870, and because of the prevalence of antelope, the town was known as Antelopeville. However, confusion arose in 1885 with another town called Antelope, so a change of name was suggested. The influence of the railroad can be attested to with the choice of "Kimball." Thomas Lord Kimball, general manager on the U.P., would sidetrack his personal car and visit friends when passing through town. When the area separated from Cheyenne County in 1888, the county also chose the name.

Early in 1900 a county-wide high school was proposed. Kimball County High School, the first in the state, opened its doors on January 3, 1910. In 1923, in sympathy with the farmers who lost most of their wheat crop, the town sponsored a free lunch and the hotels and cafes served 960 dinners. This was the first "Farmers Day" which is celebrated each year in Kimball.

A "second frontier" started when oil was discovered in 1951. This brought hundreds of people to Kimball County. At one time 28 "producers" were operating within the city limits. The town bustled with improvements, paved streets, added schools, businesses, housing additions, and expanded every governmental entity. Within a decade the population was nearly 5,000.

In early 1960 a mammoth hole was dug south of town and residents viewed the huge Atlas missile taken to the site. In the next few years, people swarmed into Kimball as 90 Minute Man launch sites were constructed. The impact, on top of the oil boom, overwhelmed the city as it faced added city services, more new schools, and trailer villages to accommodate the influx of families. The city coped as the population climbed to nearly 8,000.

Although Kimball is a smaller town now of 2,600, it is not missing any of the amenities of larger cities. Schools operate with smaller classes and merchants emphasize "home-town-loyalty" and boosterism. Kimball boasts fourteen restaurants, eight motels, seven gas stations, and three campgrounds in addition to antiques and regular shopping needs.

Attractions and Upcoming Events

Plains Historical Museum

To learn more about Kimball's history, visit the Plains Historical Museum. The museum is housed in the town's old Fraternal Hall. Built in 1904, and listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the building is a museum itself. In 1904

Kimball, NE Museums

The Stone Building

The Stone Building is a two-story structure built in 1893-94 of rough-cut, locally quarried limestone. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places

Kimball, NE Historic Buildings

Wind Farm

Capturing the Prairie Wind Truly a site to see, the Kimball Wind Farm was operational in August of 2002. The Municipal Energy Agency of Nebraska (MEAN) owns and operates the 10.5 megawatt wind farm consisting of seven turbines. Each turbine stands nearly 350

Kimball, NE Structural Landmarks

Brookside Farm

The Brookside farm (also known as the Gridley-Howe-Faden-Atkins Farmstead), illustrates an historically typical farmstead evolution in Nebraska. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places

Kimball, NE Historic Homes

Wheat Growers Hotel

Constructed in 1918 the Wheat Growers Hotel is located in Kimball. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places

Kimball, NE Historic Hotels

Things to do near Kimball, NE

Bergstrom Rock and Gem Collection

Mastodon bones and teeth are on display, along with several other fossils found in the Chappell area. Nature's beauty can be ...

Rebecca Winter's Grave

Rebecca Winters was born in New York State in 1802 and was a pioneer in the Church of the Latter Day Saints. In June of 1852...