A Civil War Soldier: Pvt. William R. KIMBALL (1837 – 1924)

How Related: Brother of my 3rd-great-grandfather, Benjamin Henry KIMBALL

Born: 8 April 1837 in Bedford, Cuyahoga Co., Ohio

Parents: William KIMBALL (c. 1806 – 1879) and Amanda WESTBROOK (1816 – c. 1882)

Siblings: William was second of eleven children and one of three brothers who served in the Union Army:

  • John E. (1835 – 1910)
  • Fanny C. (c. 1838 – bef. 1853)
  • George Washington (1841 – 1918)
  • Mary Jane (c. 1844 – 1925)
  • Benjamin Henry (1845 – 1924) – my ancestor
  • David P. (c. 1848 – 1903)
  • Fanny Charlotte (b. c. 1853)
  • Ella A. (b. c. 1858)
  • Lydia P. (b. c. 1862)
  • Lucinda May (b. c. 1866)

Married: Sarah Isabel HATHLEY (1839 – 1919) on 14 September 1856 in Newaygo Village, Brooks Twp., Newaygo Co., Michigan


  • Martha Amanda (1857 – 1875)
  • Edward (dates unknown)
  • Ida Jane (b. 1859)
  • Alice M. (b. 1862)
  • Ruey (b. 1865)
  • Sarah L. (b. 1869)
  • Jesse Malvina (b. 1871)
  • Edwin “Eddie” (b. c. 1878)

Source: Civil War Pension Index Card of William Kimbell. Organization Index to Pension Files of Veterans Who Served Between 1861 and 1900. National Archives and Records Administration. Publication T289. Digital image purchased at Footnote [http://www.footnote.com/].

Drafted: 20 September 1864 at Newaygo Co., Michigan into Co. A, 13th Michigan Infantry; private

Side served: Union

Discharged: 8 June 1865 in Washington, D. C.

Biography or Information of Interest: From Portrait and Biographical Album of Newaygo County, Michigan, pp. 259 – 269:

William Kimbell, Sheriff of Newaygo County, resident at Newaygo, was born in Bedford, Cuyahoga Co., O., April 8. 1837. He is a son of William and Amanda (Westbrook) Kimbell, and was reared on a farm, obtaining his education at winter terms of school. From the age of 15 years he was variously engaged until he settled in Newaygo in 1853. In 1843 his parents transferred their family to Kalamazoo Co., Mich., where his father was a farmer. On coming to Newaygo, Mr. Kimbell interested himself in the pursuit which in some of its varied branches was that of nearly all men in active life in this portion of Michigan, namely, lumbering. Soon afterward he began taking contracts, engaging first with the Newaygo Lumber Company and successively with Kelly, Wood & Co., of Chicago, and Lyman T. Kinney of Grand Rapids. He commonly employed a working force of about 50 men.

In 1864 Mr. Kimbell was drafted and assigned to Co. A, 13th Reg’t. Mich. Vol. Inf. He served nine months and participated in the battle of Bentonville, besides doing duty in a number of skirmishes. On receiving his discharge he returned to Newaygo and resumed lumbering. He continued his operations in that pursuit until February, 1881, when he rented the White Cloud House at White Cloud. The hotel was under his management until December, 1881, when he was elected to his present official position and transferred his residence to Newaygo.

Mr. Kimbell was married in Newaygo, Sept. 3, 1856, to Sarah B., daughter of John and Matilda Hathley, a native of Canada, born April 12, 1839. Of eight children born to them six are living: Ida J., Alice M., Ruey, Sarah, Jessie and Eddie. Martha A., eldest daughter, and Edward are deceased.

Mr. Kimbell came to Newaygo in its pioneer days and has been a witness to its varied steps of progress. Two or three shanties constituted its municipality and the adjacent woods were the delight of hunters and trappers. Mr. Kimbell was one to whom the abundance of wild game was a great source of satisfaction, and his exploits as one of the Nimrods of this reason are full of interest. Deer and bears abounded, and one of Mr. K’s accounts records the slaughter, on one occasion, of four of the latter in the evening after supper!

Died: 1 December 1924 in Sodysmith (?), Iowa (cannot find on any map or gazetteer!)

Buried: Maple Grove Cemetery, Fremont, Dayton Twp., Newaygo Co., Michigan


2 Responses

  1. I am currently assisting the Civil War Instructor here at Kalamazoo
    Valley Community College with a project on the 13th Michigan Infantry of
    which Norman was a member. We are trying to collect all the information
    we can on the 13th, its members and its history. We currently have over
    1300 pages of letters, diaries, official records and period newspaper
    articles. Do you have any you might be willing to share with us? This is
    not for publication, but when completed will be made available to anyone
    interest in the 13th. We would be more than glad to pay for postage or
    copying cost of anything you might wish to share with us and you are
    certainly welcome any information we might all ready have. Thank you,
    Marianne Lancaster mlancaster@kvcc.edu

  2. Hello,
    I am a descendant of William Kimball (1837-1924), soldier in the Civil War. I just wanted to correct one thing. William did not die in Sodysmith, Iowa (no such place). He died in Ladysmith, Wisconsin.
    Ken Kinman

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