Tuesday, June 7, 2011

A.P. Kimball

(This post is part of a series about my research of Fitchburg architect H.M. Francis)
The house of Alpheus Porter (A.P.) Kimball was erected in the 1870s on Garnet Street.

Fig. 1: A.P. Kimball's house (photo courtesy of bostongringo.com)
A.P. Kimball's father (also named Alpheus) made a living manufacturing scythes in Fitchburg, where the Fitchburg Paper Company later built their mills. A.P. dabbled in scythe-making, but also took up selling watches and jewelry under the business name of Kimball & Lowe and later in a partnership with J.G. Whitcomb.

A.P. Kimball's obituary underscored the many contributions he made to Fitchburg.

Fig. 2: Alpheus Kimball's obituary
According to his obituary, Kimball's "public services were chiefly in the suppression of crime and protection from fires. Long before the police force was established his fearlessness as an officer and skill as a detective made him a terror to evil doers."

In the biography folder for A.P. Kimball, there are two interesting documents.
The first is a genealogy sheet, possibly completed by one of his sons or other descendants that features information about A.P.'s birth, death, marriage and children.

Fig. 3: An ancestry sheet about A.P. Kimball.
The document lists his children as:
Frank, Aug. 17th, 1860
Arthur Huntley, Dec. 11th, 1862
Herman Porter, May 3rd, 1866
and Richard Edwin, April 28th, 1872.

The second document is an article from the Fitchburg Sentinel, dated September 21st, 1956.
The article is about A.P.'s nephew Edward F. Kimball's planned celebration of his 99th birthday.

Fig. 4: Article about the 99th birthday of Edward F. Kimball.

Edward Kimball was the son of A.P.'s brother (General) John W. Kimball.

According to the article, J.W. Kimball also worked in his father's scythe factory but left town with the Fitchburg Fusiliers after President Lincoln called for Union Army volunteers. The Fusiliers were assigned to the 15th Regiment and fought at Antietam, Ball's Bluff, Gettysburg and the Wilderness.

Fig. 5: Picture from Fitchburg of Gen. John Kimball and his horse Prince.
The caption of the photograph reads:

"GEN. JOHN KIMBALL AND PRINCE. Upon accepting command of Company K of the 53rd Regiment in 1862, Col. John W. Kimball was given equipment and a fine four-year-old horse named Prince by 43 friends and leading citizens of Fitchburg. Colonel Kimball and Prince later saw battle in New Orleans, and Kimball was later promoted to general. In the reunion of 1887, the general mounted Prince for this photograph and had a copy made for every man in his command."

The Kimball Family's roots in Fitchburg stretch as far back as the American Revolution and many of their descendants lived dedicated lives to their community and country.

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