Tuesday, May 06, 2008

A Civil War Soldier: Pvt. David P. KIMBALL (1848 - 1903)

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

Born: c. 1848 in Michigan, probably in Pavilion Township, Kalamazoo County

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

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

  • John E. (1835 - 1910)
  • William R. (1837 - 1924)
  • Fanny C. (c. 1838 - bef. 1853)
  • George Washington (1841 - 1918)
  • Mary Jane (c. 1844 - 1925)
  • Benjamin Henry (1845 - 1924) - my ancestor
  • Fanny Charlotte (b. c. 1853)
  • Ella A. (b. c. 1858)
  • Lydia P. (b. c. 1862)
  • Lucinda May (b. c. 1866)
Married: first to Edna H. NORTHRUP (c. 1848 - bef. 1871) on 24 September 1865, Newaygo Co., Michigan; second to her probable sister, Mary A. (or E.) NORTHRUP (b. c. 1852) ON 2 March 1871 in Du Page Co., Illinois

Children: David had three children with Edna: Della A. (b. c. 1868), Oscar Alonzo (b. 1869), and Alfonso (c. 1871 - 1877). With Mary, he had Edith (b. c. 1876), Bessie (b. c. 1878), James W. (b. 1881), Alma (b. 1883), and Julian (b. 1884).


Source: Civil War Pension Index Card of David P. Kimbell. National Archives and Records Administration. Civil War Pension Index: General Index to Pension Files, 1861-1934 [database on-line at http://www.ancestry.com]. Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2000. Original data: General Index to Pension Files, 1861-1934. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration. T288.

Source: Civil War Pension Index Card of David P. 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/].

Enlisted: 19 April 1864 at Grand Rapids, Kent Co., Michigan; private. Enlisted 29 April 1864 in Co. D, 27th Michigan Infantry.

Side served: Union

Mustered out: 8 August 1865 at Detroit, Wayne Co., Michigan


Biography or Information of Interest: From the Newaygo County Civil War Veterans website:

The Muskegon Valley Soldiers and Sailors Association was born in September 1883. It originated in the furtile [sic] brain of two or three of the Comrades residing in this village and its first encampment was held that year on the court house square and consisted of four tents and a Corporals Guard of old Veterans who for one day and night enjoyed its campfire and lived over again the scenes of other days.

At this meeting the Newaygo County Soldiers and Sailors Association was formed with S.D. Thompson as its first president. This event having proved so enjoyable it was decided to hold another reunion in this village in September 1884.

In the summer of that year our enterprising townsman John H. Simmons, being then owner of what is now known as Riverside Park, but at that time a bramble bush consisting of oak grubs, briars and decayed timber, very generously set to work with teams and men and at his own expense cleared a portion of it and donated its use to the Comrades for their encampment that year, which was a success, both socially an in point of numbers. Mr. Thompson was reelected president, and another encampment was voted for the following year, 1885, at the same place, which was in every way successful, the attendance being nearly doubled over previous years, Mr. Thompson being again elected its president.

At this encampment it was voted to take it to Hesperia for the year 1886, which was held in a beautiful grove one-half mile east of Hesperia village, and there are none of those who attended the encampment but what carry pleasant memories of the occasion and the good will of the Hesperia people.

At this encampment H. Lever was elected president and it was voted to Fremont for the year 1887. This year was also a success both socially and in point of numbers, and the crowd was handsomly [sic] entertained by the Fremont people. It having been learned that the National Encampment was to be held in Columbus, Ohio, for the year 1888, and as many of the members desired to attend, no officers were elected and no encampment was to be had unless a petition signed by twenty-five members was presented, in which case a meeting should be called, officers elected and a time and place fixed to hold it. This petition was obtained by David Kimbell then a resident of Garfield Township, and a meeting was called at the court house in this village July 28 , 1888, at which Mr. Kimbell was elected president and L.D. Spooner of Fremont, secretary, and it was also voted at this meeting to hold a reunion in the year 1888. The reunion was held at the close of which Rev. C.W. Gardner was elected president, and ha s held the office continuously ever since.

The name of the association was changed at this encampment on suggestion of Dr. D.W. Flora to The Muskegon Valley Soldiers and Sailors Association which has become familiar to every household in this county and wide spread in the state. Since the year 1888 an encampment has been held every year in Simmons' Grove, now Riverside Park. It is one of the most beautiful groves in the county and peculiarly adapted to the purpose for which it is used. It was purchased from Mr. Simmons by a syndicate of Newaygo people who have spared no pains in fitting it up and have donated its use to this association as did Mr. Simmons while he was the owner. It is situated on the north bank of Muskegon River, within a few rods of Newaygo Village, is a romantic spot where the old soldier can pitch his tent, build his campfire and surrounded by his family and Comrades, enjoy a week of pleasure.

This association has grown from a Corporals Guard, to now the largest in the state. It requires three hundred tents to accommodate the Comrades and friends who come to stay the week. Each year has been an improvement over the proceeding year, both in numbers and arrangement of grounds until they have reached an epoch, wherein they support a daily paper, a valuable adjunct to an encampment of this magnitude.

Great credit is due to the officers through whose management it has attained its success, and it is the earnest wish of the writer that of the few years allotted to the Grand Army before they answer the last bugle call a few days of each year may be spent on this Muskegon River hillside in social reunion with those who side by side fought the battles and won the victory for "Old Glory" which floats so proudly over them.

Seth S. Watrous has acted as secretary of the association since its organization (save one year) and to his clerical ability, energy and good judgment much of the success of the organization depends. That he shall continue at the helm f or years to come is the sentiment of every old soldier on the ground.

Died: 1 April 1903 at Marquette, Marquette Co., Michigan (see the story of how I found his death location after many years of searching, here)

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

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