By Mark B. Thompson III
Richard Kimball is one of those early “immigrants” beloved by genealogists—not such an early arrival so as to make the “elite” but early enough to be interesting; not famous but with enough history and descendants to make it worth the effort to chronicle the Kimball family. For example, the 1287 page “History of the Kimball Family In America” was first published in Boston in 1897. With the recent genealogy boom and the growth of the internet, you will find one online genealogy tracing the family back to a Thomas Kimball, spelling of the surname disputed, born in Suffolk in 1370. Moving forward, one of his descendants, Heber C. Kimball, was Brigham Young’s “right hand man.” Heber Kimball is buried under an attractive monument in a downtown Salt Lake City cemetery. The resting place in Hillsboro, New Mexico for Heber’s second cousin once removed is not so impressive.
|Kimball cousins: Ninette Stocker Miller (l) with a lady believed to be her mother, Tamezin Kimball Stocker Dodge, on the east porch of the Miller home in Hillsboro, NM ca. 1905. George Miller Collection, Black Range Museum.|
When Richard Kimball and his family sailed from Ipswich in Suffolk on The Elizabeth in April of 1634, England was already feeling the tension which would lead to civil war and regicide. By requiring adults leaving England to sign an Oath of Allegiance to the crown and acknowledgment of the Supremacy of the Church of England, today’s genealogists were provided with a public record documenting the departure. The 1897 history does get to the generation of Heber Kimball, and his second cousin, Russell Freeman Kimball, both born early in the 19th Century. They were a part of that generation which grew up feeling the tug of the American West, and while that makes for interesting stories, it also makes more detective work. Heber Kimball first went from his home in Vermont to New York. Russell Kimball left his New Hampshire home for Illinois. Heber’s journey to Salt Lake City is well documented; Russell’s story, and that of his daughter, Tamezin, has not, for obvious reasons, received much attention.
|Heber Kimball's final resting place, Salt Lake City, UT.|
The 1850 federal census for Brooklyn, McHenry County, Illinois, north of Kane County, includes a “Russel Kimble,” birthplace New Hampshire and occupation “Gold Seeker,” married to Eliza, with a child born in Illinois about 1842, the presumed birth year of daughter Tamezin. But the census did not have a full name for that child, only a “T” and, even worse, it indicated the child was a male. (Name experts believe that the name Tamezin, with several possible spellings, was a female version of Thomas.) It turns out that Eliza gave him his occupation title, perhaps with no lack of sarcasm, and a Russell F. Kimball, birthplace New Hampshire, occupation “carpenter,” is also enumerated in 1850 in a “boarding house” in Coloma, El Dorado County, California. Gold Seeker indeed! By the time of the 1860 census, Russell and Eliza had moved on to Goodhue County, Minnesota, southeast of St. Paul. They are listed with four children, but no “T” or Tamezin. Eliza died before the 1865 Minnesota census, and Russell would eventually move with son Artemus to Denver in Rock County, Minnesota, in the southwest part of the state.
|This dapper fellow is believed to by H.D. Stocker, lawyer, mine owner, and father of Ninette Stocker and Harriett Galles. This photo was taken on the Miller porch ca. 1895. George Miller Collection, Black Range Museum.|
Although Henry Stocker had started practicing law in McHenry before the war, the Stockers are found in the June 1865 Minnesota census in Lake City, Minnesota, again as “Sticker,” something like “Thomas” for Tamizen, but also with “Hattie.” Their second daughter, Ninette (“Nettie”), who would become a fixture in Hillsboro, New Mexico, was born in Minnesota in 1866, but, shortly thereafter, things apparently got “interesting” because Henry eventually left Tamezin, Harriett and Ninette and married the widow, Hepzibah “Heppie” (Jackson) Grant. The 1870 federal census shows Tamezin and Henry with separate households in Lake City, Minnesota. Henry and Heppie’s household included both Hattie and a five year old Franklin Grant. The “Tamison” Stocker household also included a Hattie Stocker as well as Nettie Stocker and a Nellie Kimball. Tamezin had no evidence of a divorce from Henry, which turned out to be both bad news and good news. It meant she may have been a bigamist by virtue of a second marriage, but, as we shall see, she was still potentially eligible for a Civil War widow’s pension.
|Cupid's cavorting, 1891: The Miller's would come to Hillsboro two years later.|
|Geroge T. and Ninette Stocker Miller on the back porch of the Hillsboro home ca 1905. George Miller Collection, Black Range Museum.|
In 1902, Nicholas and Harriett Galles moved to Las Cruces, New Mexico, leaving Minneapolis and ending whatever presence they still had in Hillsboro, New Mexico. Ninette and George T. Miller had followed the Galles to Hillsboro in the early 1890s, having built the “Miller House” now featured in Linda Harris’s “Houses in Time: A Tour Through New Mexico History.” Although we know she spent some time with daughter Harriett in Las Cruces, for example, having been confirmed in the Episcopal Church of St. James, Mesilla Park in 1916, apparently Tamezin would live out her life with daughter Ninette in Hillsboro. Those twenty something years in Hillsboro appear to be the most stable of her eighty plus years on this earth.
|Death Certificate: Tamezin Kimball Stocker Dodge.|
|Final resting place: Tamezin Kimball Stocker Dodge lies in the Hillsboro Community Cemetery in an unmarked grave. Photo Patti Nunn|