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Below is a family biography included in the Biographical Review Volume of Biographical Sketches of The Leading Citizens of Hampshire County, Massachusetts published by Biographical Review Publishing Company in 1896.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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CAPTAIN WILLIAM BIRD KIMBALL, one of Enfield’s prominent citizens, a veteran of the Civil War, and formerly a member of the Massachusetts legislature, was born in Oakham, Mass., June 2, 1833, son of James and Emily (Parker) Kimball. Captain Kimball is a direct descendant of Richard Kimball, who, in company with his brother Henry, emigrated from England in 1634, and settled in Watertown, Mass. Richard Kimball, who was a wheelwright by trade, moved to Ipswich, Mass., where he died in 1675; and the descent continues as follows: Benjamin, son of Richard Kimball, who resided in Bradford, Mass., died January 11, 1696. His son. Captain Richard Kimball, who also resided in Bradford, married Sarah Spofford, September 17, 1682, and raised a family of six children. He died January 21, 1732 or 1733; and his son, Richard Kimball, who was born May 27, 1689, married Mary Stickney in 1716. He was the father of three children; namely, Richard, Sarah, and Dorothy, of whom Richard, who was born September 21, 1721, was Captain Kimball’s great-grandfather. He married Sarah Harriman, and raised a family of eight children, of whom James, Captain Kimball’s grandfather, was the second son. James Kimball was born in Haverhill, Mass., February 4, 1758. He resided in Bradford, was a successful business man, and died January 15, 1829. He was three times married; and his third wife, Ruth Kimball, Captain Kimball’s grandmother, who was born January 28, 1761, became the mother of one son, James, Jr., Captain Kimball’s father. The grandmother died January 6, 1832.

James Kimball, Jr., was born in Bradford, October 5, 1797. He graduated from Middlebury College in 1821, and became a Congregational preacher. He relinquished his pastoral duties, and engaged in missionary work in Boston, where he labored diligently and successfully for some years. He was a resident of Oakham for twenty-nine years, and was actively engaged in church work until his death, which occurred March 15, 1861. His wife, Emily Parker before marriage, who was born in Groveland, Mass., September 5, 1800, became the mother of six children, four of whom reached maturity; and of these Captain William B., the subject of this sketch, is the only survivor. Those deceased were: Martha A., James P., Maria L., Daniel T., and Leonard D. The mother died in Haydenville, Mass., October 18, 1874.

William Bird Kimball passed his boyhood in Oakham, and prepared for his collegiate course in Easthampton. He entered Amherst College, from which he graduated with the class of 1856. Immediately after completing his studies he engaged in agriculture in Westboro, where he conducted a large dairy farm until the commencement of the Civil War. He then enlisted as a private in Company K, Thirteenth Regiment, Massachusetts Volunteers, and was mustered into service as a Corporal July 16, 1861. His regiment was attached to the Army of the Potomac, and participated in all of its decisive battles. He saw much hard service, his term of enlistment extending over the most important period of the Rebellion; but he escaped without injury. He was promoted from grade to grade, and was honorably discharged from the service August 1, 1864, as Captain of his company. After leaving the army, Captain Kimball settled in Enfield, where he resumed his former occupation; and since 1865 he has resided in Enfield village. His farm of two hundred acres is mostly on Great Quabbin Mountain. Besides general farming, he has engaged extensively in the buying and selling of cattle. His residence, which is one of the finest and most substantial in Enfield, was erected by the Hon. J. B. Woods in 1835, and is still in a good state of preservation.

On February 17, 1858, Captain Kimball was united in marriage to Frances C. Woods. She was born in Enfield, August 8, 1835, daughter of the Hon. Josiah B. Woods. Mrs. Kimball’s grandfather, Deacon Aaron Woods, moved from New Braintree to Enfield in 1785, and purchased a large tract of land on Great Quabbin Mountain, which became known as the Woods farm. He was a representative citizen of his day, and the remainder of his life was passed in Enfield. The Hon. Josiah B. Woods was born in Enfield, November 18, 1796. He was closely identified with the early development of the industrial resources of his native town, and for many years was engaged in the manufacture of flannels and satinet goods. He also conducted mercantile business in connection with his mills. He was a very prominent man in Enfield, possessing literary talents of a high order, and was also a clever inventor.

Captain Kimball has long been prominent in public affairs in Enfield. He has served as a member of the Board of Selectmen, Town Clerk, Treasurer, and Assessor for several years, and was Overseer of the Poor and a member of the School Board for over twenty-five years. In 1877 he was elected to represent his district in the legislature, and rendered able service in that capacity. He has advanced in Masonry as far as the Blue Lodge, and is a comrade of the Grand Army of the Republic in Enfield. During the present year he has taken up his residence in Boston, but he will continue to realize much enjoyment in passing a portion of his time at his old home among the beautiful and picturesque scenery of Western Massachusetts. Captain and Mrs. Kimball are members of the Congregational church.

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This family biography is one of the numerous biographies included in the Biographical Review Volume of Biographical Sketches of The Leading Citizens of Hampshire County, Massachusetts published in 1896. 

View additional Hampshire County, Massachusetts family biographies here: Hampshire County, Massachusetts Biographies

View a map of 1901 Hampshire County, Massachusetts here: Hampshire County Massachusetts Map

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