William Henry Kimball

William Henry KimballBorn in a hotel called Ranch on April 10, 1826 in Mendon, New York, William Henry Kimball earned his place in Mormon pioneer history for his bravery and gallantry in defending his family and the Latter-day Saints.1

The oldest son of LDS pioneer Heber C. Kimball and Vilate Murray, William served as a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in England from 1854 to 1857. He was known as an enterprising, active, prosperous pioneer who was prominent in many fields, serving as Deputy U.S. Marshall for three years and as Brigadier-General of the Utah Militia.2

William’s life experiences gave him the abilities to lead men in the Indian wars, lead and assist with handcart pioneer rescues, and to protect the pioneers.3 As a member of “Brigham’s Boys,” William was on call to serve whenever and wherever Brigham Young and the other Mormon leaders needed minutemen.

Through William’s great faith and physical endurance, he provided much relief to those traveling to Utah in the Willie handcart company. Kimball was one of 29 men Brigham Young called on to save the stranded pioneers. They rushed to the Wyoming plains, encountering frigid and increasingly hazardous weather along the way. The rescuers found the pioneers starving and freezing. William Kimball took charge of the Willie company, leading the 60 wagon loads of people to safety in the Salt Lake Valley.

William Kimball settled in Parley’s Park, where his stage station and hotel gained notoriety with travelers, including Mark Twain.4 As Postmaster at Parley’s Park, he drove the mail stage line between Salt Lake City and Park City from 1870 to 1885, as well as organizing and directing the Park City Ice Company. Ever the entrepreneur, Kimball discovered the first coal within forty miles of Salt Lake City, and his claim became the Sprague mine at Coalville. As a pioneer actor, he was known and loved.

After William had retired to Coalville, he asked his grand-daughter to take him back to see Kimball Ranch and hotel. When he reached a certain spot he extended his hand with his old pride and enthusiasm and exclaimed, “The time was, when I owned everything you could see from this spot, and I lived like a King.“5 William Henry Kimball died in 1907 on December 29th in Coalville, Utah.

[1] William Henry Kimball, Wikipedia.org

2 William Henry Kimball (1825-1907) familypedia.wikia.com

3 Heart Throbs of the West, Kate B. Carter, Vol. 12, p. 243

4 William Henry Kimball, Wikipedia.org

5 Heart Throbs of the West, Kate B. Carter, Vol. 12, p. 243