Kimble Genealogy provided by
Judith Oldham Picture of David Kimble
and wife (700,000 bytes) provided by Judith Oldham
"DAVID EVERETT KIMBLE, a pioneer among pioneers, one of
the real forces in the reclamation of the Skagit valley from its
primeval wilderness, is the honored citizen whose life we shall
here seek to concisely portray. Upon the old homestead in Mt.
Vernon, surrounded by peace and plenty, amid the scenes of his
most noteworthy labors, he is passing the declining years of a
long, useful life.
Aaron Kimble, the father of David, was a pioneer of the middle west, into which he entered as a lad of twelve from his native state, New Jersey. In Ohio, he learned the plasterer's trade and there lived until 1832, when he removed to Park county, Indiana. From Indiana he went to Missouri eight years later and resided until his death in 1846. Nancy (Snodgrass) Kimble, his wife, was born in 1812, a native of Virginia, and there lived with her parents until they went to Ohio. In that state she was married. She survived her husband forty years, living in Missouri until 1870, then joining her son at Mount Vernon with whom she lived until the grim reaper overtook her. Five of their children are dead also: Vina, Joseph, John, Aaron, Newton, and Mary; the remaining three are Mrs. Martha Clifton, Mrs. Clarinda Gates and the subject of this sketch. He was born May 5, 1828, on the old farm in Fayette county, Ohio, but received his education and arrived at man's estate in Missouri. In 1861 he took up his residence in Illinois, but lived there only a year, next going to Indiana, where he ran a saw-mill engine for a time. Returning to Illinois in 1863, he followed teaming in Cass county until he came to the Pacific Coast. The trip across the plains with his family in 1868 was filled with the usual dangers and hardships incident to such a trip. Arriving at Puget sound, Mr. Kimble immediately joined his wife's folk on Whidbey Island and resided nearby for several months. At that time what is now Skagit County had barely a score of white setters and the Skagit Valley was entirely unoccupied except by a number of white men with Indian wives, living on the delta. Into this Wilderness Mr. Kimble plunged and February 3, 1869 staked out the claim which is now his home. This place was the furthest at that date and right at the lower end of the historic log jam which blocked higher navigation by any kind of a boat, thus preventing the settlement of the inland region. As the most isolated setter in the county, Mr. Kimble Gates, Gage, and Kimble families settled near each other about the same time, shortly after the claims were taken in 1869, being the first white families on the Skagit. However, settlement on the river was extremely slow until the removal of the jam in 1878 and the founding of Mount Vernon just above the Kimble place about that year.
Mr. Kimble was united in marriage to Minerva Jane Bozarth in Indiana, Christmas Day, 1862. She comes of a well-known pioneer family, her father having been Urvan E. Bozarth, who settled on Whidby Island in 1852. He was born in Kentucky in 1827, but left the Blue Grass state at the age of seventeen to live in Missouri. His death occurred on Whidby island in 1870. Mrs. Elizabeth (Rice) Bozarth was a native of Missouri and there reared and educated. The Bozarth family is prominent in the early history of Whidby Island. Mrs. Kimble was born February 2, 1845, and reared by her grandparents, with whom she lived until her marriage. A large family has been the fortune of this union: Balzora born August 15, 1863 (deceased); Edward, March 18, 1864, a well-known resident of the lower valley; Charles W. , September 20, 1866 (deceased); Minerva Elizabeth, January 24, 1869; Nancy B., October 30, 1870; Joseph, December 25, 1872; Ida, January 6, 1875; Zenia, April 29, 1876; George, March 8, 1879; Harry, July 11, 1881; Anna, October 9, 1883; and Rufus, January 5, 1886. The family are members of the Baptist faith. Mr. Kimble is a Democrat, but of late has not taken as active an interest in politics as when he was younger. He has served upon the local school board and in many other ways shown his public spiritedness and a desire to bear his responsibilities as a good citizen. The Kimble ranch of seventy acres well improved and having upon it more than 1,000 bearing fruit trees is a high testimonial to its owner's thrift and taste, and it is appropriate that he and his wife should now be enjoying the fruit of their long, weary labors as pioneers of that community."
This is from a very, very old book - The history of Skagit County - that I found here in our local library. It also contains info on Edward David Kimble and bits and pieces about everyone else that I am still trying to work through.
...Since David's off spring from his second marriage to
Minerva Bozarth are the only ones mentioned in the biography I
sent, I wonder if you would be so kind as to add this note
regarding the off spring from his first marriage. Many of these
descendants moved to Skagit County. I am a descendent of John
NOTE: David Kimble's first family was born in Missouri. Many
of these sons and grandsons emigrated to the Skagit County area
when grown. David's children from his first marriage to Rebecca
Wortman were; John Aaron, Marion C., Charles Henry, Isadora,
David, Malinda, and Mary.
The following is a letter from David Kimble to his grandson
George Kimble of Toledo, Ohio in 1906.
Mt. Vernon, Washington December 15, 1906
Well, Dear Grandson;
I will try to answer your kind request. I was born in Fayette
County, Ohio, May 5, in the year 1828. My family moved to Indiana
when I was five years old, and lived there until I was in my 13th
year. Then we went to Missouri when that was a wilderness. I lived
there until the War. Then persecution drove me from home, and I
became a rambler. I went from place to place. Finally I went to
Indiana. There I met and married Minerva Jan Bozarth who has
shared my hardship for nearly 40 years. We left Illinois in 1869,
and came to Washington, and settled on the place where we now
live. We settled here when there were only 16 (settlers),
including me, in the county, and narry a white woman. We were
surrounded by all sorts and sizes. I was a sample William Penn. I
made my friends and I never had any trouble. We had hard times,
and ups and downs, (but) we have always worked hard and pulled
together. We have never had a quarrel in all these 45 years. We
have a good home and are enjoying life as well as two old folks
can. We are both enjoying good health.
Now, for my father. He was born in New Jersey in 1803, and went
to Pennsylvania, and from there to Ohio, where I was born. He was
loaned out to learn a trade. He served his time. He was a Brick
and Stone Mason. He died in Missouri in 1845. He had two brothers,
Moses and Nathan. One was a Tanner, and the other was a Hatter.
My grandmother on my father's side was a niece of Martha
Washington. She was a ROSE. Your Aunt Polly Snodgrass was a
Kimble, and she named her first girl after my grandmother, and the
name has come down to the fifth generation.
My mother's side are of German descent. My mother was born in
Virginia in 1812. Her maiden name was Snodgrass. She was the
daughter of Joseph and Catherine Snodgrass. My grandmother's
maiden name (on mother's side) was O'Neal. My aunts on mother's
side went from Ohio to Kokomo, Indiana. One of them married James
Will, one married a Pogue Pitzer, and the other married Henry
This leaves all well...hoping this will find you all the same.
Please excuse me for not answering your first letter, as you did
not give me your address. As I wrote all I can think of, I will
close. Hoping to hear from you soon.
From; D.E. Kimble to George Kimble"
...Research shows David's maternal grandmother was a Katherine Gish, and not an O'Neal, as he says in the letter. This discrepancy remains a mystery to be solved.
"Chehachos All: the Pioneering of Skagit County, Washington": is the source of the following references.
..."The Skagit River was blocked by log jams above and below the
present site of Mt. Vernon. A party scouted the river in 1869;
D.E. Kimble, Jasper Gates, Augustas Hartsan, Charles Washburn,
Issac Lanning, and William Gage selected a spot just below the
lower jam. In 1870, they chartered the little stern wheeler Kinnie
for 50.00 to bring them, their families, and their household goods
from Whidbey Island to their new homes. Joseph Dwelley and Jasper
Gates took up claims where Mt Vernon now stands. This group is
credited with making the first white settlement so far up the
river, though Mr. Kimble reported that when he came there were 16
men with Indian wives already in the valley below them along the
north and south forks."
...The way in which men prepared to bring their families to this
remote area was described by the grandson of one of the settlers,
Ralph C. Hartson, writing in 1950. (This settler would have
been Augustus Hartson, who chartered the schooner with David
Kimble and 4 others in 1869).
...'The claim that Grandpa Hartson decided on was on the west side of the river, and just below the jam that closed off river navigation from that point on upstream. A portion of this jam lies today below a growth of Alder trees on the west side of the river. (now Edgewater Park)
...The first move was a clearing for the new log cabin and a garden plot. Many fine logs went up in flames that would be remembered (and later regretted) in later years when they would have been useful, and then the stump ranch was increased to make a little room for a barn. Then the woodsmen's tools were gotten out, shakes were made for the roofs, logs cut and shaped for the cabin, beams, planks, and joists for the floors, window frames made and necessary furniture manufactured, all in readiness for the coming trip of the small streamer that was to ferry the families to the claim.
...After the well-built cabin was finished, the next thing to think of was the barn. Everyone was busy cutting to size logs for framework and joists and rafters. It was a common practice to fasten the larger pieces together with wooden pegs. Keep always in mind that nails were a scarce commodity, and those that were used were the old style cut nails, not the wire nails of today. With everything all ready, invites went out for the barn-raising bee. This went off like clockwork, and the willing hands soon had a frame up that began to look like a barn. Then, to wind up the day, after a light supper, there was a "christening" barn dance and genial get together. It took some artist to dance on the average barn door of those days. Grandfather had the floor laid before, and had done a good job of it"
...The school in the new settlement, according to the above
report by the Skagit County Historical Society, was "three months
long, and held in the Kimble barn".
...The earliest civic event on record for
Mt. Vernon was the July 4th celebration of 1877. Following is
the moving account of this event, as outlined in the
..." On a spring day Clothier, (some say English,) and John Lorenzy, a man over 60 years old, were standing on the river bank looking at a beautiful cedar tree, six feet in diameter at the base, and rising straight as an arrow for more than 200 feet, Mr. Lorenzy proposed to climb the tree, cut off the limbs and the top and convert it into a flag pole. Others thought it too dangerous, but he succeeded in doing it in spite of the swaying of the tree in the wind, cutting it off about 140 feet above the ground. Clothier and English furnished the material to make a 24 by 36-foot flag. The DAR placard posted by the flag when it was placed in the Court House, states that Charles Towne cut out the stars, and that Mrs. Minerva Kimble, Mrs. Clarinda Gates, (youngest sister to David) Mrs. Dennis Storrs, Mrs. George E. Hartson, Mrs. JF Dwelley and Mrs. Jonathan Schott sewed the flag on Mrs. Gates sewing machine, while Mrs. McNamera and Mrs. Papin prepared and served their lunches. The flag and flagpole by the river became the center of the Forth of July celebration, which ended with a picnic at the Kimble farm in the spruce grove. The flagpole remained the pride of the town for fourteen years until it was burned, together with most of the buildings, in 1891."
David Kimble Biography:
...D.E. Kimble attended the founding meeting of the Skagit County Pioneers Association, in Skagit City, Skagit County, Washington, on June 6. 1891. Fifty-nine individuals registered as founding pioneers and settlers of the area, and had the enclosed picture taken together.
...About David Kimble: in "Yarns of the Skagit
Country (Ray's Writin's) by Ray Jordan, David Kimble is
mentioned several times. . . . .
Notes from Skagit County Historical Society:
..."What constituted the first school in Skagit County was in progress in 1873 in a log stable on the homestead of the late David E. Kimble, a short distance below the present site of Mount Vernon. . . . . ." (Page 145)
..."When D. E. Kimble settled on his homestead just below the present site of Mount Vernon in 1869, he was at the end of the river, in a manner of speaking.. . . ." (Pate 147)
..."More specifically, as to location, the old History states that the jam began at the lower boundary of the Kimble claim and extended upriver about on-half mile to a point opposite the present Kimble residence. . . . . ." (Page 148)
..."The Van Fleets had planned to spend the remainder of the night at the hotel, but David E. Kimble, who had a homestead at the lower end of what had been the Big Jam wouldn't hear of it. . . . ." (Page 178, describing Christmas 1880
From the History of Skagit County
An Indian Sham Battle
Comparatively few white men, now living, have
enjoyed the opportunity of witnessing Indian inter-tribal
warfare, and hardly less rarely have white men witnessed sham
battles among the red men, yet David E. Kimble, a well known
pioneer of Mt. Vernon, has seen both at his place on the Skagit
in early days. It appears that "Jim", a "Stick", or Skagit River
Indian, was foully murdered in the summer of 1874 at Utsalady by
the "Salt Waters". The affair caused intense excitement among
the "Sticks", who forthwith commenced preparations to go on the
warpath. The killing of an Indian was not an incident of rare
occupancies, for these tribal attacks were to be counted upon as
customary diversions from the routine of hunting, fishing, and
sleeping; nevertheless each "mimaloose" only recalled the past
with renewed bitterness and desire for revenge. In these
sanguinary conflicts, the sound, or salt water, Indians very
often came out ahead, but neither tribe won complete victories,
and the warfare dragged along in Indian fashion. At times in the
conflict pitched battles of considerable magnitude were fought,
then the struggle would again relapse into mere individual
encounters, but it never ceased entirely until the whites became
so numerous that undisturbed battle grounds could no longer be
found. To this day the sound Indians look down upon their inland
brothers, while the river dwellers have an utter contempt for
the clam diggers of salt water.
On the occasion of Jim's death, Thomas Craney,
the Utsalady mill owner, on whose property the murder took
place, sent word to the "Sticks" to come and get the body.
"Shookum Charlie", a chief of the tribe, with one hundred
warriors was found by the messenger encamped at the ranchere
near Campbell's store at Skagit City. A pow-wow followed in
which all the head men participated and which was still in
progress when sentinels came rushing in to report the arrival of
the enemy. There was no mistake, for swiftly the Dearden war
canoes came round the bend and set toward the ranchere. War
cries, shrill, blood curdling, ringing with frenzy, rent the
silence of those unsettled solitudes, alternately chilling and
heating the blood. Full sixty half naked, painted Camanos manned
their marvelous canoes. The quick rhythmic stroke of the
paddles, the stroke shortening as the scene of the battle was
approached, sent the high prowed boats through the water by
leaps. As they neared the shore, paddles were replaced by
weapons of all sorts and styles, the coxswain alone retaining
his to guide the speeding canoe. The most casual onlooker could
observe at once how wonderful was the skill of these savage
boatmen, how delicately responsive to their slightest touch the
long, narrow shell, and how perfectly graceful and at ease their
Bravely, the "sticks" met the attack from behind
trees, brush, hillock, and grass. With an exultant yell, the
attacking boatmen swept up the bank, poured out a Olly,
disembarked and rushed to the attack. The "Sticks" took the
offensive the moment the enemy landed and with whoops and yells
rushed at the Camanos. Rifles cracked, shot guns roared, pistols
blazed forth the fury of the combatants, clubs and missiles were
hurled back and forth, but the battle was but for a moment. The
"Sticks" had never recovered from their surprise, could not
withstand the fierceness of the Camanos' onslaught, and soon
began a slow retreat into the woods, endeavoring to lure on the
foe. The foe divined their game, however, and having
accomplished its object successfully, rushed to the waiting
canoes as it had come up, giving expression to its exultation in
Several "Sticks" had joined their forefathers in
the happy hunting grounds, among them one nearly blind, shot
down by a boy in revenge for the supposed death of his father at
his hand of the lad's father. It was noticed that two or three
Camanos fell from the canoes in the attack, but so far as is
known they were only wounded. Before the sun went down that
night the defeated, chagrined "Sticks" had gathered together
their dead, and over the bodies of the fallen heroes were
chanting the last sad dirges. Shortly afterward, wrapped in
their brightest blankets and supplied with food, clothing and
trinkets, the deceased braves were carefully laid away in
favorite canoes placed high in the branches of the nearest
"mimaloose" grove. Thus the first and tragic part of the
incident was closed and Mr. Kimble returned to his peaceful task
of homebuilding as though nothing of moment had occurred.
A month later "Skookum Charlie" leading an
immense band of "Sticks", gathered from far up and down the
river, appeared at the Kimble cabin. The warriors were dressed
and armed for fighting, fierce in expression and aggressive in
movement. It was plain that they meant business. Mr. Kimble had
just returned from at trip to the post office and store at La
Conner, an arduous journey in those times, and one seldom made.
The haughty chief came to the point, after the customary
exchange of civilities without which no Indian chieftain ever
proceeds seriously, with a request for temporary use of Mr.
Kimble's land for "cults mamma poo" purposes. In plain English
the Skagits wished to fight a scam battle on the ranch, probably
because they had used that ground in former days before the
white man's Avant and for the further reason that being partly
cleared, it permitted for more maneuvering than was possible in
the woods. Furthermore, it is evident that the Kimble place was
regarded as a species of neutral zone. The sham battle was not a
diversion for these Indians, a mere play. Its purpose was to
convey a challenge to their enemies, as reports of it would be
carried by special messenger to the coast, with descriptions of
its skill, fierceness, length and other details important in
judging of its true significance.
Just opposite the old Kimble home, separated
from it by a narrow, short slough, a low, sparsely timbered and
partly cleared point jutted out into the river. Here the
warriors made headquarters. The battle was fought in three
parts, or rather, repeated Three times, with brief impassioned
addresses after each part by "Skookum Charlie" and leading
braves. These savage orators spoke from the stumps with much
impressiveness, much feeling. There was eloquence in their
bodies, in the eye, which needed not the interpretation of vocal
language to convey its meaning to the spellbound Kimble family
who watched the scene from the cabin. The battle demonstration
consisted of wild rushes from out the woods, the firing of guns,
fiendish yells and whoops, beating of war drums, and to some
extent, the production of physical distress. It was a
picturesque affair, strange, interesting, weird, typically
Indian in every way."