At left: William H. Kimple
After an illness of just one week, and which resulted from an attack of pneumonia, William H. Kimple died early last Friday morning, April 4, 1924, shortly after midnight, at his home in this city. During the past year or two he had suffered one or light attacks of pneumonia, and his general health had thus become somewhat impaired. On Friday, March 28, he was up town, and went home with a slight chill and cough. Soon afterward pneumonia developed, and all efforts of loving hands and of medical skill to stop the progress of the disease proved unavailing. He gradually grew worse until the end came.
Mr. Kimple was born in Philadelphia, Pa., and lived in that state until he was 12 years of age, when he came west, making his home for a few years with relatives in Wayne-co., Iowa. He was not long in adapting himself to the pioneer conditions in the West and soon caught the spirit of perseverance, industry and fearlessness which characterized the early day settlers in the new country. Shortly before he was 18 years of age he heard the call for volunteers in defense of the Union, and it was not long before he was duly enlisted as a member of Co. M. Third Iowa Cavalry. His three years record as a Union soldier was one of distinguished bravery and of devotion to the flag and all that it stands for. His company was in Missouri most of the time and took part in a number of important engagement. So well did Billie Kimple, the young soldier, perform his duties that he was made an orderly to Gen. Noble and was entrusted on a number of occasions with very important duties. After the close of the war he was among the first to join the Grand Army of the Republic, and as a member of that order he was always loyal, his patriotism never waning as a citizen of a united country.
After the Civil War had closed Mr. Kimple returned to Iowa and again took up active work on a farm. On December 25, 1867, in Wayne-co., Iowa, he was united in marriage with Miss Jennie Rogers. Eleven years later, or in 1878, he moved with his children to Macon, Mo., where for six years, he was engaged in railroad construction work. On November 19, 1879, in Macon, Mo., he was united in marriage with Miss Kate McIntyre, his first wife having died in Iowa nearly two years previously. In the year 1884, Mr. Kimple moved with his family from Missouri to this county, arriving in Coldwater a few months after the town was started. He was thus a pioneer here, and he soon became actively identified with the town and county's growth and development. For about 20 years he conducted a livery stable in this city, and, during the early settlement of the county, helped many a settler to get located. Mr. Kimple was fully acquainted with the hardships of these early days, but he was not easily discouraged, and hence stayed with the town and country.
During Mr. Kimple's nearly 40 years residence in Coldwater he had much to do with the building up of the town and county. He had witnessed the town's rapid growth back in the 80s, and later, he had seen nearly half of the people of Comanche-co. pull up and move into the newly opened Oklahoma country south of us; he had also witnessed the coming of better times for the town and county 20 or more years ago, and the steady growth in population which followed; he had been in close touch with the material development of the entire county, and, by close application to business, but shared in the prosperity which came to many of the pioneers who stayed on while others were moving away, all of which showed his faith in the county, and his preserving, even in the face of adverse conditions at times. At the time of his death he owned a good home in Coldwater, also some good farm and ranch land in Rumsey-tp.
It is to just such pioneer settlers as Billie Kimple that our town and county owe much of their splendid growth since the summer of 1884 when the county began to be actively settled. Mr. Kimple never sought public office, preferring the quiet unostentatious life of one devoted only to carrying on his own personal affairs. In his relations with his fellow men Mr. Kimple was the embodiment of honesty, fair dealing and justice. Everybody was his friend, for all recognized in him the type of citizen which makes for good fellowship, peaceful co-operation and proper understanding among the people of the community. His quiet, conservative disposition and his uniform courtesy and respect for others opinions were characteristics which made friends for him wherever he was known. But he has passed on, and we shall all miss him. There will seem to be something lacking when we pass along the streets and fail to receive his friendly greetings.
His life was not spectacular, but of that unpretentious, straight forward kind which, after all, counts for most. Of him it may be said, "A loyal soldier, a patriotic citizen and a good father and husband is gone, yet the influences of his long and eventful life will not soon be forgotten by those who knew him."
Funeral services were conducted from the home at 2:30 on Sunday afternoon, and were in charge of Rev. H. W. Cummings, pastor of the Methodist Episcopal church of this city. It was an impressive service and was attended by a large number of the people of the county.
Rev. Cummings' sermon was based on the text, "And Abraham died in a good old age, an old man, full of years, and was gathered to his people," Gen. 25:8. He pointed out in a very impressive and practical way the meaning, the pathos and the glory of old age. During the services Mrs. Geo. Stewart sang two beautiful songs, "Shadows" and "No Night There," with Mrs. A. A. White at the piano.
Many beautiful floral offerings were received as tokens of the esteem in which the deceased was held. The pall bearers were S. J. Gilchrist, O. O. Landess, Victor J. Allderdice, U. G. Stephens, T. C. Mahan and B. F. Arnold. The honorary pall bearers were six old settlers who had known Mr. Kimple for many years. They were: Parker Wright, Alfred Hall, Perry A. Johnston, R. M. Kirk, J. M. Griffith and Geo. H. Torrey.
In the passing away of Billie Kimple Coldwater and Comanche-co. loses another pioneer settler and one of the best known and most highly respected citizens of the county. He enjoyed the distinction of being the oldest continuous resident of Coldwater, having made this his home continuously up to the time of his death. He had thus formed a circle of acquaintances which extended, not only to all parts of Comanche-co., but to the entire southwestern portion of Kansas and to several counties in Oklahoma.
Mr. Kimple was the father of five children, four of whom survive. Three - two sons and a daughter - were born to his first wife, as follows: Mrs. Anna Kyle of Trivoli, Ill., Frank A. Kimple of this county, and Warren Kimple, who died about 35 years ago. The children by his second wife are: Mrs. Winnifred Coles and Harry S. Kimple of this city. The surviving children, with the exception of Mrs. Kyle, were all present at the funeral. Mr. Kimple had two brothers and no sisters. The brothers died several years ago. The bereaved wife and children have the sincere sympathy of all.
Grand Army of the Republic Open letter from Capt. B.M. Veatch of the Scott Post, Coldwater, Kansas, dated May 8, 1894.
A Terrible Tornado! Visits Coldwater on Tuesday Night, Leaving Death, Destruction and Desolation in its Path.
The Western Star, May 12, 1899.
Thanks to Shirley Brier for finding, transcribing and contributing the above news article to this web site!
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