Thursday, October 23, 2014

52 Ancestors: #41 Jacob Kimmel, Oldest Voter in Kearney, Nebraska

Jacob Kimmel, left, with his daughter Catherine and her family.
Jacob Kimmel of Fourth Ward Votes at 86 Years of Age.

The statement in the Hub Tuesday that Rev. C.R. Ford was probably the oldest voter in the city has brought out the fact that there is at least one voter, who cast his vote on election day, who could boast more years than Mr. Ford.  This is Jacob Kimmel.  Mr. Kimmel is 86 years of age.  He is a carpenter and mill wright by trade and is still able to do some work every day.  The fact that there was a voter 86 years of age in the city was kindly brought to the attention of the Hub by S.M. Forney, and it is probable that there may be some other voters who are as old or older. (The Kearney Daily Hub, published November 8, 1906.)  

My 4th great grandfather, Jacob Kimmel, was born on May 27, 1821 in Canton, Stark County, Ohio. His parents were Samuel Kimmel and Catherine Mory.  On October 9, 1842, Jacob married Nancy Tombaugh. Sometime before 1850, Jacob and Nancy migrated to Richland, Illinois, along with Jacob's brother William and his sister Elizabeth and their families.  Together Jacob and Nancy had at least seven children.  Jacob's wife Nancy and his sister, Elizabeth Shook, were midwives in the area. Nancy died in 1879.  

In 1880, Jacob lived with his newly-married daughter Mary and her husband Noah Michaels. Sometime before 1885, Jacob, his son Lewis, and the Michaels family decided to leave Illinois and and travel over 500 miles to live in Hutchinson, Kansas.  Jacob, Lewis, and Noah were all carpenters and probably worked together.

The Wood River Mission Church in Kearney, Nebraska.
In 1896, Jacob Kimmel moved one more time to Kearney Nebraska to join his daughter, Catherine Forney, and her family.  Jacob opened a carpenter shop at the back of Catherine's house.  

Catherine's husband, Samuel Michael Forney, was the minister of the Wood River Mission Church in Kearney, Nebraska, which was affiliated with the Dunkard Brethren.  During a special council on the afternoon of June 26, 1897, the Wood River Church reinstated "Brother Jacob Kimmel."  (I wonder why he had to be reinstated.)  By December 31, 1898, the church had 40 members.

Jacob died in Kearney on March 10,1910  at the age of 88 from cardiac failure. According to his obituary, he had made his own coffin before he died.

Jacob Kimmel with four generations of descendants, c. 1908.


  1. Well, this one is close to home! I'm 45 miles from Kearney. I want to go see that church. You have an article from the Hub, do you have his obituary also? The Hub is available online thru the Kearney Public Library (in case you didn't already know).

  2. I know that there is an obituary for him, but I haven't been able to find it. Thanks for the tip about the library! I will definitely check it out. I read that the church is now part of the Buffalo County Historical Society Rails and Trails Museum.

  3. Well, that was easy! I found his obituary. Thanks so much!