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Thomas Lord Kimball Papers
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administration Information
  • Biography
  • Scope and Content
  • Indexing Terms

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Thomas Lord Kimball Papers
    Dates: c.1859-1901
    Collection Number: Consult repository.
    Creator: Kimball, Thomas Lord, 1831-1899.
    Extent: Approx. 1,639 items. Additional 470 newspaper clippings.
    Repository: The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens Manuscripts Department
    The Huntington Library
    1151 Oxford Road
    San Marino, California 91108
    Phone: (626) 405-2203
    Fax: (626) 449-5720
    Email: manuscripts@huntington.org
    URL: http://www.huntington.org
    Abstract: The collection consists of the personal and business papers of Thomas Lord Kimball and is primarily focused on his activities with the Union Pacific Railroad.
    Language of Material: The records are in English.

    Administration Information


    Collection is open to qualified researchers by prior application through the Reader Services Department. For more information, please go to following web site  .

    Publication Rights

    In order to quote from, publish, or reproduce any of the manuscripts or visual materials, researchers must obtain formal permission from the office of the Library Director. In most instances, permission is given by the Huntington as owner of the physical property rights only, and researchers must also obtain permission from the holder of the literary rights. In some instances, the Huntington owns the literary rights, as well as the physical property rights. Researchers may contact the appropriate curator for further information.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Thomas Lord Kimball papers, The Huntington Library, San Marino, California.

    Acquisition Information

    The collection was purchased from Jack Kimball on March 8, 1948.


    Railroad executive Thomas Lord Kimball (1831-1899) was born in Buxton, Maine. He taught school during the late 1840s and early 1850s before becoming interested in the express business. Kimball married Mary Porter Rogers in 1854 or 1855 and had four children, including the architect Thomas Rogers Kimball (1862-1934). In 1857 Kimball and his family moved to Ohio, and in 1859 Kimball began working for an amateur newspaper and wrote a series of articles on the Pennsylvania Railroad Company. In 1860 he became an agent for the Pennsylvania Railroad, for which he spent over a decade as southwestern passenger agent, assistant general passenger agent, and general Western passenger agent. In 1871 Kimball's associate Thomas A. Scott was made president of the Union Pacific Railway Company and appointed Kimball as general passenger and ticket agent. That same year Kimball moved to Omaha, where he would spend most of the rest of his life. In 1880 Sidney Dillon appointed Kimball as assistant general manager of the Union Pacific, for which company he would also serve as general traffic manager, assistant to the first vice-president, and third vice-president, a position he was appointed to in 1889, in addition to being president of the Union Depot Company. Kimball left the Union Pacific in 1897 and died in 1899.

    Scope and Content

    The collection consists of the personal and business papers of Thomas Lord Kimball, primarily focused on his activities with the Union Pacific Railroad. The personal correspondence includes over 330 letters sent by Kimball to his wife Mary Porter Rogers Kimball between 1859 and 1893, a letter from Kimball to his daughter Frances (1870), and a letter to Mary Kimball from I.S. Hodsdon (correspondence between Hodsdon and Thomas Kimball is included in the business correspondence). The personal papers also include diaries kept by Kimball between 1860 and 1899, diaries kept by Mary Kimball between 1890 and 1898, and a biographical sketch of Kimball. The railroad papers include business correspondence from a variety of correspondents including Frederick L. Ames, Sidney Dillon, I.S. Hodsdon, W.H. Holmes, Jay Gould, and E.P. Vining, as well as a few pieces of outgoing correspondence by Kimball. The financial and operation papers include Kimball’s Union Pacific pocket notebooks dated 1891-1899, a small group of Jay Gould manuscripts (1877-1880), correspondence on the W.C. Thompson scandal (1872-1873), a letter appointing Kimball as travelling agent for the Pennsylvania Railroad Co. (1860), correspondence on the sale of a Unitarian Church in Omaha (1877-1880), production summaries for the Union Depot in Omaha (1879-1896), and miscellaneous railroad agreements, circulars, passes, receipts, promissory notes, financial statements, and stocks and bonds. The political papers consist of incoming correspondence, an agreement for Charles H. Brown to back the Union Pacific in pending legislation before Congress (1877), an agreement between Kimball and the National Union Publishing Co. (1877), a congressional voting record (1878), and a payroll. The mining papers include items related to the Newcastle Mining and Improvement Co. in Wyoming (1891-1894) and the Ella Mine in Idaho (1879-1880), as well as an analysis of coal on the Union Pacific Railroad line and a report on the coal business in Wyoming (1888). Also included is a box of newspaper clippings regarding Kimball’s railroad activities from 1888-1889 (approx. 470 items).


    The collection is housed in 13 boxes sorted into 5 series: personal papers; railroad papers; political papers; mining papers; and newspaper clippings.
    The correspondence is arranged alphabetically by author, and then chronologically. Other manuscripts are arranged alphabetically or chronologically as appropriate.
    A detailed container list is available through the Manuscripts Department.

    Indexing Terms

    Personal Names

    Ames, Frederick L. (Frederick Lothrop), 1835-1893.
    Dillon, Sidney, 1812-1892.
    Gould, Jay, 1836-1892.

    Corporate Names

    Union Pacific Railroad Company--Employees.
    Union Pacific Railroad Company--History--19th century.


    Domestic relations--19th century.
    Mines and mineral resources--Idaho.
    Mines and mineral resources--Wyoming.
    Railroad travel--United States--History--19th century.

    Geograhic Areas

    Nebraska--History--19th century.
    Nebraska--Politics and government.
    Omaha (Neb.)--History.
    West (U.S.)--History--19th century.


    Business records--United States--19th century.
    Diaries--United States--19th century.
    Ephemera--United States--19th century.
    Letters (correspondence)--United States--19th century.