Scope and Content
Title: Thomas Lord Kimball Papers
Collection Number: Consult
Kimball, Thomas Lord, 1831-1899.
Approx. 1,639 items.
Additional 470 newspaper clippings.
The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens
The Huntington Library
1151 Oxford Road
San Marino, California 91108
Phone: (626) 405-2203
Fax: (626) 449-5720
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.
Collection is open to qualified researchers by prior application through the
Reader Services Department. For more information, please go to following
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.
[Identification of item], Thomas Lord Kimball papers, The Huntington Library,
San Marino, California.
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.
Ames, Frederick L. (Frederick Lothrop), 1835-1893.
Dillon, Sidney, 1812-1892.
Gould, Jay, 1836-1892.
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.
Nebraska--Politics and government.
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.