Kimball, Jesse

last name (variants): Kimbet; Kimbell; Kimbel; Kembel
honorific(s): Esquire
Birth: March 19, 1760 in Preston, CT
Death: November 18, 1857 in Gibson County, Indiana



soldier, farmer

  • Preston, CT (from 1760 to 1781)
  • Bowman's Creek, NY (from 1781 to 1793)
  • Kentucky and Indiana (from 1794 to 1857)
Marital status

First marriage ended in divorce. He then married Elizabeth Roelofson (d. 1843) in 1793 in Redbands, KY. They had five children: Elisha, Mary Gates, Sarah Jones, Enoch, Isaac.


Jesse Kimball was a member of the extensive Kimball family, whose ancestors immigrated from England at the end of the 17th century and settled in Ipswich, Massachusetts. His father was John Kimball (b. December 12, 1731) of Preston, CT, and his mother was Ruhama Sanders of Lyme, CT; they married on September 21, 1752 and had three sons and 13 daughters. Jesse was the second son. John served in the Revolutionary war and Jesse, though quite young, took the place of his brother Samuel, who contracted measles on the eve of his enlistment. Jesse served three years under Captain Adam Chapley and was stationed in New London, CT. After his service, Jesse moved to the frontier settlement of Bowman's Creek, in the present-day town of Canajoharie in Oneida country, and joined the militia. There he entertained Occom several times on Occom's preaching tours of 1785-87; the two often fished in the creek, to Occom's delight. The date when Kimball's Bowman's Creek house burned down is uncertain, but real estate records have him buying and selling land in Bowman's Creek as late as 1790, and he is listed in the first US Census for New York in 1790 as being the head of a household. His first marriage ended in divorce and in 1793 he married Elizabeth Roelofson (d. 1843). By that time, he had moved to Kentucky, where he was a farmer and miller and started his family. Some records report that he also made whiskey, and when he would not sell it to the local Indians, he was driven from his home and settled in Posey County, Indiana, where he died in 1857.


Beattie, George William and Helen Pruitt Beattie. "Jesse Kimball—Pioneer.” Indiana Magazine of History, vol. 17-18, pp 82-115.; My Genealogy.

Further reading

Morrison, Leonard and Stephen Sharples. History of the Kimball Family in America, from 163 to 1897. Boston: Damrell & Upham, 1897.