J. Leroy Kimball Memoir
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University of Illinois at Springfield Norris L Brookens Library Archives/Special Collections J. Leroy Kimball Memoir K564. Kimball, J. Leroy b. 1901 Interview and memoir 1 tape, 67 mins., 27 pp. Kimball, founder of Nauvoo Restoration, Inc., discusses the restoration of historic Mormon sites in Nauvoo, Illinois. He recalls his medical training, effects of the Depression, his great-grandfather's home in Nauvoo, and the Mormons of Nauvoo. Interview by William Ortman, 1972 OPEN See collateral file Archives/Special Collections LIB 144 University of Illinois at Springfield One University Plaza, MS BRK 140 Springfield IL 62703-5407 © 1972, University of Illinois Board of Trustees Preface 'Ibis manuscript is the product of a tape recorded interview conducted by William Ortman for the Oral History Office on October 22, 1972. Michael Tirpak edited the transcript. J. Leroy Kimball was bom in Raynnnd, Alberta, Canada, in 1901. He was the founder of Nauvoo Restoration, Incorporated in Nauvoo, Illinois. He discusses how he became interested in restoration of houses and haw this in turn led to Nauvoo Restoration, Incorporated. Readers of the oral history ma:noir should bear in mind that it is a transcript of the spoken v.ord, and that the interviewer, narrator and editor sought to preserve the informal, conversational style that is inherent in such historical sources. SangBDDn State thiversity is not responsible for the factual accuracy of the nertOir, nor for views expressed therein; these are for the reader to judge. Th.e manuscript may be read, quoted and cited freely. It may not be reproduced in whole or in part by any maans, electronic or nechanical, without permission in writing fran the Oral History Office, Sangamon State University, Springfield, Illinois, 62708. Table of Contents Background . . 1 Education. . 2 'lhe depression • . 4 Black \<\Oolen underwear . . 5 'lhe depression, continued. . 7 Fran general practice to specializing. . 9 Knnball's interest in Nauvoo . .11 The Eber C. Kimball hane • .11 Ten thousand dollars \<\Orth of property . .12 Nauvoo Restoration, Incorporated . .14 Preston Kimball. .16 The last ten years • .17 Reasons for restoration .20 Donations. .21 Current projects . .22 J. leroy Kimball, October 22, 1972, Nauvoo, Illinois. William Ortman, Interviev.;er. A: As a young man v.;ent up to Alberta because there was an opportunity there to build an irrigation system. At that time, several of the Kimballs who are sons of Eber C. K:imball actually v..-ent up into Alberta and v.;ere given various contracts. My father becal.lE interested in it and as a boy of sixteen drove a team up to Canada and there Y.lOrked on vtlat they called the ditch or the irrigation system and stayed there for 25 years. Q: I see. 'lilbere did your father c~ frcm? A: My father was bom in M!sa, Arizona. Q: ~sa, Arizona and he v.;ent all the way frcm Mesa then to A: No. He v.;ent back to Salt Lake, SCllE of the family was here then and he v.;ent fran Salt Lake to visit. In the early days, the M:mnon colonization really represented a lot of them in Arizona, a lot of them v.;ere in California so that it m:>re or less developed in a rather large area. These people could have CCllE frcm a large area and they nDVed aronnd. Q: I see. Then your father then was -working in construction Y.lOrk basically and irrigation and so forth? A: Yes. lik>rking with teams and digging. Q: Of course, there is a story that evolves around Salt Lake and the Brigham Young project that bringing the irrigation of wa.ter in the Great Salt Lake. Did your father pick this up frcm hearing that? A: Probably that may have had a lot to do with it. I think probably the Canadian goverrlDIIDt in taking the people frcm Utah there knew about the background and development as you liEiltioned of irrigation in Utah and they knew quite a little bit about it. So they v.;ere taking rren up there ~o had some experience in setting up the canals and so forth and I think that might well have been one of the reasons. Q: These canals then were to bring wa.ter in or take -water out? A: Bring -water into the land, of course, it took it out of the river. So they put dams in the river. I ranember this one wa.s the St. Mary's River and set up irrigation systems, built the canals that are still there. J . leroy Kimball Q: Okay, \\hat about your mther, where does she cane along in this? A: Well, my mther was Scotch-Irish. I might tell you a little story about her nnther \\b.o was born in Sligo, Ireland, raised in a Catholic convent there and was coming to New York. She and her sister, both of them, to visit a couple of brothers in New York, both of \<ban were doctors and was in a shipwreck and they \<\Jere picked up by a Morm::>n :inmigrant ship. By the time my grandm::>ther got to New York she was converted to the Morn:nn Church. After a few \<\leeks she continued out to Tooele, Utah. Q: Can I get a spelling on Sligo, Ireland? Ib you know? A: S-L-I-G-0. Q: 8-L-I-G-0? A: Yes. Q: And you were talking about the city they went to in Utah A: They went to Tooele. T-0-Q-E-L-E. Q: T-0-Q-E-L-E, Utah. Okay. How's that get her to Canada then? A: There she net, I nean my mther 1 s nnther net a John D..um. who1d been C<XIVerted to the Monnon iliurch fran Scotland. They were married and that started that family. Now one way that my nnther had gone to Canada, her brother along with sane of the Kimballs, had a contract in Alberta. 'lhey were given maybe a mile of this canal to build. So he had gone then and my mother went up to cook in the sl.lOIDar. She was just a young girl and there rret my father, who was with the Kimball camp, and she was with the Dunn camp. Her name was Dunn. So fran the ~of than, I mean they were both on similar projects and that's how they net. Q: Vltat year were they married? A: They were married in 1899. Q: [In] 1899 and they then lived there for a number of years? A: 'Ihey lived there tmtil 1925, when my folks finally IOC>Ved to Salt Lake City. Q: Okay. Apparently, you lived in Canada for quite a nunber of years when you were a young rran. Is that right? A: I was raised in Canada. I TNent to Canadian schools. I graduated fran the high school systan and then I had one year of agricultural college simply because there was an agricultural college in the town of Raynx:>nd where I lived later on. Q: Raym:nd? R-A-Y-M-Q-N-D? J. leroy Kimball 3 A: R-A-Y-M-Q-N-D. Q: That's Raymond County and that's in Ontario? A: That's Raymond, Alberta, Canada. Q: Ch, Alberta. A: '!hen at that t:ime I didn't krl.cM Ybat I wanted to do. I considered dentistry and such as that, but then I was called on a mission for the Mormon Church. That mission took me to Southern States Mission ~ich included Georgia, South Carolina, Ohio at that time, and so that I was out for thirty months cross riding for the Mormon Church. Of course, while there I had a chance to increase my education, to think a little bit, and w::>ndered just \<!hat I wanted to do. So then \<!hen I returned to Canada in 1923, I made up my mind that I was going on to the tmiversity. 'Ihe question was whether I would go to the University of Alberta or Utah, but I finally ended up going to the lhiversity of Utah. By then I had decided that I was going to be a CPA and I follO\ed that for about a year and then I was w::>rking in a grocery store with a young fellow who was interested in uedicine and talking to him I switched my course and went into uedicine. Q: was he going into uedicine himself? A: He was in prenedics then and so talking to him I thought that probably, well I started canparing ~icine with being a CPA ~11 I liked mathematics and business but this other appealed to me more and I changed my profession to naiicine. Q: Okay, Yilat about the size of your family in Canada? Did you have brothers and sisters? A: Well, I had six members of the family. I'm the oldest in the family and I'm an M.D., my brother is the youngest and he's a M.D. in Galifornia, and then in be~en ~ had four sisters. Q: Four sisters in bet~en and are sare of these people living in this area or in Utah? A: Che sister lives in Ga.lifornia and then the other three live in Salt Lake City. My brother lives and practices in Torrance, Ga.lifomia. Q: Torrance, california. Is that T-0-R . A: T-0-R-R-E-N-C-E, I believe, it could be T-Q-R-R-A-N-C-E. He's a specialist in gynecology. Q: Okay, very good. SCire of the early me.roories you have then of Canada can you think of anything Canada's noted for instance for sports, hunting and so forth, in sane areas. Did you . . . A: I have a lot of fond me.roories of Canada the thing you mantioned there l:runting and such as that, I remember hunting geese, of course, I would spend the SUUIIErtime v.urking in the fields. I remember the last stmiiEr J . Leroy Kllnball 4 that I was there that I had a contract slru.cking grain which I made $15 a day, that1 s before I ~t on this mission field. I had tw:> or three young fellows w:>rk.ing for IIE, so it was really a fanning camunity. Myfather at that ti.n:E was secretary of about everything in the town, he was exceptionally, he was a self-educated man but a fine writer and so that he was secretary of the tom. at the ti.n:E, he had land, so I was involved in farming to some extent. G:>ing to school in the wintertime. that it was kind of, the tine period when there was Q: Okay and this was in what city in Canada, was this in Raynnnd? A: Raymond, Alberta, Canada. Q: <kay, clarify that. Okay. ~ said before that When ~ ~re talking quite a few different things going on in Canada perhaps today sane of the pioneers, sane of the older people are still around there at that ti.n:E and what did you have in camon with some of these people that you remember as a boy? A: Let IIE tell you one of the finest things I got out of Canada, one that I appreciate nnre than anything else was the system of education that they had in Alberta, which is based upon the English system, so that we ~re taught trigonanetry, geanetry, and IIEdical geanetry, mathematics of all kinds. ~ ~re taught literature and ITo/ love for literature developed in ITo/ early school days in Canada, that was :important. I might say who are sane of the very praninent people that I knew there. One man by the name of Ray Knight, Rayrrond Knight, Who actually was the one who brought in the sugar factory and again was sent into Canada by his father, Jessie Knight, of Utah who was rather a stalwart M:>nnon, wealthy man and m.:mey 'Wimt up there. 'Iha.t I renenber, of course, you reiiBDber the national anthem, "G:>d Save the King," Queen at the present time. Which I still get a kick out of. I haven1t lived there for a long, long tine so that I was raised a Canadian and I have full Elk full of legends in ITo/ soul to Canada and still have a warm thought. Q: Ray Knight. was that K-N-I-G-H-T? A: Yes. Q: Ckay. W:lat about the depression, how did this effect you at that tire? A: You mean 1932? Q: I don1 t know. ~ might have skipped some time you want to talk about in between. If ~ did we can go back. A: I came to Utah and had no money and I went out selling w:>olen goods for a man who at the present titre was one of the outstanding in the United States, J. Willard Marriott, Who owns the putt--.shOj)..---s--throughout the country. I ~t out for him then When he ~t back to Washington to start the beginning of his tremandous career, tremendously, successful career. I was given the opportunity of taking over this group of IIEn. So I had about 25 men, sunme.r activity, most of them were medical students. And I was given the states of North Dakota, South Dakota, --------~-------- J . leroy Kimball Nebraska, so that I had about 25 young men 'Who ~nt out with n:e during the SUl'IIEr over 'Which I got an overriding and, of course, I was s\IIJier myself and I did very ~11 for four Sl.liiiiers and fran those finances I was able to put myself through n:edical school. That 1 s how my s1.liiiiErs ~re spent. Winters ~re spent in school. Q: Okay. You say you sold w:>olen goods? A: Utah had rather a famous name, Utah Woolen Goods. It had sane early w:>Olen mill factories there that made sooe s~ters, heavy unde~ar and such as that and they ~re of an exceptional quality. There ~re many young men out, hundreds I w:>uld say, selling these goods throughout the entire ~st. So there was a market already built up, so I simply fitted into that. Q: Sane of the states you ~re talking about really gets mighty cold in the winter. The Dakotas sound like they w:>uld have a pretty heavy market. A: Black unde~ar, I remember about the first sales I ever made was black unde~ they sold at that time for about $25 a suit and it was black, WJOlen but railroad men bought it so ~ ~re always glad to get an order for this unde~. And we 1 d go to the railroad in North Platte, Nebraska and it was the first time I ever had real success with selling these w:>Olen goods. Vbolen goods had exceptional quality. Q: How did you present these? Did you go around door to door or to the stores? A: No, llihen I first started ~ ~nt fran door to door and I remember figuring out 'What I made. I figured I made at that time that every door I knocked on paid IIE 25 cents. So the first year I spent going door to door, but then as I becaiiE a little IIDre experienced I found out that we were losing a lot of time nnving fran tCMn to town and that. So finally ~ mre or less concentrated in Alliance, Nebraska and w:mt out into the sand hills and sold to the ranchers. 'Ihere ~ vtt>uld get a four or five hundred dollar order where in COWl ~ vmll.d get a small order. So, we went year after year . • . Q: And the group of 25 people ~re all in the same area at the same time? A: No. They were scattered all over. If scmaone wasn 1 t selling, I 1 d go spend a day or tw:> with him to shOW' him 'What to do and such as that. Q: Okay. Vllat year vtt>uld this have been? A: well, that was in 1926, 1927, 1928, 1929, 1930 and 1931. Q: During the Sl.liiiiers you say? A: I made enough during the Sl.liiiiers to put myself through school. Q: Okay. NOW', ve got up to 1925 as I recall when you left Canada? J. 12roy Kimball 6 A: I might say this about it, yes my folks came down fran Canada. I cao:e back fran this mission in 1923 and I stayed. I was in Salt Lake before they ever came down. Q: In other 'WOrds, you came back fran your mission in 1923 and you stayed in the lhited States? A: Yes. Q: So \\e have 1923 to 1926 before you sold the 'WOolen goods, \ere you in school at this point? A: I was in school, yes. I -was going up to Canada. I was timekeeper, building a factory up in Rayroond one SUIIIII!r, another s1.1lll'f!r I \.\eigh.ed wool, part of the tiDE I did a variety of jobs. Q: I see. And you \.\ere trying to save as llliJCh as you could for the medical school. Okay. 'Ihat takes us through the Sl..lilJiers and you \.\ere in rredical school from 1926 through 1931? A: Yes, I graduated in 1932. Q: In 1932. A: There -was a year internship. Q: D..u:ing the suamers then, you sold w:>Olen goods and \.\ent back to school in the fall and did sooebody else take over the business or did they bother to sell it in the winter? A: There \.\ere minor fractioning and filling these orders. So a thousand dollars 'WOrth and they ~re filling than. People didn't--sanebody "Wanted delivery in November, sorrebody in nacember. So they split up a stock to sell in the St.mmar. Q: So Y.ttat did you say your sales point -was, you order during the SUIIIll!r or you might not get it during the winter when you need it? A: 'Ihat -was a 'WOnderful experience for rre. I could see the selling and then y;e had a fine quality product and I w:>Uld go back and anything that wasn't good I made it good. So any tiDE this 'WOolen canpany sent out sooething shoddy, they simply lost the value of the whole thing because I simply deducted it fran the next order. So they -watched 'What they gave us. Q: <l<ay. Wa' re talking about that J. ·Willard Marriott \tho today is noted for the hot shops. He threw President Nixon's inaugural or is responsible for it. It sounds like you had a pretty ready business going in the 1f\Ualen industry at this t:i.tre. You say that you sold it for him and then he nnved into another branch. How cane he nnved out into scmething else? A: Wall, he had this A & W Root Beer. He evidently had a stand in Salt Lake so he had Reed Smx>t, his father-in-law--you probably heard about J. leroy Kimball him in Washington. So they ~nt back to start this A & W Root Beer business :in Washington and fran it developed this hot shop until it covers the United States and fore~ countries. Q: I see. You liEiltioned his father-m-law. What 'NB.S this about his father-in-law? A: Reed Stooot. Reed Stooot 'WaS a senator. Senator Reed Smoot. S-M-0-0-T. That's quite a history if you look h:im up. He becan:e the 'Watchdog of the treasury and he becane chairman of the finance and with quite a fine service. So, Bill had quite a backing there, at least his wife did. Q: You say you graduated then fran uedical school in 1932, right? A: Yes. Q: Okay. 'Ihat would have put us right :in the era of the unpopularity perhaps, I don't knCM heM Hoover was looked upon or Where you ~re? A: Well, let ue tell you a little bit about What happened there. I sold in 1930 and I had an exceptionally good year in 1931. 'lliis depression 'NB.S already moving and I didn't make as nru.ch m:>ney, but I started practicing tredicine on the first of July, 1932 '\\hich was :in the depth of the depression and there was sane w::>rry about how you ~re going to get along. I remember I first started out by giving anesthetics and I w::>rked for the railroad, Union Pacific Railroad gave DE a job. I used to examine their rren and take care of the n:en. I was in that office. At that time I wasn't paid very nruch. I remember that I got $30 a tronth, fran one of the nen at the lhion Pacific and I got a dollar a piece for examining these nen. Selle mnths I TNOuldn' t examine over a dozen, so I had to get out and I.JDVe myself in order to make a living all the t:ine. I was paying office rent, but I developed a practice rather rapidly so that by the end of four years' practice I had the largest practice in the group. Much of it was free because many of the people I took care of on the railroad at that t:ine ~re out of w:>rk, but I never put a dollar sign on IIEdicine I took care of them so \<ben things ~back, these people caJIE to DE for patients and many of them I still have. 'Ihat 'WaS a renl..IIerative area for DE although not :i.mn:ediately. I established quite a practice. Q: 'Ihat kind of covers the Hoover era :in the Wlite House. Did the president, President Hoover, have any direct effect on you personally? A lot of people didn't think too highly of him in other areas of the country. A: Well, of course, he was Republican. He lost out. But I think the Republicans like h:im and the Democrats didn't. It wa.s just about like it is today. Of course, the depression was the same, but he wasn't responsible for it T.<bich really brought about these changes and this is probably the thing that made h:im unpopular with many people. Q: Did you see any, was there any such thing in Utah at that time as, think they called than soup lines, where people ~re out of r,;ork? J. leroy Kimball A: \Ell, there 'Wiare just the same as other places. I know this FERA can:e into medicine, Federal Thergency, I couldn't even tell you the meaning, anyway they fumished medicine. I ranember that ~ used to get on a house call and ~ would charge $3, the FERA YUU!d pay us $1.80. An office call was $2 and we would get $1.60 for an office call. ve got $30 to deliver a baby. It 'WaS cheap labor so to speak, but at least everyt:ine I took care of saneone, tl\U or three years later they ~re back in business and I developed same good will and developed patients that I kept. Q: I see. What about the church, did they have a relief center set upfor the depression? A: 'Ihe church had a trenendous relief center, of course, that' s at the tine when this welfare system 'WaS developed because the church could see then they ~re not as ~11 prepared as they VJOuld have liked to have been to take care of this type of emergency and at this time this welfare systern. was set up, which has becane a roodel , even for sane countries in which today is a trenendous organization so that the llirroon--I remember the Morroon church and additional people too, it isn't held just for the Mormon church--could get relief. Of course, it was based on the principle if people can VJOrk they DBJSt VJOrk. 'Ihey're not doled out for nothing and that still, those rules are still foll~d at the present time. Even older people are not simply given food and supplies. There's an effort made to give them sanething to do so they can feel like they're producingtheir own. Q: Okay. (h this idea, if you can ~rk you m.J.St work type of concept which sounds very good, what about these people if they don't have jobs? Does part of the ~lfare system get them a job or locate something for them? A: let me just give you an example right here in Nauvoo. We have up-to-date, had a lot of these rugs that they made at Welfare Square in that factory at the present time. lhey get the rags fran all over and rugs that you can see on sane of these floors here in Nauvoo and so that developed even fran that time. We used to look at that group of people in there and they VJOuld have a hard job of naking a living, but here's the church that sets up the finances and it is a paying proposition. Q: Makes than feel good and also bringing sanething to help keep the program. A: You go into a ~lfare building there and I think there are roore than a hundred of them throughout the lhited States and the poor people or people who have the job, for instance in Arizona they raise grapefruit.Well those grapefruits are shipped all over the churches here. Your tomatoes or cotton so that at the present time it is a ~rldwide organizationwhich centers in Salt Lake but still is broken down into various areas: Arizona, California, you'll find sane right here in Illinois. Q: Okay. (h the welfare system and depression so when you're talking about the Federal Ehergency, whatever it was, a federal program of subsidizing or helping the doctors out by giving than a little bit of rooney for sane things they weren't getting money for? J. leroy Kimball A: Helping the doctors and helping the people. too. Q: And the people too. Right. This takes us to the--~11, ~·n say the end of the depression, really the depression didn't end though until the beginning of \brld war II, did it? A: No, things started picking up. Of course, \brld war II started in 1944, I think. Q: ~11, we got involved in 1941. A: I maan finished in 1944. Q: [In] 1945. A: [In] 1945, that's right, there's a 1944 date that I'll tell you about. So things went along rather slCM. I ren:e:nber that IOOOeY was hard to get during that time, but it eventually evolved until things became pretty prosperous, the govertlllEnt helped and people got better prices for their crops. So by the time the Second Vk>rld War started, ~11, things ~e in pretty good shape. Madically there was no problem, I had no problem that was about the first year or two. Q: And you ....ere still in Salt Lake? A: I was still in Salt Lake. I did general practice in Salt Lake for about 12 years. Then I could see that tiDEs were changing. I could see the general practitioners ~re out of rendezvous favor, I could see that the hospitals Viere wanting specialization, the general practitioner was being curbed at vbat he could do. So I could see that I had to make scme change. So in 1944 I did change my general practice at least I v.ent away to specialize and spent four years in specializing. Q: Was this at the thiversity of Utah? A: Yes, llCIVl when I went to medical school, let me tell you a little bit about that, v.e passed it up a long ways before. I went to the lliiversity of Utah Madical School, at that time it was only a two year medical school. So that I transferred to Chicago in 1929 to Northlestern lliiversity and there I got my M.D. Q: Then Vie '11 go to 1944. You had twelve years of general practice and at that point then you're going to spend four oore years in specializing? A: I -went to Tulane. The reason I -went there I had kn(JI',t,JO a man me was there and I had visited d0W1 there so I -went to Tulane right at the t:ime before the doctors ~re getting back fran the war. It wasn't quite out but .•• Q: Tulane ••. A: Tulane l.hiversity. Q: T-U-L-A-N-E. J. leroy Kimball 10 A: T-U-L-A-N-E. There I taught for four years. I was on the staff of Cherry Hospital, 'fulane ~dical School and I taught at the sarre time I was specializing. Q: Where is 'fulane lhiversity? A: It's a private university. It's one of the largest in New Orleans. Q: And just for the record, what \ere you specializing in at that time? A: <h, I might just give you a little brief reSt.ll're. I did general practice for ~lve years and I 'Wellt back to 'fulane with this idea that I was going to get my boards in internal nedicine. So the four years I spent there was general, internal nedicine. And I might say in order to be certified as a specialist in internal nedicine it is necessary that I take an oral examination Which I took in Clticago or a written one that I took first in New Orleans and then I \ent to Clticago for my oral. '!hen I was certified a specialist in internal nedicine. At this time I had ten years at the university. M:>re than that, let's see. I had four years premedics, four years medicine, four years specialist. It would be ~1ve years. Besides intern. Q: Vhat's the intern, a couple of years or a year? A: Two years. Q: Figure about bElve to fourteen years involved there. A: Then I stayed there and while I was there I becarre particularly interested in cardiology. So I was doing special work in cardiology and then I ~t back to New Orelans after I had returned h~ as 'Nell. I spent seven mnths at the Institute of cardiology in London Which is a top heart specialization hospital in the world. 'lhen I was certified a specialist in internal nedicine. So I came up with my certification in internal medicine plus my certification in Which I was specially in cardiovascular disease, Which is really a speciality within a speciality. That's what I carried on since and was involved in previously frcm a professional standpoint. Q: In this kind of a business, of course, When you're working with a heart and things, what seems to be a doctor Who's in this field his mst camxm patient? Sanebody who just canes in and he's got a little problem, worried or do you get IIBilY cases ....ttere it's beyond doing nruch of anything with? A: W1en I first \ent back after I specialized, I thought I would do just cardiology, but as I looked the thing over frcm a practical standpoint, the idea that you would just pick up a person and w::>uldn' t do the other examining, I felt that I should apply what I had learned in internal medicine because I was specializing in so that I would give a canplete examination but point towards cardiology which the last few years of my practice, most of my practice has evolved into a cardiological practice. J. Leroy Kimball Q: Now I'd like to go into a little bit the area of Nauvoo since you've been directly involved for a great deal of time in the restoration project here. A: Would you like to know how it started? Q: I'd like to know a little bit about the first time you becane interested in the area and the first time you visited here? A: Let me tell you the story about that which is interesting. When I left Canada, of course, I knew the story of the M:Jnnons being in Nauvoo and the M:Jrters, and Jewish, S:niths in Harlan, but I had never been to Nauvoo and I don't think that I even knew that there was a Kimball bane here. But anyway going fran Utah to <llicago, this is near <llicago, I cane through Nauvoo and I think it was in 1930 that I ~nt through Nauvoo. I found the Eber C. Kimball hare in Nauvoo which to IIE was a beautiful hane and particularly since it was owned by my great grandfather, I was even IIDI'e interested in it. The first visit I found no one in the hare but detennined that a couple by the name of Jones W:lo '\ere velsh people lived in St. l.Duis and '\ere using it as a sU~I~Ier hare. I think probably the next year men I visited, because I haven't missed any year since 1932, I didn't miss any, I finally got acquainted with the people, got inside the bane and extracted fran them the pranise if they ever sold the hate that they \\Uuld let IIE have it. Well, I obtained the bane in 1954 when Mr. Jones died, his wife wrote and said she \\Uuld sell the hare so I obtained the hare at that time. I started, then, restoring the Kimball bane. At that time I had no idea what has developed at the present time. I thought here's a hare, a beautiful heme and I'11 restore it. It1 11 be a good place to get away fran medicine, spend tv.u weeks. So during 1954 through 1960 sene of the things I'11 tell you about, the hcme was restored. '!hen in 1960 we had a dedication and the four people who v-Ere at the dedication was J. Rueben Clar, who recently had resigned or had been ambassador of Mexico; my cousin, Spencer W. Kimball, another friend of mine; and Dalbert L. Stapley, all these IIEn 'illere apostles who V~ere the head of the 0. W. Stapley Canpany in Arizona. And Harold B. Lee, who at the present time is the president of the clrurch, came to Nauvoo and the Kimball hooe was dedicated. At this dedication there were a thousand people who met me and my wife and I thought, ''Well, V~E've gotten this hooe already. We've had this dedication then VIE' 11 nnve in." I have often said that we 1 ve never spent a night in the Eber C. Kimball bane. ve spent that tv.u Y.Eeks we thought as a vacation simply showing tourists through the hcme. Q: You actually did stay there overnight but it really wasn't anything private? A: ve stayed in the Pioneer M:Jtel. Q: Oh, then it is true you never did spend a night? A: It is true we never spent a night in that bane. And then the next year I put a couple in the Kimball hCJ.IB and registered 15,000 people. Q: This 'WOUld have been Mr. and Mrs. Perkins? A: Yes. This W!lS in 1961. Q: I have another name I want to ask about real briefly. You say, Delbert Stapley. A: S-T-A-P-L-E-Y. Q: Okay. Let's go back just a m:inute to the Kimball bane, \\hen you say you saw it in about 1930, we knew it looked quite a bit different in teDDS of just repair than it does now it• s very evident. \\hat did you see \\hen you drove dam that corner? A: Well, 'IAi1en I first cane there's sanething nostalgic and I have always been interested in antiques. Set up, of course, knowing 'Whose hCIIE it was it gave DE quite a nostalgic feeling. Q: Q..d.te a bit of disrepair? A: Disrepair. I re:oornber that the nor~st corner 'WB.S pretty well d.awn and shrubs were all over the place and it wasn't as I 'WOUld have liked to have it. Q: Wlat about the inside? You say the following SUIIIIler but I don't know \\hen you ~t in? A: '!he couple had been in there by the name of Jones. '!hey were really a fine couple and they were elderly. '!hey had brought in a number of antiques later all of llhich were given to DE, so they were sort of bringing things fran St. Louis. '!hey evidently had finances and they 'WOUld ca:oo there in the S1.lDIDiirr. I re:oornber they gave ue a Persian rug that 'WB.S in there and a piano that is up in the state park and still is up in the tnJSeum up there. And so they had a number of things there and they did quite a bit to help. Let ue tell you a little history about this bane. t-buld you like to hear a little bit more about it? Q: &lre. A: This haDe "WB.s built by Eber C. Kimball in 1845 and, of course, the MJrmons left in 1846. Well, a man by the rume of Lenhart, 'Who "WB.S YT.i.th Sutter in California in the gold fields of california, was sent by Sutter back to SWitzerland to get Sutter's wife, Wich he did and brought her back. Then he ~t back to get his om and he landed, came back and landed in St. Louis I think it '1117B.S or New Orleans, and came up the river and bought the Eber C. Kimball bane in 1856. So fran the time he left there fran 1846 to 1856, I don't know who 'III7B.S in it then, but I do have the deeds fran 1856 on. This Lenhart family ra.nained there until 1909. J. Leroy Kimball 13 Well, this home was a show place in Nauvoo, I understand, and the gardens and such as that, these people had until 1909. Then they sold it and there are four or five deed changes there that I have so by the time the Joneses bought it, it had been through four or five hands and was nm-down. It 'Was an old, old home. 1he Joneses, at least, 'kept it a little better, so I appreciated that. Anyway, after I bought the home right across the street saneone pulled in a little type of thing and sooebody was going to set up a mtel. Well, I thought I'm not going to spend the mney on this home because it cost me a lot of mney to restore it. In fact, I figured I'd spend $50,000 on that home to restore it and put in furniture and such as that. So I thought well, I'11 buy that property and I was able to buy it. Then Kidda Corner 'WaS the home of Porter Rock:well, so I bought that. So I bought a number of the properties around the Kimball hare primarily to conserve that Kimball home. lhen the organized people told me that lJDre people as'ked about the Brigham Young hooe than as'ked about the Eber C. Kimball home or about the Joseph &ni.th' s properties. So I thought that will be interesting and I met the Armstrongs who was a brother of the then coach in Utah, Mike Armstrong, who helped me obtain the Brigham Young hooe. So I had that hare. An interesting thing happened to Mayor Horton, who was a very aggressive fine mayor of Nauvoo. He told me, he said, "Cb the block Yihere the Kimball home stands, it's really the only remaining block '\Nhich approached the original block that was set up by Joseph Smith." Joseph figured there "YYlDuld be four acres to the block, a home of each acre. Of course, it didn't hold that way. Well, the hooes on the block the Kimball hane was on, on one corner ~Na.S the Wilbur Ybodruff and on another corner ~Nas a fann home, the Kimball hooe on another. Then the hooe had gone down on the fourth, although we have a picture of it, we later bought the property. So he said, ''Vbuldn't it be fine to get that full block and put it back as it 'Was, to give an idea of Joseph 9:nith' s idea of what a block should be." So, then I got that idea, so I bought the Brigham Young hane, I bought his land around the Kimball heme, I bought the fann bane, I bought the \bxlruff hooe, and before I knew it I had a $100,000 w:>rth of property in Nauvoo. But I knew I had hold of an antique. I knew fran experience just fran the Klmball hc:ma, "When you w:mt fran zero to 15,000 people that I couldn't lose. Now I ~Nasn't in this because of the financial mtivation at all and my idea had never been to tm.ke llDney on this project that I was in. I didn't k:ru:M W:l.at I was going to do. I thought early that I "YYJJuld set up a nonprofit corporation and charge people to go through the honEs and fran that m.::mey continue the restoration. It was interesting after I had purchased this 1ll.lCh. property you remember, Bill, that you wor'ked on it and your father worked on it, and that I was speak:ing to David 0. McKay, who's president of the M:>nmn Church, who aside fran his religion is considered a great man. I told him about Nauvoo and W:l.at I was doing. I said there was about forty hOIIes in Nauvoo and I just said I hadn't gone to him then for finances, but I said I knCM W:l.at I'd do if I had the mney. He said, ''\-Jhat would you do?" And I said, "I'd restore all of them." Right back he said, "You've got the m.::mey. How 1ll.lCh. mney do you need?" Well, I said. "President McKay, I knCM it would take mre than a million dollars to buy this land," and it stood at that. J. Leroy Kimball So I set up \'bat I could see When I got at that point that this Nauvoo Restoration thing wasn't a one man proposition. I suggested to him if the clrurch was going to put in the finances, Why shouldn't ~ have an organization. NCM I hadn't known Mr. Harold Fabian or known of him; I had never tret the man, Mr. Fabian ~at that time was chairman of the advisory board of the National Parks Systems. He was knoWJ. by President McKay and President McKay said he knew him and I said I don't. So he said, "I'11 call him." So he called Mr. Fabian. After President McKay had called him, I was in Fort lauderdale, Florida, but I met Mr. Fabian in Chicago. He and I got at the old Dearborn Iepot there. ve cane up to Nauvoo, and of course, Mr. Fabian was Ga.tholic and I was a Monnon, but he looked over this area and fell in love with it even as I did. But even at this time the National Park [Systems] had accepted Nauvoo as a point of exceptional interest without any question. Mr. Fabian came in on this board, and was appointed vice president. I was appointed president, and ~ brought in J. Willard :Marriott. Mr. :Marriott was a wealthy man and I knew that he had the experience in developing restaurants and such as that, and I thought he v.uuld be a fine man. So he cao:e on the board in addition to David Kennedy, Who at that tine was the president of the Illinois Continental National Bank. I knew he had tranendous abilities so he cane on the board. 'Ihen A. Hamer Reiser who was an exceptionally fine secretary cane on the board and that's what we started our Nauvoo restoration with. Q: W:tat about Mr. Reiser's name, R-E-I-S-E-R. A: Yes. Then, of course, our board developed through Mr. Fabian. Mr. Fabian had been on the WilliaiiBburg board. \-k ~t back to Williamsburg and bee~ acquainted with, I \\lOuld say, the top man as far as restoration \\lOrk was concerned, Mr. J. Edwin Kendrew, who 'WaS a good friend of Mr. Fabian. In their board ueetings ~'d cane back to Nauvoo frequently so ~ ~re able to get fran him treiiEndous direction as ~ bought this property in Nauvoo, rrruch of the direction, a lot of the direction, came fran Mr. Kendrew because he had had the experience in Williamsburg. I might say that he was the one who said, "Buy, set out a perimeter, and buy. If you don't you're going to pay many, many tines m:>re for it than you will pay now." So I don't know of any man Who contributed nore. 'Ihen in addition to Mr. Kendrew, Mr. Harrington, ~ called him Pinky Harrington. I can't think of his first name. I asked Mr. Kendrew one day about him, who is an archeologist. I said where does he stand and he said he was one of the top three in the United States. He was the man who did JauestOWJ.. Let's get him to go aut to Nauvoo. \\ell, Mr. Harrington came out and spent about five years, he and his wife both of Which '!i~Ere archeologists and did the archeology on the temple blocks plus a number of these banes. This board was very IIDJCh interested in this Nauvoo Project. I don't think that if I could have picked aut of the lhited States that I could have gotten a better board to help. W:lich you might CCIIE back to one other man here that I skipped over that I think played an important part in the restoration and that's Lane Newberry. Ncm I tret Mr. Newberry a mmiber of tines, he was a very fine man, he was an artist, he 'WaS a helpful man, but he had cane to Nauvoo J . leroy Kimball 15 because I think that sane of his hane life, folks ~re in the area and he knew Nauvoo and he could see the possibilities of Nauvoo. And actually ahead of rna had gone out to Salt Lake and tried to sell the Monnon Cllurch on the possibility of exactly the thing that ~ had done but wasn't successful. But I talked to him a lot of tUnes and he pointed out the good of the area and I learned fran him. He was an artist and he could see this kind of thing and many of the things that ~re in Nauvoo. I always reiiBIIber that when I bought Inspiration Point, I bought that before the Nauvoo Restoration every c~ into being and it was -weeds. I don't think there 'Were a dozen people in Nauvoo who knew there was an Inspiration Point but Mr. Newberry did. So because of him, I got in and bought that personally and it has becooe a part of the Nauvoo Restoration. But Mr. Newberry had a lot of ideas as to mat could be done and they've been incorporated into our projection as to what will take place in Nauvoo. I wish he 'Were here so he could see Vlhat' s happened even up to the present t :i.me • Q: Ckay. Just for purposes of setting the record straight. Now, this date that you opened the Kimball hooe is in 1960. ve're probably now speaking of the early 1960's When the board of directors and the restoration was organized, is that correct? A: It started in 1962. Q: [In] 1962. So you didn' t loose too IID.1Ch t:i.IIE then in the process? A: \E m::>Ved right in because I was heavily involved and I could see that with the backing of President McKay, with the finances there it was basically the first thing~ did was buy land because 'We knew What vte 'iNOUld run to. Mr. Kendrew, of course, was advising us even as early as that and he told rre instances in Williamsburg, one instance where a piece of property they later bought for $350,000 they could have bought for $7,500. So vte set up a peri.neter in order to protect ourselves and in order to know how to IWVe so ~ could n:ove with surety and that's what ~ have at the present tine. So vte O'illn at the present ti.ne just short of a thousand acres. Q: I've got the date then. I'm anticipating on vhether to flip this over. Just a second. The next point then that I wanted to ask about is lllhen you organize Ba~Ething like this sanewhere along the line you really have a great deal of difficulties I ~dthink. Did you really have a great problan with this project to start with or getting it off the ground? A: I'll tell you what 'We did. No, vte didn't because it was already off the ground. I had bought property, I already had the ideas and it was off the ground already. If the Nauvoo Restoration hadn't been organized it ~dhave IOOVed because I had the property and I knew what was coming into the Kimball hane, I knew the interest in the Brigham Young hane, I knew the interest in these other hooes so it was -well on its way as far as that "Was concerned. But there was no real , this thing has gone along real SllDOthly, there was no real problem. J. Leroy Kimball 16 Q: Okay. You said you know it would have vent because you had the power to do so, but how far could you as one person take it? A: vell, I could see the tremendous interest even now that I had. I had invested about $100,000, but I knew a lot of the descendants of people v.ho lived in Nauvoo and '~'~~ere 'l'llealthy people. Q: That w:ruld help out? A: Yes, they ~dhelp and we're getting considerable help now. Q: VJhat about the cam:n.mity's reaction when you first cane in? A: vell, I've never found, of course, you' 11 always find one or b\0 and people ware a little unsure. Th.ey thought the 'M:Jrm:ms v.ere coming to take things over again and really that wasn't the case at all, that ~n't the nntivation. And SCJ.'Ie lNOUl.d say, ·~n, the M:>rnnn Church is caning in to buy Nauvoo," and I frequently said, "Just keep this in mind that I am \lUrking as hard to get the support of the MJrJJ.Dn Church as I'm working for you to get this about Nauvoo." Fnd of Side Che, Tape Che A: W1en I came back I might state this that I had known Preston Kimball. Now when Eber C. Kimball and the M:>nmns first cane to Nauvoo, Eber C. Kimball found his own cousins here. The family had originated up in, frcm Richard Kimball up in the Eastern states, Venmnt and such as that. So v.hen they came, 'When the MJnoons came, he found his own cousins here. Q: They got here before him? A: Before him. So they had a lot of property in here. '!heir father had sent them do~ because actually Nauvoo evidently had been given out or homesteaded and given to the veterans of the war of 1812. Mmy hadn't even seen their properties so there was a lot of selling back and forth, so he'd sent them out here. So \<ben I cama, one of the first IIEil I looked up was this Preston Kimball. Now I say that I had a lot of faith in Preston. I've always said that I've never net a mre honest man. Q: He's about like a walking history book, too? A: I've always said that if I had a $100, 000 and I wanted to leave it sooe place for a year, I don't know of anyone I \~Uuld rather trust it to than Preston Kimball. But he knew the city and he knew the flats, he knew everything I needed. He was in the bank, he was a lawyer and he vas favorable towards us so that he came into the picture early and certainly I thank him mre than any other single person. So, v.e attanpted to organize and in purchasing it, v.e went through one or ~types of ccmnittees in order to get the land. Finally it cane back to Preston and we made 130 deals here over a period of six or seven years. J. Leroy Kimball 17 Q: W:lat was the biggest tract of land that you purchased? A: The largest deal I IIB.de v.as the one that I got from M.Jlch. That deal was $250,000 and, of course, that gave us additional 100 acres of land, 116 acres of 1~ gave us the cultural hall, previously knmvn as the Masonic Temple and a nunber of other pieces of land and it was a key purchase. Q: Ckay. Talking about the c<JIIDJJil.ity reaction at the first and you said there v.ere a few people ~speculated what was . • . A: They w:>ndered if ~t ~ ~re going to do and they ~re a little cautious of it. As ~ ware buying these hCIIEs out, frequently I w:>uld ask someone what they wanted for the bane and they would say, ''Well, we've been living in this hCIIE for so mmy years, ~ don't O'Ne any m:mey. If you give us enough to buy a bane ~'11 IOOVe," and I'd say how much it cost. Well, they may say $20,000 and I'd give them $20,000 and there are a lot of these hanes up on the east side that ~re bought and paid for fran that standpoint. So, there ware several approaches that I made in purchasing and sane people were interested in this thing as a project. same people wanted to sell and sa12 people sold because they got a good price, but !think that I made very few enemies because it was a rare case that I didn't give the people what they asked as far as the property was concerned. Q: Okay. This is probably about the tenth anniversary then since the organization, I would think, isn't that right? A: Yes. Q: W:lat could you say has happened in the last ten years for the ~rpose of a person say listening to this tape, what has happened here? I m sitting right now in a very beautiful building. ve look around the walls, v.e look out the large window. The inside of the building is made out of reconstructed old brick, a large building. I can see sane of the things right around IIE for instance that have been developed in the last three or four years or less. Let's have your opinion on what you have accomplished to the person listening. A: I might say that~ set up a project and v.e set up stages in Which we would develop. Now I w:ruld have to look at it to see just where we've lWVed. \e never have considered this project a crash project. 'lhe only crash part of it was getting the land originally so that we knew we could tiXJVe at our own speeds. So we found out as we IOOVed along that people were mre interested in the process of restoration than in the restored. So we see there that ~ didn't want to cover up, but during the ten years the Kimball hooe was done first and I might say there that the second year we registered 15,000 people and this has probably been the top registration as far as homes are concerned. I'm sure that over the ten years that m:>re than a half a million people have gone through the Kimball home and, of course, the interest has increased. J. Leroy Kimball 18 We originally had the temple block and there~ had an Icarian building and it was made out of temple stone which is now gone and where ~ had our center and that handled things for a long time. But as people continue to increase in number and ~ could see that it 'WO'Uldn' t handle the number of people caning in then, of course, ~ built the center 'iltlich you see at the present time. So right nCM you could nBJ:te the hcxres, but I think we have about nine restored buildings. I ndght say When these buildings are restored and the process of restoration is a trenendously ccmplicated and costly process. First, ~ had to getthe land. Second, ~brought in sane fine historians: Dr. Ed Lion, my son, JBJ:tes L. [Kimball] was also involved in it so ~ started collecting pictures. Then we brought in the archeologist, Mr. Harrington, 'iltlan I've already mantioned, and later on ~ had another archeologist with us to dig out the foundation because without archeology we v.uuld have a poorrestoration. I was a member at the illustration and I have been to Jerusalem to see just 'iltlat had been covered up there a couple of centuries ago. Then I cBJ:te to Nauvoo and we've been doing archeology here to see 'iltlat had been covered up 125 years so it wasn't, it wasn't a surprise to me. to see how much things had been covered up in Jerusalem 2,000 years'illhen I saw 'iltlat' s been covered up in Nauvoo for 125 years. So, there was the archeology and then ~ brought in these fine architects and then~ had to bring in construction people IIDSt of 'iltlich ~ have to have trained right here in order to put these buildings back together. So, it's true that practically any of these buildings we could build a new building for about a third of 'iltlat it's cost us to put up the old one. But I always told them that I've always looked on this Nauvoo thingjust like I v.uuld a resurrection. When we get up, we' 11 take up our bodies again and you want your own body, and 'lilhen Nauvoo came up ~ needed to do it accurately and properly, and not so that 'iltlen a building was restored, that as near as we could humanly do it it was as it was when it was here a 125 years ago. That's been the nxxiel that we've followed and ~·ve had fine nen vtlo have helped us do that. So the number of people caning in has increased now this year and we've had about a 30 percent increase, I would say that close to 200,000 people will visit Nauvoo this year. Q: Okay. \hen you first started the project, President David 0. McKay,M-C-K-A-Y, isn't that right? He was the president of the church and he was very favorable at the time of his death, and this was about two or three years ago? A: Yes, he died about three years ago. Q: Several years ago. Joseph Fielding Smith was he, to use the terminologygung-ho about the project or was he a little more conservative? A: Well, he was a little roore conservative, of course, President Smith was an elderly man. He died 'iltlen he was 96 so ~e doesn't bring in the SBJ:te zeal that younger people [bring] so that we ve had generally exceptional support. J. Leroy Kimball 19 Q: President McKay was fairly old too, wasn't he? A: Yes, President McKay died in his 90s. But I found out an antique. Bill, you're interested in it, your friends around here, most of them aren't. SOliE are interested in restoration and SOliE are interested in this type of thing and sane aren't. But I think here now that as I see, we've got people caning here frcm every state in the union so I said Nauvoo sells the clrurch to the 'WOrld. We register people frcm every state in the union. When you look at the publicity ~ had even last year the Los Angeles Time, a full page, New York Times, Olic:l Tribune, Globe-Deroocrat, a De!rocrat up here in St. louis. You c dil't have had nuCh better publicity than \ole 've had, but nnst of our publicity is by rrouth to troUth. W:1en you realize that here within 500 miles of Nauvoo 50 million people live and within a half a day's drive of Nauvoo 20 million people live, then you start looking at all the things in the area here that draw people. I I~Ean you got New Salan, and you've got Mark Twain's area up here. I don't knOW' of an area that could show nnre fundamental historical places than you've got in the area and we're a part of it. ve're in the middle of it. So ~ benefit frcm than and we hope they benefit frcm us. Q: Okay. Before closing, is there anything else that we may have missed sanewhere along the line or that you ~d like to bring up? A: We've had sane difficulties in the organization. As far as the organization is concerned, it's been a matter of getting the right ones and there' s always been as far as numbers are concerned, there's been no problems, it's all that we've tried to get the top people. Q: You find .•. A: You've got to have a talk to rrake a m:>Ve or otherwise you end up with, I nean your project w:>uld just about balance off with the people on the board. Q: Okay. <ne name canes to my mind and that 't\Uuld be George Ranney, who was here when they had the ground-breaking for the building where it is sitting right now. Has he becane involved in any degree at all? A: Well, let1 s say that George looked like there was sa:re possibility in, I think he's ?oing to run for president, but anyway I knew that his great grandfather s property he owned over here, he was a stonecutter. So George has been interested in it. George could ~11 have been on the board, I'm sure he ~dhave been glad to be on the board. As far as that is concerned, we had our board already set up and he's been tremendously interested and still is interested. All of these MJnrons are and other people whose forefathers were here. Q: I 1m not sure but I think Ezra Taft Benson, is he still living? A: Ezra Taft Benson and he's in the corner 12, I looked up for him the locale of his folks and there1 s no building at the present t:iJ:Ie but the property, of course, is here. There's an interest here, I'm surprised at the aroount of people. Nauvoo is a beautiful place, there's no m::>re beautiful place along the Mississippi than Nauvoo is. So these people J. Leroy Kimball came here, they see the quietness of it, they see the beauty of the locale, they see the restored homes. I rrdght say that when I give a talk on Nauvoo restoration as a rule, whether it1 s here or hooe, I 111 say there are tT.<ii'O reasons for the restoration of Nauvoo and they are: basically, Nauvoo is nnre related to Joseph Smith and you can take religion out of the picture if you want, but here is a young mm [who was] persecuted and in a matter of four years led the people to build the largest city in Illinois. At the present time--and Mr. Fabian and Mr. Hartzog, moIs at the present time chainnan or head of the National Park [Systems], the president of it I guess, he said Anerica didn1 t start fran the East coast to the vest, Amarica started fran the Mississippi ~st and this M:>rm:>n trek. fran here Y.7a.S one of the great treks. And when ~ tell the story in Nauvoo of what happened to this MoriiDn trek, this '0\estwa.rd expansion which covered about 60 percent of the width of the United States, that1 s a trem:mdous story that ~ have to tell. But again going back to Joseph Snith, here1 s a young mm who I say takes religion out as far as that1 s concemed and it ~dbe hard to find scmeone who ~uld equal him because he built a city, he brought these people together, and these people are all non-conformists, but he had the power to bring together and they would have given their lives for him and sooe of them did because he had that p~r. I always rem:mber what Mr. McGormley said in an editorial in the Burlington Hawkeye "*ten he was here at the groundbreaking. He said "*ten he has sat under this tent could not help but T.<ii'Onder vbat might have happened had the M:>nrons stayed in Nauvoo and he said, "Undoubtedly, Burlington ~dhave been a suburb of Nauvoo," which I think is true. But it was a blessing to the M:>rnnns to go out ~st, it was a blessing to the \lest because as I said, the people ~~nt fran here v.ere stalwarts in the Mornnn faith or they ~uldn't have gone, and they had to be healthy or they never \\UU!d have arrived. So the ones ~got there v.ere a pretty solid group. I kn.ow my own family was a pioneer group. So Salt Lake--Nauvoo was more or less a preparation area for the great '0\estem colonization. So two reasons to me and my own grandfather, I'm proud of the hane he has because it's got a lot in it I like to see. It's got art, it's got beauty and that tells me a lot about him and he built his own mnument there. I can go there and there I've got a nnn'l..lm:mt of Eher C. Kimball that he built himself. Brigham Young built his own, Joseph Snith built his own rronument with his hands, but mre than that they built the spiritual side of it, of course, this M:>rnnn Church is on the m:we there's no question about that. But it isn't 1IDtivated, it has a general nntivation just as the money they put in here. They could see the possibilities and who1 s benefiting, Nauvoo has benefited tre.oendously fran it. The Burl~on Hawkeye in an editorial, "everybody benefits in this even motels all of us,11 so this thing has a general benefit and no one 1 s being hurt. I had a man fran Chicago erne in here just the other day and said he wanted to leave same nnney to it, he said, one of the hospitals up there because he had been so pleased at ...mat he had seen here. People are caning fran St. l.Dui.s not once but over and over again and Cllicago because J. Leroy Kimball they see in this thing not just ours because \\1e don't, we think that what they reorganize should be seen and I trean that tells part of the story. It's the same story so we tell people to go down and see what's there because the Mansion House that Smith built is quite a house and it's all part of the projection be made. So here's a man with the--as an author of a book said, explains Joseph Smith and explained a Whole lot of it because he had to think of it before he did it. So you don't have to make any excuses for Joseph Smith as far as Nauvoo is set up is concerned. He started it, be thought it, he did it as far as he could and \\1e simply carried on. Q: Okay. I've got ~spellings I want to go back to and then ask several other questions here. Hartzog, H-A-R-T-Z-0-G? McGonnley,M-C-G-0-R-M-L-E-Y? Now you have a board meeting then once or twice a year? A: ve usually have one every May. Q: And at this time the people on the board get together and they set up the agenda, the budget, etc. How" far ahead do you v.urk, one year ahead of each? A: They met once a year, of course, it's carried on by an executive camrl.ttee. Q: W:lo are IIEmbers of the executive camnittee? A: Myself, a man by the nama of Stapley, who's a treman.dous business man, a man by the name of Jolm Vandenberg, Ybo again is a business man, and also Mark Peterson and these other men are advisors to the board at the present time. Q: I see and you work about a year ahead? A: Yes, at the meeting, I present a report of What's being done and project \\hat's going to be done, the budget is set up and then the executive group carries on. Q: Okay, then ~roore questions. Are the outside donations, other than coming frcm church finance, do you find that sooe of the people that visit here do donate mney or antiques? A: We've had a lot of fine antiques and sooe people donate mney. Most of the finances, of course, cCJDes frcm the Mannon <ll.urch. Now we've never, the Morm::>n Clrurch, has never wanted, they finance their om. So that's l\here the m:>ney canes frcm. But people send in mney just like this man the other day. I don't know what he wants to contribute Whether it's $25,000 or $50,000. People frcm Phoenix, Arizona, wealthy people there send in a donation. Mr. Marriott has donated. So there's a lot of :People Who have dontaed that help on this thing and it's a small part of what we've spent but I think there will be mre. I gave mine. I mean I was willing to donate it or transfer it to Nauvoo Restoration because I think that this organization has the best possibility of carrying this ahead vben I'm gone. Of course, I may be out of it tCJOOrrow, I don't know. I've been in it for a long time. J. Leroy Kimball 22 Q: 'Vba.t about the concept of a person Who brings sc:mathing to you and says this is my great grandfather's and I'd like to have it here and you know r~t away by looking at it, it doesn't fit into the project? A: Well, you learn frcm experience, I ~dsay 'We've got $10,000 'il:>rth of antiques that people have given us and earlier v.e had accepted than with no strings attached or sroeone c~s and tells us that he's on the trek. Well now I know better than that. I know he isn't and l\e don't accept them now. Q: You just tell than it's a good antique, but it doesn't fit in the tine period? A: ve don't v.ant the obligation because he canes back in 0«:> or three years and wants to see it so l\e don't accept than any mre tmless they fit the period. Q: Okay. The last question I'd like to ask then speaking of the board neetings that deal with about a year in advance, and therefore, s~ of these things that you probably discussed last year you're doing right now are now featured as plan. Wla.t is on your agenda right now for the im:J:ediate nunber of 1000diS ahead? A: Well, of course, ve1re just finishing this Seventies Hall. Which is one of the fine buildings if you'll go there and you saw the pictures probably in the paper. So that and you might say Wla.t are l\e going to do with that? Well, r~t now ~'re ~rking on Wla.t's going inside of it. The seats, the pews, so to speak, l.Ne 1re going to have a lDJSeum on that second floor and le're building cases for that at the present time and so that1 s going on. We've got the lucy McSmith where the prophet's DDther lived and we 1 re setting that up. We're now ~rk.ing with a man in california and the Brownings to canplete the presentation of the Brmning hare because there again, the man Who built that bane as you know is a convert of the M:>nnon Uru.rch. He lived in Q.li.ncy and c~ here and started painting guns. He lent to Canesville, Nebraska, ¥.here he made guns for the Monnon Church. But his son became acknowledged forennst gun inventor the l«:>rld has ever known, John M. Browning. 'lhey have a lot of things le hope to get into this bane. Now we have a slow process, 'We're acquiring at the present t:i.rre so I think within a year \e'11 have one of the finest gun exhibits in that h.al:e, plus the haDe. So those are three things going on. Now exactly what building is going to be ~rked on next, I don't know. Q: Did you have any plans for Ta:nple Square in the :i.nllediate future? A: vell, I might say that Ta:nple Square in my opinion has always been the center of this restoration. wa do own the entire Temple Square, it's going to be landscaped. wa w:ruld have gotten on to it this fall to be done in the spring and there are several things that could be done on Temple Square. 'lhe first thing that will be done, at least in the spring, will be the landscaping there. Of course, there will be new curves and new gutters, lawns and flO'V.Jers there. Just the other steps have not been fully determined. J. Leroy Kimball 23 Q: You have a big m:rund of dirt up there, are you going to IIDVe that dirt out? A: That will be nnved. Q: \<bat about the plans as far as rebuilding say a temple or something similar to this? A: No. Nauvoo Restoration will have nothing to do with that, with the clrurch. Now they m:ty cc:ne here and say ~'re going to build a temple. So they -would do that, ~ have nothing to do with it and I'm sure v.e' d cooperate in any way. Q: You'd like to see it though? A: I'd like to see a second Temple Square because the Temple Square in Salt Lake is pulling nnre than a million people, million and a half of tourists. I'd like to see it up here. I can see a beautiful Temple Square in Nauvoo here. Q: You can see a temple although it looks quite a bit or exactly like the old one? A: \Ell, whether that's ever restored or not, I don't know but v.e have one. You'd like to, nCM I doubt if, of course, I don't knOW" again whether it would be m:tde people could see what the building is but these things are terribly expensive and you'd have to sell that to people. You ju:np into a building like the Seventies Hall, that cost way over a $100,000 plus all the air conditioning and that and you've got to sell as well. One person sees it and one doesn't. My own opinion is Ima.y not see it all, but eventually all of this m:tinly 40 areas restored this thing sort of IIDVed itself and evolves just like it did in Utah, those things ~ren't all thought of at first. They sort of evolve and this project has evolved and is still evolving and if it evolves too fast you can't put the head before you got the rest of it. So you got to be patient and that's one thing it just takes absolutely is patience. You got to be thinking ten years ahead, this building is ten years ahead of our needs. I ~ndered if I hadn't oversold them on this building, it was too big. But as I saw sene days last year, I could see that it wasn't too big. ve ~re going to have 30 feet on the south side here but it would have run the cost of the building way up and so I had to pull in our horns. Ttell, it won't be too hard to add on to that side. OUr picture shows handled things, but occasionally last SUiliJler v.e had all we could handle, our parking, it looks like a lot of parking. There v.ere days last SUIJier vben even here at the Wine and Cheese Day we had over 4,000 people here. ve di.dnIt have too IDJ.Ch roan. I think that if you look at this thing five years fran now it would be hard to project what will be here. A nntel cc:nes in, you got this boat set up that the city has already given them the right to IIDVe in on, so you have to look a long ways ahead and you have to be patient. If you are, this thing won't fail because it's got too m1ch to show. J . Leroy Kimball 24 Q: Cl<a.y. Well, I certainly appreciate the opportunity to have talked with you today, and I'm sure this informa.tion will be of great interest to the historians, and the people of Springfield. And thank you very nruch. A: You're ~lc~. End of Side Two, Tape One
|Title||Kimball, J. Leroy - Interview and Memoir|
Historic Sites--Nauvoo (Ill.)
|Description||Kimball, founder of Nauvoo Restoration, Inc., discusses the restoration of historic Mormon sites in Nauvoo, Illinois. He recalls his medical training, effects of the Depression, his great-grandfather's home in Nauvoo, and the Mormons of Nauvoo.|
|Creator||Kimball, J. Leroy b. 1901|
|Contributing Institution||Oral History Collection, Archives/Special Collections, University of Illinois at Springfield|
|Contributors||Ortman, William [interviewer]|
|Digital Format||PDF; MP3|
|Rights||© Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois. For permission to reproduce, distribute, or otherwise use this material, please contact: Archives/Special Collections, University of Illinois at Springfield, One University Plaza, MS BRK 140, Springfield IL 62703-5407. Phone: (217) 206-6520. http://library.uis.edu/archives/index.html|
|Collection Name||Oral History Collection of the University of Illinois at Springfield|
|Title||J. Leroy Kimball Memoir|
|Source||J. Leroy Kimball Memoir.pdf|
|Rights||© Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois. For permission to reproduce, distribute, or otherwise use this material, please contact: Archives/Special Collections, University of Illinois at Springfield, One University Plaza, MS BRK 140, Springfield IL 62703-5407. Phone: (217) 206-6520. http://library.uis.edu/archives/index.html|
University of Illinois at Springfield
Norris L Brookens Library
J. Leroy Kimball Memoir
K564. Kimball, J. Leroy b. 1901 Interview and memoir 1 tape, 67 mins., 27 pp.
Kimball, founder of Nauvoo Restoration, Inc., discusses the restoration of historic Mormon sites in Nauvoo, Illinois. He recalls his medical training, effects of the Depression, his great-grandfather's home in Nauvoo, and the Mormons of Nauvoo.
Interview by William Ortman, 1972 OPEN See collateral file
Archives/Special Collections LIB 144
University of Illinois at Springfield
One University Plaza, MS BRK 140
Springfield IL 62703-5407
© 1972, University of Illinois Board of Trustees
'Ibis manuscript is the product of a tape recorded interview conducted by William Ortman for the Oral History Office on October 22, 1972. Michael Tirpak edited the transcript.
J. Leroy Kimball was bom in Raynnnd, Alberta, Canada, in 1901. He was the founder of Nauvoo Restoration, Incorporated in Nauvoo, Illinois. He discusses how he became interested in restoration of houses and haw this in turn led to Nauvoo Restoration, Incorporated.
Readers of the oral history ma:noir should bear in mind that it is a transcript of the spoken v.ord, and that the interviewer, narrator and editor sought to preserve the informal, conversational style that is inherent in such historical sources. SangBDDn State thiversity is not responsible for the factual accuracy of the nertOir, nor for views expressed therein; these are for the reader to judge.
Th.e manuscript may be read, quoted and cited freely. It may not be reproduced in whole or in part by any maans, electronic or nechanical, without permission in writing fran the Oral History Office, Sangamon State University, Springfield, Illinois, 62708.
Table of Contents
Background . . 1 Education. . 2 'lhe depression • . 4 Black \<\Oolen underwear . . 5 'lhe depression, continued. . 7 Fran general practice to specializing. . 9 Knnball's interest in Nauvoo . .11 The Eber C. Kimball hane • .11 Ten thousand dollars \<\Orth of property . .12 Nauvoo Restoration, Incorporated . .14 Preston Kimball. .16 The last ten years • .17 Reasons for restoration .20 Donations. .21 Current projects . .22
J. leroy Kimball, October 22, 1972, Nauvoo, Illinois.
William Ortman, Interviev.;er.
A: As a young man v.;ent up to Alberta because there was an opportunity there to build an irrigation system. At that time, several of the Kimballs who are sons of Eber C. K:imball actually v..-ent up into Alberta and v.;ere given various contracts. My father becal.lE interested in it and as a boy of sixteen drove a team up to Canada and there Y.lOrked on vtlat they called the ditch or the irrigation system and stayed there for 25 years.
Q: I see. 'lilbere did your father c~ frcm?
A: My father was bom in M!sa, Arizona.
Q: ~sa, Arizona and he v.;ent all the way frcm Mesa then to
A: No. He v.;ent back to Salt Lake, SCllE of the family was here then and
he v.;ent fran Salt Lake to visit. In the early days, the M:mnon colonization really represented a lot of them in Arizona, a lot of them v.;ere in California so that it m:>re or less developed in a rather large area. These people could have CCllE frcm a large area and they nDVed aronnd.
Q: I see. Then your father then was -working in construction Y.lOrk basically and irrigation and so forth?
A: Yes. lik>rking with teams and digging.
Q: Of course, there is a story that evolves around Salt Lake and the Brigham Young project that bringing the irrigation of wa.ter in the Great Salt Lake. Did your father pick this up frcm hearing that?
A: Probably that may have had a lot to do with it. I think probably the Canadian goverrlDIIDt in taking the people frcm Utah there knew about the background and development as you liEiltioned of irrigation in Utah and they knew quite a little bit about it. So they v.;ere taking rren up there ~o had some experience in setting up the canals and so forth and I think that might well have been one of the reasons.
Q: These canals then were to bring wa.ter in or take -water out?
A: Bring -water into the land, of course, it took it out of the river. So they put dams in the river. I ranember this one wa.s the St. Mary's River and set up irrigation systems, built the canals that are still there.
J . leroy Kimball
Q: Okay, \\hat about your mther, where does she cane along in this?
A: Well, my mther was Scotch-Irish. I might tell you a little story about her nnther \\b.o was born in Sligo, Ireland, raised in a Catholic convent there and was coming to New York. She and her sister, both of them, to visit a couple of brothers in New York, both of \|
|Collection Name||Oral History Collection of the University of Illinois at Springfield|