Note - Our thanks to Jeff Boutwell, Recreation Specialist,
Mid-Brazos Project/ Waco Lake, for his photos and information on Kimball.
We have included his letter as text for this town page.
I would like to make an addition to your Ghost
town list. It is the old town of Kimball, Texas located in Bosque
County about 20 miles south of Cleburne
and 15 miles north of Meridian
on State Highway 174.
It is located on the Brazos River and is the location of one
of the major crossings of the river by the Chisholm Trail.
The town was established in 1853 by Judge John Kimball
from New York. He bought the property from Jacob DeCordova. The town
was plated by McLennan and Erath. It was a thriving town and a center
of commerce during the cattle drive years. It had a gin, numerous
stores, several churches, two schools and more saloons than could
be counted. The town's cemetery had over 600 burials. It slowly died
after the Santa Fe Railroad chose to miss the town by three
miles for a narrower crossing of the river. The town existed until
about 1910 and had several residences left when the federal government
bought out the remaining people in 1947 for the construction
of Lake Whitney by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
The town is now located within Kimball Bend Park. Several old
concrete foundations dating back to the 1870s remain along with the
Academy. This was the school building and town meeting center. It
is constructed out of cut limestone with arched windows fitted with
keystones. There are even old town streets still discernable .
The park is immediately off State Highway 174 where it crosses the
Jeff Boutwell, Recreation Specialist, Mid-Brazos Project/ Waco Lake
February 08, 2001
|Kimball in the
"You can stand at the exact spot that this photo was taken and
you will be looking down Lubbock street ( which is now a park road)
and see the three large oaks and the first building to the right which
is still standing."
Photo Courtesy Mr. Ron Carlisle
What's left of "the first building to the right"
Photo Courtesy Jeff Boutwell
of Kimball School
Photo Courtesy Mr. Ron Carlisle
Kimball Bend Ghost Town
Dear TE, I agree with Mr. Steve Watkins letter, written July 4,
2009. Kimball Bend Ghost Town is not open to the public, they don't
even want you to see it, that is the Army Corps Of Engineers. I
live just up 174 a half a mile to the left at Chisholm Trail. My
Great Grandfather lived in this town in the 1890's and relocated
to the town of Blum
when the Railroad came through. At the turn of the century he relocated
Texas where my father was born, as a result I was born there
also. I moved here 19 years ago and did not find out my family history
until 2005. Find out I didn't move into the area, I just came home.
- Ernie A. Copeland USMC - Decorated Vietnam Veteran, Blum, Texas,
May 02, 2013
Dear TE, After
reading your article on Kimball ghost town, in Kimball bend park
I decided to take a trip out there. It is not open to the public,
as such. It is in a camp ground that requires a $20 dollar admission
fee. Overnight camping only, no day use. The man at the gate let
us drive through only if we promised to go right in and back out
(he seemed perterbed we would even ask). The wall in the photo on
your site is now surrounded by a chain link fence ruining any photographs
or close examination. I was not able to get close enough to see
the rest of the ruins. I just thought I would let you know to warn
people… I burned a lot of gas getting out there only to have to
turn right around and come back. - Steve Watkins, Ft. Worth,
July 4, 2009
Trail: Fording the Brazos at Kimball Bend by
Escapes, in its purpose to preserve historic, endangered and vanishing
Texas, asks that anyone wishing to share their local history and vintage/historic
photos, please contact