Kimmel Homestead

Historic marker #878 in Henderson County marks the site of the home for three generations of the Kimmel family and notes their military achievements.

Marius Manning Kimmel was born in October 1832, in Perry County, Missouri. He attended Princeton University, but left after he received an appointment to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. In 1857, Kimmel graduated from the military school as a second lieutenant. He served in Texas and fought the Comanche Indians in his early military career.

At the start of the Civil War, Marius defended Washington D.C. and fought in the First Battle of Bull Run. After these battles, he resigned from the Union army and joined the Confederate cause. He wrote his resignation while at the Galt House in Louisville, Kentucky. He achieved the rank of major serving with the rebel army.

In 1872, Marius and his wife, Sibbella Lambert Kimmel, moved to Henderson, Kentucky. On February 26, 1882, their son was born, named Husband Edward Kimmel. In 1904, Husband graduated from the United States Naval Academy. During World War I, he served in several posts using his expertise in gunnery. In 1916, during the war, Husband's father, Marius, died.

Husband continued to serve in the U.S. Navy into World War II. He became the commander of the Pacific Fleet on February 1, 1941. Despite the training that Husband implemented, the U.S. troops at Pearl Harbor were ill-equipped when Japan attacked on December 7, 1941. Kimmel received considerable blame for the navy's lack of preparation and he was relieved of his position in 1942. Husband remained bitter about the situation throughout his life. In 1955, he published his own account of the events in the book "Admiral Kimmel’s Story." He died on May 14, 1968.

Three of Husband Kimmel's sons also fought during World War II. Manning Marius Kimmel (1913-1944) graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1935. He served in the Navy and died during the war. In 1936, Thomas Kinkaid Kimmel (1914-1997) also graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy. He served in World War II aboard submarines. Thomas survived the war and left his naval command in 1948. Their younger brother, Edward Ralph Kimmel (1921-2005), also fought in the war with the U.S. Navy from 1942 to 1946. Then in 1948, Edward graduated from Harvard Law School and spent his career as an attorney.

The military careers' of the Kimmel family spanned between two centuries and numerous wars of national significance. The three generations of the family dedicated their life to military service.