Dateline: 12 April 2015
|An envelope addressed to Herric C Kimball, circa, 1925.|
There is no "k" at the end of his first name.
Part of my objective with the trip was to learn more about my Kimball roots. My grandmother, like all grandmothers, had a lot of family knowledge, and she was more than happy to share it with us. Among a lot of other things, I learned that my grandfather, Dr. Herrick C. Kimball (who I am named after), was actually given the name of Herric (with no k on the end) by his parents, but he later changed his name to Herrick.
|Herrric Kimball (on left), circa 1919 (17 years old) |
with his friend, Neil Powers.
I’ve written here before about how my grandfather Kimball was born in 1902 and grew up on a potato farm in northern Maine. He did not come from a family of means, but he was clearly intent on making something of himself. He graduated from high school in 1918 at 16 years of age. He then attended Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine, where, once again, he graduated early. Then he went to Western Reserve University College of Medicine in Ohio, from which he graduated in 1925.
|My grandfather, circa 1923, in the medical school "Cat Lab"|
(click picture for a larger view)
(Dr. Magnus Ridlon, pictured at right, was his best friend)
My grandfather was an MD, FACS. The acronym means, Medical Doctor, Fellow American College of Surgeons. He practiced medicine and surgery in his hometown of Fort Fairfield for 38 years. He also established a hospital in the town.
Dr. Kimball was the county medical examiner for 17 years. He was medical advisor to the selective service board. He was a delegate to the 1956 Republican National Convention (they nominated Dwight Eisenhower for a 2nd term). He was 51% owner of the local Rexall drug store (with a lunch counter in the front). He was vice president of the local bank, chairman of the board of trustees for the local library, and a director of the local utility district.
My grandfather died at only 64 years of age. I suspect he may have worked himself to death. And he took the reason for changing the spelling of his name to the grave with him. But I have a theory…
As for the Herrick’s Almanac of 1889, it is a very interesting read. I have scanned the whole book and it is now available as a PDF download at Agriphemera.com. Click Here to learn more about this unique bit of American medical history.
My grandfather was not the only Herrick C. to practice medicine. An interesting side note to this family-name story is that my grandfather's best friend in medical school, Dr. Magnus F. Ridlon (pictured in the cat lab above), named his son, Herrick C. Ridlon, and he grew up to be a Dr. (his 2003 obituary is HERE).
As I understand it, the two friends decided in medical school to name their firstborn sons after each other. But my grandfather did not name his son (my father) Magnus F. Kimball. Perhaps my grandmother did not like the name. In any event, my father's middle name is Ridlon, after Dr. Ridlon.