Samuel Heber Kimball was born on December 9, 1851 in Salt Lake City, Utah, a son of Heber Chase Kimball and Ann Alice Gheen.
He married Oradene Pratt on October 30, 1869, Oradine Merrill Pratt on October 30, 1870, Martha Isadora Schofield in 1873 and Rosabell (Rosabelle) Thomas on April 2, 1902.
He was one of the first settlers to arrive in Grouse Creek and according to historians he was appointed the first bishop of the Grouse Creek ward. “On August 19, 1877, at a conference held in Brigham City, Samuel Kimball was appointed bishop of Grouse Creek. Oliver G. Snow, president of the Box Elder Stake, organized the Grouse Creek ward on July 12, 1879. Samuel Kimball was made bishop and Benjamin F. Cooke and Philip A. Paskett were chosen as his counselors. The meeting was held at the home of Benjamin F. Cooke.
From the Utah Historical Society we found the following quoted from a letter to Governor Blood by Lydia R. Nasner dated August 19, 1936.
“Samuel Heber Kimball, is the oldest son of Heber C. Kimball (mothers name I did not record. Kindly insert) He is now eighty-five years old and stand almost straight as a young man-hears well, and can see well enough without glasses to wherever he likes to go.
It would appear – also has a very fine memory, so much so that he can repeat the history of his life and events surrounding it in great detail from time of early childhood.
He was a delegate for the reelection of Governor Blood, and came to congratulate him, and seems active enough to take an interest in any new understanding enterprise.
All his life, Brother Kimball stated, he has been a hardy out of door, muscle testing worker, who could ride a horse at great speed and endurance, and lived the life of a miner, freighter, stock raiser, and farmer, involving many necessary strenuous duties, which required courage and long riding, much deprivation and determination.
He states he is a personal friend of Hugh G. Brown, on the liquor board, as well as his father in Alberta, Canada.
At the age of thirteen Samuel’s father sent him out to the range to learn the trade of hide pulling. This was the first time in his life that Samuel was encouraged to drink some whiskey. It made him so sick that he was unconscious for three days, and when he regained consciousness he was so covered with boils, that he was sure that Job could not have had more than he did.
However, he forgot this sad experience and in later years had many temptations about smoking, and once because he did not like a toothache he started smoking. He tried to stop numerous times, but was always tempted to try it again.
At the age of about thirty, Samuel Heber Kimball, lost his first wife under very trying circumstances, and also his baby a little later. After coming back to the city he decided to try to get acquainted with some other nice girls and wanted to go to his old ward to a dance, but was refused admission by the doorkeeper, by order of the bishop.
It happened that the bishop had ill feelings against Samuel because he once told him years ago that he would lick him if he would not apologize to his mother for calling her a liar, etc. Samuel had forgotten the matter, but the bishop had not, hence Brother Kimball was badly hurt in feeling, and vowed to himself he would never return to that meeting house, and he did not until his mother’s funeral.
Now this is the point which I wish to impress. Being hurt in feeling, sad and discouraged, it was found that Brother Kimball became ill, and thru a doctor friend of his he was encouraged to take some alcohol to help him with his heart and grief troubles. Therefore being rather indifferent, he started to take tobacco, tea, coffee, and whiskey at times, because he contacted neuralgia of the stomach, indigestion and severe heart trouble.
Later he married again, but his health did not improve. His second wife thought he would pass away several times, and held alcohol to his mouth, thinking she could save his life on various occasions. One doctor told him to try chewing, and not smoking. This he did, but soon got back to smoking again. Nevertheless, with the use of all these poisons, his health did not improve. For ten years he tried all these different kinds of daily reliefs and medicines, without good results.
Upon one occasion at about the age of forty, after having been very low and in bed for some time, brother Samuel H. Kimball’s wife, or some of his friend’s, heard that Bro. William T. Jack, was coming to his ward where he lived, and so he was encouraged to get out of his sick bed to go hear him. That day, he stated, William T. Jack preached one of the finest testimonies on the word of wisdom he had ever heard in his life.
Brother Jack was so inspired that when he finished he asked Brother Kimball to come to the stand and speak. This he did, and was in turn so touched by the spirit of repentance that he promised the saints there that he would never break the word of wisdom again in all his life. After finishing he turned around and gave brother Jack a package of tobacco which he had in his pocket, and told him to keep it for him, to see if he would keep his promise.
Years afterwards he spoke to brother Jack and asked him if he still had the tobacco, and he said, ‘Yes, there it is in the desk where I put it. I guess you can have it now, because you have kept your promise.’ Brother Kimball answered to the affect that he had never been tempted from that day on to take tea, coffee, liquor or tobacco; in fact, he did not even like the smell of tobacco anymore.
Such a testimony ought to travel a far way now. To make a promise at the age of forty and live to testify of an immediate repentance which was never broken again until eighty five years of age- is worth considering.
Think of a strong, courageous, hard working man breaking down with grief, hurt in feeling, sick, run down, and then taking all the narcotics and drink, even encouraged by doctors to do so and then thru the power of divine testimony and encouragement, to be able to stop everything in the midst of severe illness and hopelessness. Is a power of healing that is beyond ordinary occurrence.
I think he said he went right out with seventy five head of cattle and eight men up to Canada. He cooked coffee for the men who wanted it and never touched it again himself. He also states that he had never been healthier in his life than he has been since the divine healing occurred.
Being still active, I’m sure his testimony ought to interest the Senate of Utah, and the House of Representatives and others who are doctors and doubt the power of such splendid determination and faith which comes about thru such fact finding experience.
Brother Kimball reveres his father highly, and said he was one of the finest men as that ever lived. Also that Brigham Young was always good natured. He grew up with President Grant. He also stated that we would eventually have to come back to the United Order, although he is at present interested in the Townsend plan.
His children are tested too these days, but one son was thoroughly converted to the living of the word of wisdom, after having smoked for some time, because his sweetheart said she would not marry him unless he would marry her in the Temple, and that she did not want coffee on her table. He is now going to school in Provo, married in the Temple, and married an LDS Missionary.
May this testimony, added to mine, and many others, which you will obtain, convince doctors, that not only in health can the word of wisdom prove efficacious, but in time of severe and trying illness as well.”
His wife, Martha Isadora Schofield Kimball passed away on March 11, 1901 and his son Theodore Melvin Kimball was born on June 14, 1879 in Salt Lake City, Utah and died on February 7, 1885 in Grouse Creek of diphtheria and they are buried in the Grouse Creek cemetery.
Samuel Heber Kimball died on April 18, 1943 in Salt Lake City, Utah and was buried on April 20, 1943 in Maeser Fairview, Uintah, Utah.