Upper Left: Hannah Chase Kimball’s portrait hangs in the Class of 2014 Board Room in Miller Bicentennial Hall. Upper Right: This image of the “Kimball Mansion” was drawn by KUA student Caroline Walworth, class of 1851. Left: Daniel’s uncle, Joseph Kimball, came to Meriden a few years before Daniel’s family and eventually settled on Colby Hill, Meriden. We don’t have a portrait of Daniel; he believed they were a waste of time and money and refused an offer to have his painted.
During your time here, you will hear a good deal about the Academy’s founder Daniel Kimball and his wife Hannah Chase Kimball. Both of their families had settled in this area of New Hampshire in the mid-1700s. Daniel came to Meriden from Preston, Connecticut, in 1769, age 16, with his parents and four sisters. His father Benjamin had bought 750 acres of land in and around Meriden, a village in the town of Plainfield, founded in 1761. The Kimballs became successful farmers and owners of a mill below the Meriden covered bridge and Daniel subsequently owned a store next to his home, trading goods as far away as Boston. Hannah Chase, whom he married in 1777, was born in Sutton, Massachusetts, in 1758, and was about seven when her parents brought her and five of her siblings to nearby Cornish, New Hampshire. The Chases were among the early settlers of the town, having arrived near the time of its founding in 1765, and remained a prominent family of Cornish; several of Hannah’s nephews attended Dartmouth College. Her great nephew, Salmon Portland Chase, born in the Chase House in Cornish, was the United States Secretary of the Treasury (1861-1864) under President Lincoln who later nominated him to fill the post of Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court (1864-1873).
Daniel and Hannah’s home was inherited and changed considerably by John Duncan Bryant, KUA 1840-1845, who was their great-nephew and the son of Daniel’s business partner, John Bryant. The store no longer exists, although the cellar hole remains in plain sight. Does anyone know where the house and cellar hole are located? The answer will be found in next week’s From the Archives….