Kimball was near State Highway 174 twenty miles northeast of Meridian and forty-six miles north of Waco in northeastern Bosque County. The Colony of Kent, an abortive attempt by a British firm to create a settlement, was about two miles south of the future Kimball townsite in 1851–52. Kimball, established around 1853–54, was named after Richard B. Kimball of New York, who settled in the area as part of his and Jacob Raphael de Cordova's colonization scheme. The town was surveyed close to Kimball's Crossing, which at that time was one of the few Brazos River crossings. A post office existed there from 1860 to 1866 and from 1871 to 1907. A ferry was operated near the river crossing from shortly after the Civil War until around 1915. Kimball was also situated on the Chisholm Trail and reached its height of growth and prosperity during the great cattle drives. The Kimball Academy, in the downtown area, began to hold classes in the fall of 1873. By 1884 the community supported a population of about 250, was served by a variety of businesses including cotton gins, gristmills, two hotels, and several stores, and shipped corn, wheat, cotton, wool, and hides to outside markets. Kimball's decline started with the end of the large cattle drives and continued when the railroad bypassed the town in 1881. By 1939 its estimated population had fallen to twenty, and it was reported at that level until the community was abandoned upon the completion of the Lake Whitney dam. In the 1980s the townsite was a park on the shores of Lake Whitney; at that time the ruins of several buildings were still standing.