Kimball Avenue

From HistoryWiki

Kimball Avenue Soundex Code K514

3400 W. from 1600 N. to 6220 N.

Named for Walter Kimbell, a landowner and subdivider who was said to have donated the ground for Kimball Avenue to the City.

A second possibility is that the street was named for Walter Kimball--the name spelled with an "a" who was a charter officer in 1835 of Chicago's first bank, a branch of the Illinois State Bank., Thursday, February 18, 2016 8:38am | Updated February 18, 2016 12:53pm

Kimball Has Been Misspelled for More Than 100 Years: It's KimBELL

By Patty Wetli and Paul Biasco

ALBANY PARK — We've all made our share of typos — "your" vs. "you're" anyone? — that can easily be fixed these days with a backspace or two, but in the dark ages before spell checker, the city made a whopper of a misspelling that's gone uncorrected for more than 100 years.

Kimball Avenue is supposed to be Kimbell. With an "e."

Martin Kimbell was an early settler of what's now Logan Square, his farm centered at Kimball, Diversey and Milwaukee.

When Chicago annexed the land in 1889, existing streets were relabeled and what had been Kimbell was mistakenly entered into the record as Kimball, according to the Chicago History Museum's database of the city's streets.

Muddying the waters: There is a famous Kimball associated with early Chicago history.

William Wallace Kimball founded the Kimball Piano Co., still doing business today as Kimball International, having branched out into office furniture and electronics. Anyone who's visited Graceland Cemetery has likely seen his massive tomb, and his South Prairie Avenue mansion still stands.

But even Wikipedia considers it "dubious" that Kimball Avenue was named for William Kimball.

Though the goof has stood for more than 100 years, at least one person attempted to make things right.

A history of Logan Square, as quoted in a 2007 Reader account of the neighborhood's origins, notes that Martin Kimbell's son Charles "was so incensed by the altered spelling that he went out in his horse-drawn wagon, paintbrush, and bucket in hand, and reinserted the 'e' in Kimbell on every street sign from Armitage Avenue to Diversey Avenue."

Now that Kimball stretches all the way north to Lincolnwood, Illinois and serves as the terminus for the CTA Brown Line, well Charles Kimbell would need a whole lot more paint.