According to Alvord’s History of Noble County, Indiana, Orlando Kimmell came with his parents from Ohio to western Noble County in 1851. He was 21 years old. Orlando took over his father’s farm in 1863 and expanded it from 195 acres to 1,098 acres. In 1876, Orlando’s agricultural endeavors continued to prosper and he and his wife Jane, were able to build a new house. Orlando kept meticulous records and we know a few interesting facts about the home. It took 96,650 bricks to build the 4000 square foot home, and cost only $340.00 to lay the bricks. The entire home was built for less than $5,000.00. Some of the original features of the house were central heat and indoor plumbing - luxuries at the time. The original woodwork and hardware are still intact today.
Kimmell was a prominent member of the newly formed Republican Party. He first served as Noble County Commissioner for two terms, and was then elected to the Indiana General Assembly in 1877. He was renominated but chose not to run again for office. The Republican Party also nominated him for the 12th District seat in Congress in 1897, but he again chose not to run. Locally, Orlando Kimmell served for 12 years as the president of the Noble County Agricultural Fair Association. He was president of the Cromwell State Bank and a stockholder in the Wolf Lake Bank. Because of his frequent contributions to the community and his participation in procuring a railroad siding for the little village of Sparta, the town was renamed Kimmell in Orlando’s honor.
The home has always been privately owned, and since leaving the Kimmell family in the 1960’s has only passed ownership three times. In early 2002, we bought the house and surrounding 12 acres and began renovations, with the goal of opening a bed and breakfast. Recognizing that this home has been such a major part of the foundation of this community, we aim to keep it open for everyone to experience the history and enjoy all it has to offer. We recently celebrated 10 years of hosting wonderful travelers from near and far - and look forward to many more years of doing what we love. Together with our family, we open our home and our kitchen so that you can sample the richness and quality this land and home have to offer.
- Dean, Deb, and Elise Stoops