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Kimball Korner store prepares to close doors

December 26, 2012
Jenn Brookens - Staff Writer , Fairmont Sentinel

TRIMONT - It was a staple for the area where Martin, Jackson, Watonwan and Cottonwood counties meet, but the Kimball Korner stop is closing up shop.

Kimball Korner has been a part of Barb Jacobson's entire life. Her parents purchased it in 1940.

"My parents, LeRoy and Thelma Schoewe, purchased it from a man named Carl Zingman," Jacobson said. "Then when I was born, my grandparents, Theodore and Dora Schoewe, didn't think a little girl should be raised by a place like that. So they traded places with my parents. We moved out to the farm, and my grandparents took over the store."

Article Photos

The original Kimball Korner building in winter 1963. The building burned down that summer.

At the time, Kimball Korner didn't sell ready-made food. It had groceries and a gas station, and people went there for a soda, ice cream or a beer.

"It was a gathering place," Jacobson recalled. "Back then, we had a free movie on Sundays, and they'd project it on the side of the building. It was always a family-type thing."

Located in Jackson County, Kimball Korner is located one mile west of the Martin County line and four miles south of the Cottonwood County line.

"You go straight up from Alpha 10 miles, just one mile north of the Kimball church," Jacobson said.

Kimball Korner saw its most turbulent stretch in the early 1960s. The building originally was farther into Jackson County, but it was relocated two miles east in 1962. Then, on June 22, 1963, it burned down.

"We know it was set on fire, and whoever did it broke in through the window and set the curtains on fire," Jacobson said. "They ruled it as arson, but it was never solved who did it."

But the family was not deterred and a new building was up and open for business in September 1963. Other changes were also taking place for the Kimball Korner at that time.

"We gradually got our of groceries, and started making more sandwiches," said Larry Allgood, the most recent proprietor, and uncle of Jacobson. "I'm the one that started making the sandwiches. When my father passed away and left me some money, I bought in and began doing the sandwiches and fries. That was in the late '60s ... We had one of the best burgers around. We sold a lot of burgers. On Sundays, it was so busy, you couldn't find a place to sit."

As times changed, traffic began to slow at Kimball Korner. Allgood took over the business entirely in 1996.

"Perhaps it was gas prices; people just don't go out driving anymore," Allgood said. "And that's a problem when you're out in the middle of nowhere. I have an Odin address and a Trimont phone number, yet we're in Jackson County. I'm also in three school districts: Mountain Lake, Jackson and Martin County West. So, yes, I am in the middle of nowhere."

At the end of this week, the property will be sold to Jackson County.

"I had to renew my food license at the end of the year, which is costly," Allgood said. "I gave up my liquor license a few years ago, because that last year I only had four people come in and ask for a beer."

"It is a landmark," Jacobson said. "What will we do without the Kimball Korner? I hate to see it go, but sometimes it's just time for things to end."



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