Liz Swain 4:24 p.m., May 24
In 1868, at the advisement of his doctor, Frank Kimball went shopping for land in places like Santa Barbara and Pasadena. He settled for a large ranch just a few miles from the border with Mexico. A place called El Rancho de la Nacion. In order to buy the property he partnered with his brothers and borrowed money. From the beginning he labored day and night to make National City a success.
From his house he started a library, and lent it out for church services. He built wells, wharfs, orchards, and sold lots with conditions that the owner must improve the land. His biggest achievement was bringing the railroad to the area, and for a short time National City was the western terminus of a transcontinental railway. Frank Kimball was a brilliant and enterprising man of action who contended with the naysayers and scoffers of his day.
Today in National City we have dozens of Frank Kimballs giving back to the city. Some have been at it for decades. They love the town and contribute to it in positive ways. They're in the library and at city hall. Some are teachers, and some volunteers. They contribute music, theater, or their time in one of the many civic committees. Many, many are habitual givers.
For the record, National City is a wonderful place to live and thanks to the community and the many Frank Kimballs out there, it will continue to thrive. True, there are monumental challenges and mistakes of the past to overcome, but the city turned a corner a long time ago. And with all the good people of National City behind the effort as participants, good things will follow.