Observations all along the line - Kimball & the Southern Panhandle First

Observer editorial: A call to action for the Kimball community

For the past two months, we at the Observer have dedicated ourselves to uncovering the past, present and future of the famous Wheat Growers Hotel in Kimball.

We have spent the equivalent of days pouring over old photographs and documents, and even longer researching in near-century old archived editions of the Observer.

In that time, stories and recollections of years long gone have surfaced, and a flurry of emotions have overcome all of us. Happiness and near elation found us when we saw the sheer maginificence of the Wheat Growers Hotel, and stepping inside the near-century old structure was both humbling and serene.

Anyone familiar with the story of the hotel knows that it is an endless roller coaster ride of ups and downs, ranging from a filled-to-capacity hotel in the early 20th century to today, and many other times in history, where the building has stood vacant, with no occupants apart from dust and rodents.

This time, however, is different. The Wheat Growers has stood completely vacant this long before, sure. But in an era of “do or die” for small towns across the United States, the people of Kimball can ill afford to allow this prestigious landmark fall by the wayside.

There are rumors of proposed clean-up days and events coming up in the future, but without public involvement and the interest of the town, they will make little difference in changing the downward-sloping trajectory the Wheat Growers faces.

It is only with the support of Kimball that the Wheat Growers can once again become a beacon of hope for those throughout western Nebraska.

The Wheat Growers Hotel was once the hub of commotion in Kimball, where people came together to dance, laugh and love. It was the lifeblood of the town, running off the success of first, wheat, then oil and missiles in latter decades.

Take the time to preserve the history that can be found throughout Kimball.

Whether it be the old Kimball High School, the missile silos in the area or the Wheat Growers Hotel - only you, the people of Kimball, can make the difference between life-or-death for these landmarks.

Stand up for your community, defend what makes Kimball unique and do what is right.

The Wheat Growers was once great, and it can be great once again.

It’s up to you.