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The city of Kimberly developed around a stagecoach station built in the 1830's; it remained in service until 1865. At this time, the settlement was known as Kennelsville. The city then became known as Jefferson, probably after the nearby Old Jefferson coal mine, until the late 1880's. In 1888, the town's post office was relocated to nearby Morris. In 1905, the town voted to change its name to Kimberly because another Alabama town had already claimed the name Jefferson. The town had a population of around 900 by 1910. Local coal mines were primary employers in Kimberly and were active through the 1940's, gradually closing down during the 1950's. Another significant employer in Kimberly was the Dixie Firebrick Company, founded in the 1930's; it was later bought out by A.P. Green Refractories Company. This facility shut down sometime in the mid-1970's. The city officially incorporated in 1952. Many city records and history were lost in a fire at the city hall in 1989. Beginning June 29, 2011, due to the population increasing from 1,801 persons in 2000 to 2,711 in 2010, the town began operating as a city, per Alabama law.