Kinder Farm Park is named for a German immigrant family who made multiple land purchases in Millersville beginning in 1898. Over the next 50 years Gustave Kinder and his younger brother Henry Kinder turned initial purchases of land into a successful 600 acre agricultural operation. Gustave sold his property to Henry in the early 1940’s and another brother Herman sold his remaining property to Henry and his sons in 1952.
Initial business endeavors included selling lumber from trees on their property, selling ice locally from their ponds, and developing a local milk business from 15 dairy cattle.
The Kinders, like most farmers in Anne Arundel County, worked at “truck farming” even though initially produce was transported by horse and wagon. They grew fruits and vegetables for sale at markets in the Baltimore region until the late 1940’s. Refrigeration on trains and trucks and in stores made local farms less competitive as produce could be brought from farms farther south at an earlier date in the growing season. The local farmers could not compete, resulting in reduced profit. The Kinders were always adapting, and adjusted their focus to change the farm business to raising and selling hogs and turkeys and acquiring beef cattle. By the late 1940’s Henry Kinder and his four sons continued to expand their herds of beef cattle, maintaining 1100 - 1700 head of cattle until the late 1970’s. Raising cattle became a successful and prosperous venture with large sales to the Baltimore Union Stockyard. The large number of cattle resulted in many acres being designated to the growth of corn on the farm property.
By 1960 the farmland was operated by the four sons of Henry Sr.: Eddie, Henry Jr., August, and Albert. The brothers gradually began selling parcels of property to housing developers and the Anne Arundel County Board of Education for school construction. In 1979 the four sons of Henry Sr. decided to sell the remaining 288 acres to Anne Arundel County to help preserve farm history and open space in an ever developing region. Those acres are now the land we know as Kinder Farm Park.
Content courtesy of Friends of Kinder Farm Park.