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Michael Cunningham Kirby 1841-1923


Posted By: Merllene Andre Bendixen (email)
Date: 6/20/2011 at 22:11:36

Father of John Kirby Answers Call
M. C. Kirby Dies at the Home of His Daughter
Past 83 Years of Age
Had Made His Home in This City for the Past Twenty-Four Years
Mr. M. C. Kirby, father of John P. Kirby, passed away at the home of his daughter, Mrs. B. E. Kelley at Emmetsburg, at four o’clock Monday afternoon. He had made his home here for the past twenty-four years coming to this city from Tipton in 1852. He was without doubt one of the most dearly beloved old men of the city and his going will leave an ache in the hearts of many of the younger people of the city as well as those of his own age.

Mr. Kirby had gone to Emmetsburg four weeks ago on one of his regular visits with his daughter and was seemingly in his usual good health. He was not ill at any time even up to the last but just gradually became weaker and passed away peacefully in sleep.

The body will be brought to this city this afternoon and services held Thursday at 10 o’clock from St. Patrick’s Church. Burial will be made in the Catholic Cemetery beside the beloved wife who died in September 1918.

Michael Cunningham Kirby was born on Sept. 16, 1840 at Limerick, Ireland and came to America in 1864. He came to Iowa in 1866 having moved from New York to Michigan in the meantime. In Iowa he lived for a short time at Iowa City but settled in Tipton in 1866. He was married in New York City in 1866. Mr. Kirby was a merchant tailor in Tipton but was retired from active business upon moving to this city twenty-four years ago. He lived with his wife in their home near his son until her death and still continued to make his home there until the last. Two children survive him, John P. Kirby and the daughter Mrs. B. E. Kelley of Emmetsburg. A second son, Will, an engineer on the Rock Island, was killed in a locomotive explosion in 1895. (Vindicator and Republican, Estherville, IA, November 21, 1923)

M. C. Kirby Called to Rest Last Tuesday
At the Home of His Daughter, Mrs. B. E. Kelly, at Emmetsburg
M. C. Kirby, who was ill for a comparatively short time, died at the home of his daughter, Mrs. B. E. Kelly Tuesday afternoon.

Michael Cunningham Kirby was born in the county of Limerick, Ireland, September 16, 1841. His age was 82. He came to the United States in 1863. He spent some time in New York, after which he moved to Jackson, Michigan, where he lived for a few years. Returning to New York, he was married to Miss Mary Ryan whom he knew in childhood in his native country. Soon after their marriage they came west and located in Tipton, Iowa, where they lived for 35 years. Mr. Kirby was a merchant tailor. About 24 years ago he retired and moved to Estherville. Mrs. Kirby died a few years ago. Mr. Kirby is survived by one son and one daughter. The son, John P., is president of the First National Bank of Estherville. Mrs. Kelly, the daughter, has resided in this city for over thirty years. A second son, W. J. Kirby died quite a number of years ago.

Mr. Kirby, who was well known to many of our readers, was one of the high class Christian gentlemen of Iowa. He was genial, courteous, outspoken, warm-hearted and manly. He respected the rights of all men and he had due regard for the feeling of those with whom he could not agree. His habits were the best and his personal honor was in every way above reproach. He represented well in his life and in his deeds the best citizenship of the community in which he lived and he served for sixty years his beloved state and his adopted country with the earnestness and steadfastness of a true patriot. The writer knew Mr. Kirby for many years and respected him for his many virtues as a gentleman. Our sincere sympathy is extended to the surviving son and daughter in their bereavement. – Emmetsburg Democrat (Estherville Democrat, Estherville, IA, November 28 1923)


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