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Michael Cunningham Kirby 1840-1923


Posted By: Merllene Andre Bendixen (email)
Date: 11/20/2011 at 03:32:23

Michael C. Kirby Passes On
Aged Man Dies at Home of Daughter Here.
Funeral at Estherville Tomorrow
Michael C. Kirby died at the home of his daughter, Mrs. B.E. Kelly, in this city at 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, November 20. He had been ailing for about a month. When he came here from Estherville to visit his daughter several weeks ago he had a cold. This did not seem to leave him and he became quite ill, and gradually grew weaker. The infirmity of age seems, really to have been the cause of his death. The body will be taken to Estherville this evening. Funeral services will be conducted in the Catholic church at that place Thursday morning by Rev. C.P. Conway and interment made in the cemetery there.

M.C. Kirby was born in the county of Limerick, Ireland on September 16, 1841. He came to America in 1864, locating in New York for a short time and then moving to Michigan. He returned to New York, where in April, 1866 he united in marriage to Miss Mary Ryan, who also came from Ireland. They came direct to Iowa and located at Iowa City. In the fall they moved to Tipton, where they made their home until 1899, when Mr. Kirby retired, and they established their home at Estherville.

There were three children born to Mr. and Mrs. Kirby. The youngest son, W.C. Kirby died in January, 1905. J.P. Kirby of Estherville and Mrs. B.E. Kelly of this city survive their parents. Mrs. Kirby died September 2, 1919.

We regret being called upon to chronicle the death of Mr. Kirby. We knew him well and admired him for the many manly traits of character he possessed. He was earnest, honest and sincere. He was open and fearless in the defense of the things he believed. There was not a trace of deception or cunning in his nature. He was intelligent and read a great deal. Few men of his age were as well posted on public questions and he took a keen interest in the affairs of the world. He was a benevolent old gentleman and greatly prized his friendships and his friends.

He was an upright, charitable, Christian gentleman. All his life he was a devoted member of the Catholic church and was faithful in the practice of every duty.

Mr. Kirby visited Emmetsburg a great deal and had a wide acquaintance here. Those who knew him admired and respected him.

One by one the elderly people are passing on, and as they go, we recall the events of their lives and the elements of their sterling qualities, then we realize how under the handicaps of pioneer life they struggled – how willingly, earnestly, hopefully they labored and built that we might profit by their effort. They were men of hope and expectancy, of enterprise and energy, of faith, vision and courage. They labored unselfishly and accomplished much. They laid the foundation upon which we are now building. We are indebted to them more than we really know. Mr. Kirby was among these men. He did well his part in his home and in public life. With no pretentions or ostentation, his life’s work was well and faithfully done.

His children will be able to recall no act in his life which would cause them any regret. His memory is one they may cherish with pride.

In their sorrow the Tribune extends to them sincere sympathy. (Palo Alto Tribune, Emmetsburg, IA, November 21, 1923)


Emmet Obituaries maintained by LaVern Velau.
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