GEORGE KIRBY SR. was the son of Cyrus Kirby, who was a native of Kentucky. In the year 1809 Cyrus Kirby emigrated from Kentucky to the territory of Illinois, and settled in Madison county. On the 20th of December, in the year of 1812, George Kirby was born, in Madison county, Illinois. In the year 1820, when the subject of this sketch was eight years old, Cyrus Kirby removed from Madison county to Clary's Grove in Menard county and settled there. Some years later George Kirby bought land in Sand Ridge, Menard county, and settled there and continued to live there till the time of his death. On the 23rd of October, 1834, Mr. Kirby was joined in marriage to Miss Dorcas Atterberry, who was born April 22, 1816. To this union were born eight children: John Kirby, born September 8, 1835; Daniel, born December 20, 1836; Nancy, born August 31, 1838; Samuel, born March 5, 1841; William, born December 31, 1842; Matilda, born June 29, 1844; Mary Jane, born October 11, 1846; George Kirby, Jr., born September 27, 1849.
George Kirby was a splendid specimen of that grand class of men, sturdy, honest and enterprising, who by their honesty, intelligence, devotion and industry made possible the rich inheritance that their posterity enjoy today. I fear that we can not properly appreciate the work of the men and women who carved out this rich legacy for us. No nobler band of men and women ever lived in any land than those who opened up this country and started it on the way to success. George Kirby was a man of sterling integrity and unwavering honesty, ever ready to lend his aid in any good and righteous cause. He was not a member of any church, but he respected good men, reverenced God, and his influence was always on the side of right living and moral rectitude. Mr. Kirby lived within two miles of his life long friend, S. D. Masters, for over fifty-three years. There was only twenty-three days difference in the date of their birth, and only twenty-three days difference in the death. Mr. Kirby was one of the prominent factors in the development of this part of Illinois. No man was ever turned hungry from his door, and every good and benevolent enterprise found in him an ardent and liberal supporter.
He left one sister still living at the advanced age of ninety-six years, Mrs. Lucinda Watkins. Another sister, Mrs. Matilda Watkins, is still living at the age of seventy-nine years. These sisters are the eldest and youngest of their family. Mr. Kirby died at about ninety-two years of age. At the graves of these grand pioneers we stand with uncovered heads, with gratitude contemplate the monument they erected to themselves in the development of this fair land, in which we see on every hand the impress of their genius, intelligence, industry and love.