Fanny, youngest daughter of George and Jane Leak, was born June 30th, 1831, in Duffield, Yorkshire, England. She was married to John Kirby, December 23, 1850. Soon afterward they came to America and chose Illinois as the place to establish their home. In the year 1883 they settled in what, through the years since, has been known as “the Kirby Home,” and from which both have been translated to the home beyond the stars; the husband, November 27, 1909, and his companion just as the pendulum of time marked the early hour of May 12, 1922.
There were born to this husband and wife two sons and four daughters, two of whom, Miss Anna on August 10, 1902, and Miss Emma, October 18, 1915, were also translated to the heavenly home. The sons, William and George, the other daughters, Miss Rachel, and Mrs. W. T. Mulligan, three grandchildren, Marjorie and Kirby Mulligan, are the living representatives of this home, who, with four nieces and eight nephews and a host of Christian friends, on this Mother's Day pay tribute, just tribute, to the saintly woman and Mother, who having “served her generation by the will of God,” has gone to “join the choir invisible”, of those immortal dead who live again.”
Mrs. Kirby, early in life recognized the claims of Christ and became an earnest follower of Him as Her Lord and Master. She united with the Methodist Episcopal church and was one of the charter members of the Durbin church. She expressed her Christianity by being a true wife, a kind and loving mother, a sincere friend, and by a life of earnest ministry in behalf of her loved ones, her neighbors and friends, and by thorough devotion to the work of the church as long as her health permitted.
Her last illness began the fifteenth of last March, yet during the long, weary days, and sleepless nights since, she was uncomplaining, retained consciousness, was cheerful, glad to see and talk with her friends, and asked them to meet her in her eternal home. As the things temporal receded things eternal seemed more real to her. She expressed an abiding faith in the verities of the gospel and rejoiced in a hope of a blessed immortality and “undimmed by sorrow and unhurt by time.”