Kirby is eight miles west of Upper Sandusky and was on the P. Ft. W. & C. R.R. In 1880 it had a population 294 persons.
This village is situated in the northeast corner of the Jackson twp., Wyandot county. It sits on the line between Jackson & Mifflin twps. It was surveyed by Dr. J. H. Williams for M. H. Kirby. The Pittsburgh, Fort Wayne & Chicago Railroad passes through the village. It has become quite a prosperous place, and is surrounded by a fine agricultural and stockraising district. It was laid out in 1854, and the first store was kept by Philip and Frederick Hineman. Population in 1880: 294.1
The railroad passes through the northern division, entering at Kirby Village (where there is a station), in the northeast corner of Section 1, and leaving at the southwest angle of Section 4, it enters Hardin County a short distance from Forest, where the Cincinnati, Sandusky & Cleveland Railroad crosses it.2
The Church of God, sometimes called "Kirby Bethel", stands at the edge but within the precinct of Kirby Village, was organized in 1855 by Moses Coates, missionary of the Church of God in Ohio.3 The church was abandoned by 1937.
In Kirby Precinct, for Governor (1879), Charles Foster, 53; Thomas Ewing, 191; Gideon T. Stewart, none; A. Sanders Piatt, none; total votes, 244. For Secretary of State (1880), Charles Townsend, 61; William Lang, 192; Charles A. Lloyd, none; William H. Doane, none; total vote, 253. For President (1880), James A. Garfield, 67; Winfield S. Hancock, 210; total vote, 279.4
The St. Mary's Parish organization dates back to the year 1861. Rev. Patrick Henneberg of New Reigel was the first to visit the Catholics of Kirby. Mass was read in private dwellings, especially in the spacious storerooms of Mr. _ Ensminger. The first inpulse towards the building of a church was the donation of one and a half acres for this purpose by Mr. _ Freas. In 1863 by the united efforts of all the heads of the families, especially Nic Noel, John Brimeyer, and Mr. Ensminger, who formed the first council, a frame church was begun and enclosed.
On account of financial difficulties it could not be finished until the next year, when George Thiel, an active member, was elected councilman, who passed the matter and made many a sacrifice in traversing the neighboring towns, collecting for this church. The church was situatied on Main street, and was 50x35 feet. Then in 1874 a pastoral residence was built. Then came the school which was very necessary and again Rev. _ Rosenberg made many an appeal until his efforts were crowned with success. The building of the school was commenced in 1879 and completed the fcollowing year by the succeeding pastor, Rev. John Mizer.
The school opened with about 60 children. A small piece of ground next to the church was used as a cemetery. However, this being within the corporation and no suitable place, a piece of land containing two and three-quarters acres was purchased for a cemetery in the year 1881.
In 1890 a new brick church was built on the three lots north of the pastoral residence; these were partly donated by Paul Bricher. Bricks had been procured for the new church about three years previously.
In 1904 a frame pastoral residence was built, at a cost of about $3,200 and was still in use by 1993.
During the year 1918 St. Mary's school served for some time as headquarters for the Kirby Red Cross Auxiliary. In 1937 there were about 75 families in the parish with about 60 children in the school. Rev. F.A. Abair was the pastor at the time.
1History of Wyandot County, Ohio, Ch.5, p. 832, Jackson township - 834, '1884.
2ibid, p. 833, '1884.
3ibid, p. 832, Jackson township - 834, '1884.
5Plat Book and History of Wyandot County Ohio (Sandusky, OH) 1937, p. 92.