JAMES KIRK, a substantial farmer and highly respected citizen of Ross Township, still lives on the place on which he was born, May 25, 1833. His parents were John and Mary (Taylor) Kirk. His grandfather, Michael Kirk, was born in Ireland and there was married to Elizabeth Graham. They had four children, Theophilus, William, Susan and John. When they came to America they stopped for a short time in Pennsylvania and came from there Columbiana County, Ohio, residing near Wellsville for some four or five years. Micharl Kirk, with his son John, then took up a quarter section of land in Brooke County, West Virginia, but owing to a clouded title lost it and came then to Ross Township, Jefferson County, Ohio. Here he bought 160 acres to which he subsequently added another 160 acre tract and he resided here subsequently until his death, at the age of seventy years. He was a Methodist in religious faith and was interred in the cemetery that lies adjacent to the Circle Green Church, although the church edifice had not yet been out up.
John Kirk, son of Michael and father of James, was four years old when the family came from Ireland and he remained at home and grew to manhood before coming to Jefferson County about 1816. He had to clear much of the land. in 1835 he erected the present brick residence, which was probably the second house in the township of any pretentions. He was a Whig in his early voting days but later became a Republican and served occassionally in township offices. He married Mary Taylor, a native of Jefferson County and a daughter of Edward Taylor, and they had twelve children born to them, namely: Edward T., Michael, Eleanor, Elizabeth, Hewitt, William, Susanna, John W.; Jane, who died aged one year; James, Mary Jane and one that died unnamed. John Kirk was eighty-seven years old at the time of his death, while his wife was eighty-three. They were valued members of the Circle Green Church and were buried in that cemetery.
James Kirk was given the usual school advantages that country boys had in his youth and from that time on worked on the home farm continuing to live with his father and mother and to care for them after his own marriage. He helped in all the improvements and when they passed away the property became his. He has 490 acres, a part of which is in Springfield Township but the main portion lies in Ross Township.
Mr. Kirk married Eleanor Taylor, a daughter of Thomas and Ann Taylor, and they have had the following children: Thomas, who lives at Pittsburgh, Pa.; John, who resides at Richmond, O.; Anna, Mary, Edward T. and Harry, all of whom are at home; William P., who resides at Monnessen, Pa.; and James Burt, who is deceased. Mr. Kirk votes with the Republican party. He has never accepted that of school director and served one term. With his family he belongs to the Circle Green M. E. Church.