by Marcia Napier, Grain Valley Historical Society
With a little help from Ancestry.com, the family can be traced back to the early 1700s, when David Kirby came to America from England. But I will start with one of his sons, Jesse Kirby, who was born in Virginia in 1757, fought in the Revolutionary War, and was around in 1776 when our nation was formed.
In 1778 he married Sophie Choice, moved to Kentucky and together they raised eleven children. One of their sons, Major Willian “Bill” Kirby fought in the Spanish American War before marrying Lavinia Anderson on February 24, 1806 in Warren County Kentucky. They had seven children, including William Wyatt Kirby and Julia Ann Kirby (Herrington). After Lavinia’s death, he married Clarinda Herrington Doak, Julia Ann’s sister-in-law. Are you confused yet?
William Wyatt’s eldest son, William Robert was born in Bowling Green, Kentucky in 1831.
Like his father and grandfather, he was a farmer. But, not contented to be a farmer, he headed West. He was in Texas from 1857 to 1865 and California from 1865 to early 1868 before settling in Jackson County near Buckner. On October 7, 1868 he married a Grain Valley girl, Susan Rebecca Capelle .
Together they raised four children on their farm located on land that is now part of Lake City. Their eldest son, Edward Early Kirby, moved into Grain Valley. He was the namesake for E. E. Kirby Road. In the 1920s, he was the Jackson County clerk before moving to the Raytown area to become a successful fruit grower.
Sallie Kirby married Luther J. Slaughter (the namesake for Slaughter Road). Truston Wyatt Kirby moved to Independence and Durwood Britton Kirby bought a 70-acre farm on Buckner Tarsney Road where he raise Hereford cattle, and Berkshire hogs, and mules which he sold to the U. S. Calvary during World War I.
After Durwood’s first wife, Susan A. House, died, he married Rose Hicklin in 1915. In 1920, they torn down the old farmhouse and replaced it with the two-story stone house. The stones for the house came from house the Buckner Rock Quarry, north of their home on Spring Branch Road (later Truman Road).
Together they had two children, Durwood Hicklin “Hick” and Emily Rose Overall. Emily’s daughter, Barbara alone with her husband, John Washburn, live in the house just south of her grandfather’s farm.
Side note: Julia Ann Kirby became my great, great, great grandmother when she married Clinton B. Herrington. Their oldest son, Merrick Marion Herrington is buried in the Grain Valley Cemetery, originally known as the Herrington Cemetery.
Many of the early families at Stony Point, Pink Hill, and Grain Valley came from Warren and Simpson counties in Kentucky. If you lived in Grain Valley in the mid-1900s, you were probably distantly related to nearly everyone!
This 100-year old house is one of the last remnants of the Kirby family properties in Grain Valley. Located on Buckner Tarsney at Truman Road, it was the home of Rose and Durwood Kirby.
Photo credit: Grain Valley Historical Society