From the 17 April 1873 Wyandot County Republican:
From the Hillsboro Gazette
Memoir Of Dr. Jacob Kirby
On the "dial-plate" of time, Death, ever and anon, moves his ceaseless
minute hand past the last hour of life allotted to every human being on
On yesterday that hand completed "the measure of the days" of one who,
"by reason of strength," had traveled the weary pathways of human
existence for more that "three score and ten;" and to-day the living
have been called upon to consign to the grave, where "there is no work,
nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom," the last remains of Dr. Jacob
Dr. Kirby and his twin brother, Col. Moses H. Kirby, of Upper Sandusky,
Ohio, were born in Halifax county, Virginia, on the 21st day of May
1798, the children of Obediah and Ruth Kirby, who were of the "Orthodox
Friends" persuasion. Obediah Kirby died in 1808, in Halifax county,
Virginia, leaving his wife and five sons surviving him.
In 1814 the widow, with her four surviving sons (the eldest, Samuel,
having been killed in the defense of Norfolk, Virginia, in the War of
1812), removed from Virginia and settled in Hillsboro, Ohio where she
remained for some times, until after the marriage of her sons, with whom
she made her home alternately, until 1838, when she deceased at the
house of her son John in Upper Sandusky, Ohio.
The widowed mother bestowed all her energy and means in giving her twin
sons a liberal education. At and early age they were sent to a
classical school taught by the Rev. James Gilleland, near Ripley, Ohio,
where they were prepared for college and from that school were sent by
their mother to the University of North Carolina, at Chapel Hill, where
they graduated in 1819.
After the study of his profession, Jacob was sent to Transylvania
University, Lexington, Kentucky, in the Medical Department of which he
graduated in 1823, Dr. Dudley being at the time President.
After his return from Transylvania University, he commenced the
practice of Medicine in Hillsboro, O., in partnership with Dr. Jasper
Hand, an eminent and highly educated physician from Philadelphia; and
from 1823 up to his last illness, among his various other public duties,
Dr. Jacob Kirby cautiously pursued the practice of his profession, in
this county, in the most laborious, successful and unselfish manner.
On the 28th of February 1825 Dr. Kirby was united by marriage to Rachel
Woodrow, second daughter of Joshua and Nancy Woodrow, of Hillsboro,
From 1829 to 1835 he, with Hiram Campbell, now of Ironton, Ohio,
controlled and edited the Hillsboro Gazette.
In 1834 he was elected to the House of Representatives, and in 1835 to
the State Senate from the counties of Highland and Fayette.
Moses H. Kirby, the twin brother studied law with the late General
Richard Collins, and after his admission to the Bar, he was appointed
Prosecuting Attorney, 1825, for this county and continued in that office
until 1830; and he also Represented this county in the Legislature in
1826, '27 and '30, when, during this last term of service, he was
elected Secretary Of State, and after the expiration of his term of
office as secretary, he never made Highland county his home. At this
period the dual life of the twin brothers in their joint and several
action and influence in this county ceases; but though though separated
their love, like that of David and Jonathan, "was wonderful," as was
evinced by Col. Kirby's touching remark, after the burial of his
brother, "I feel like half of me is gone!"
Dr. Kirby, by his marriage with Miss Rachel Woodrow, (who was also of
Quaker parentage), became united with a large and influential family,
and by the joint "birthright" of himself and wife, with the Friends, was
always devoted to that people, and they to him.
He left surviving him his widow, Rachael Kirby and two daughters, Mrs.
Ann Smith, wife of Dr. Wm. R. Smith, and their four children; Miss
Lizzie Kirby, the youngest daughter and also the children of his second
daughter, (deceased,) Mrs. Ruth Pugsley, former wife of Mr. Walter
Pugsley, all of whom were as profound mourners at his death as they had
been in every relation devoted to him in his life.
And it is but just to the memory of Dr. Kirby to say, that in the
relation of son, husband and father, he cherished the most sensitive
regard and care, though studiously obscured from the observation of the
Such is na outline of the striking facts in the history of one whose
character was well defined by individuality. With a nature exceedingly
sensitive, he approached the discharge of every public duty with
caution, but yet with a quiet determination and industrious purpose to
accomplish whatsoever on any occasion, seemed to him to be his duty.
Unobtrusive in his manners, and utterly void of policy, he possessed
the are of attaching to him, in all classes of society, and among a wide
circle of acquaintances in the State a peculiar confidence and esteem.
Eccentric in his manners and expressions of thought, he frequently
appeared to disdain the conventionalities of society; yet at the same
time, he was remarkably refined in his feeling possessing a keen
appreciation of kindness, and almost a morbid aversion to giving
His innocent, unselfish honesty grappled to him with hooks of steel the
confidence of all who consulted him; wether in his profession or about
their troubles, and his undoubted scholarship, made him a champion on
all occasions--in the cause ??? (think it cut off)