In addition to holding a prominent place in business and banking circles in Woonsocket, John Francis Kirby has made a wide circle of friends through his activities in various fraternal organizations, of which he is an active and well-known member. John Francis Kirby was born November 29, 1890, at Woonsocket, and is the son of John H. Kirby, now retired, who was born at South Walpole, Massachusetts, and Bridget (Kirrane) Kirby, born in Woonsocket. John H. Kirby was for twenty-five years a member of the board of assessors of Woonsocket.
John F. Kirby first attended the parochial schools, then St. Charles’ School, from which he graduated with the class of 1904, and later La Salle Academy, from which he graduated in 1908. He then entered Holy Cross College, receiving his degree in 1912. He made his entrance into the business world in Boston, first with an investment house, and then as an accountant for the Manville Jencks Company. In 1915 he started in business for himself as an insurance agent, and two years later added real estate. In 1916 he became the first manager of the Morris Plan Bank in Woonsocket. This position he filled with success, until October 13, 1917, when, on account of the World War, he resigned to enter military service. He was with the 301st Engineering Corps at Camp Devens, and attended the Officers’ Training School, receiving a commission as second lieutenant. He was then transferred to Camp Lee with the 155th Brigade and was promoted to the rank of first lieutenant. On receiving his discharge, March 3, 1919, he returned to Woonsocket and again became associated with the Morris Plan Bank. He also continued his insurance business, in which he is still engaged with his brother, C. L. Kirby. He is a member of the board of managers of the Woonsocket office of the Rhode Island Trust Company, a director of the Morris Plan Bank of Rhode Island, appraiser for the United States Bond and Mortgage Company, and has served as president of the Woonsocket Chamber of Commerce. Representing the Republican party, he served in the State Legislature from 1920 to 1922. At present (1931) he is one of the members of the Board of Education of Woonsocket.
Mr. Kirby takes a prominent part in the activities of various fraternal and social organizations of the city. He is a member of the Knights of Columbus, the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, and also serves as a member of the board of governors of the City Qub. He is a Past Commander of the Andrew F. Young Post, No. 3, of the American Legion, and is an active member of the Holy Cross Alumni Association, at present (1931) serving on four of the alumni associations. In religion, Mr. Kirby is a Roman Catholic, belonging to St. Charles’ Parish.
John Francis Kirby married Melora Farley, of Woonsocket, Rhode Island, a daughter of Edward and Delvina (LaCroix) Farley. Their children are:
- John Edwards Kirby.
- Richard Farley Kirby.
- Aileen Francis Kirby.
Source: Carroll, Charles. Rhode Island: Three Centuries of Democracy, vol 3 of 4. New York: Lewis historical Pub. Co., 1932.