Originally named Pontiac before the name change, Kirkwood is located halfway between Sidney to the north and Piqua to the south in neighboring Miami County. The original Dayton and Michigan Railroad, later B&O, Chessie System, and now CSX Transportation runs through Kirkwood. The rural community is visible from Interstate 75 as an overpass over Kirkwood Road, although no exit for Kirkwood exits.
The offices for Orange Township are located in Kirkwood.
The Kirkwood Grain Company, built by William Berry in 1812, was closed in 1981 and subsequently demolished. Shelby Crop Service, later Estech, closed in the mid-1980s.
The remains of the agriculture business, a fertilizer distribution center located on River Road, went through several name changes since 1987 from the former Estech to Kaiser-Estech, IMC, Vigoro, Royster-Clark and presently Crop Production Services. The offices and warehouse of the former Shelby Crop Service became home to industrial lumber business Wappoo Wood Products Incorporated in 1987. The Miami River Stone Company is also located in Kirkwood with its divisions Sidney Sand and Gravel and Western Ohio Cut Stone Company (now part of Barrett Paving Materials Inc.)at the western terminus of Kirkwood Road, near the Great Miami River.
The abandoned I.O.O.F. lodge was destroyed by a fire in the spring of 2007.