Moses H. Kirby

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Moses H. Kirby
Moses H. Kirby (Mason).jpg
3rd Ohio Secretary of State
In office
Preceded by Jeremiah McLene
Succeeded by Benjamin B. Hinkson
Member of the Ohio Senate
from the 31st district
In office
January 5, 1880 – January 6, 1884
Preceded by John Seitz
Succeeded by J. H. Williston
Member of the Ohio House of Representatives
from the Highland County district
In office
December 4, 1826 – November 30, 1828
Preceded by Moses Patterson
Succeeded by Moses Patterson
In office
December 7, 1829 – 1831
Preceded by Moses Patterson
Succeeded by David Reese
Personal details
Born (1798-05-21)May 21, 1798
Halifax County, Virginia
Died March 3, 1889(1889-03-03) (aged 90)
Upper Sandusky, Ohio
Political party Whig, Republican
Spouse(s) Emma Miner
Children three sons
Alma mater University of North Carolina
Religion Quaker

Moses H. Kirby (May 21, 1798 – March 3, 1889) was a politician in the U.S. State of Ohio who first served in the Ohio House of Representatives in 1826, was the third Ohio Secretary of State, and was a State Senator as late as 1884, 57 years after he first served in the Statehouse.


Moses H. Kirby was born in Halifax County, Virginia. He and his twin brother, Jacob, were the third and fourth of five sons of Quakers Obediah and Ruth (Hendrix) Kirby.[1][2] Obediah died in 1808 in Halifax County.[1][2] The oldest son died in the War of 1812,[1] and Ruth and the four remaining sons moved to Hillsboro, Highland County, Ohio in 1814.[1] Ruth sent Moses and Jacob to a classical school in Ripley, Ohio, and to the University of North Carolina, where they graduated in 1819.[1]

Moses Kirby studied law, and after admission to the bar, he was appointed Prosecuting Attorney of Highland County 1825–1830.[1] He also was elected a member of the Ohio House of Representatives off and on from 1826 to 1831.[3] While in the Assembly in 1831, he was elected by the assembly as the third Ohio Secretary of State on the sixth ballot over six competitors.[4] He served until 1834.


Kirby re-located to near Upper Sandusky in what would later become Wyandot County, Ohio after the end of his term. There, he was a lawyer, and agent to the Wyandot reservation, until their removal from the state.[5] He was among the first residents of the town after the Indians removed in 1843.[6] The first meeting of the Court of Common Pleas in the newly formed Wyandot County was held in Kirby's office in 1845.[7] He also was receiver of public money at the Federal Land Office in Upper Sandusky, under appointment of President John Tyler.[8]

Kirby was a Whig until that party dissolved, when he became a Republican.[8] He served at an advanced age in the Ohio State Senate, 1880–1884.[3]

Kirby married Emma Miner.[2] Their three sons all participated in the American Civil War.[8] Kirby may have been the oldest living Freemason in the state[8] when he died March 3, 1889 in Upper Sandusky,[2] or perhaps in 1893.[8]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Obituary of Kirby's Twin Brother, Wyandot County Republican, April 17, 1873
  2. ^ a b c d Family Tree Maker
  3. ^ a b Ohio General Assembly (1917). Manual of legislative practice in the General Assembly. State of Ohio. pp. 245, 248, 262, 266. 
  4. ^ Taylor, William Alexander; Taylor, Aubrey Clarence (1899). Ohio statesmen and annals of progress: from the year 1788 to the year 1900 ... State of Ohio. p. 151. 
  5. ^ Knapp, H S (1878). History of the Maumee Valley: commencing with its occupation by the French in 1680. Toledo. p. 485. 
  6. ^ Winter, Nevin O (1917). A History of Northwest Ohio. 1. Lewis Publishing Company. p. 654. 
  7. ^ Baughman, A J, ed. (1913). Past and present of Wyandot County, Ohio: a record of settlement ... 1. Chicago: S J Clarke Co. 
  8. ^ a b c d e Smith, Joseph P, ed. (1898). History of the Republican Party in Ohio. I. Chicago: the Lewis Publishing Company. p. 763. 
Political offices
Preceded by
Jeremiah McLene
Secretary of State of Ohio
Succeeded by
Benjamin B. Hinkson