Remembering the legacy of Stettler businessman Thomas John Kirby

Kirby was an active member of the community

In June of 1958, former mayor and local businessman Thomas John Kirby, was laid to rest at the Lakeview Cemetery here in town.

Kirby was born in Belmore, Ontario in December of 1886. He arrived in Calgary in 1912. While in Calgary, Kirby married Miss Anne Bernadette Kelly. Sometime after, the Kirbys moved to Three Hills where Kirby engaged in the hardware business.

In 1926, they arrived in Stettler. At that time, he entered into the oil business, before purchasing Stettler Hardware. In 1947, he would change Stettler Hardware to Marshall-Wells, and as part of the new store, he completely remodeled the Main Street building.

Unfortunately, the remodeled store would burn down in in January of 1948, along with Jenkins Groceteria and Fit-Rite Shoes. During the eight months that the new Marshall-Wells building was being constructed, Kirby shared a space with Jenkins’ Groceteria in the Club Café building which had not burned down because if its solid firewall.

Kirby was an active member of the community. He sat on town council as well as acted as mayor from 1939 to 1945. Among the many things that he did as mayor, Kirby would travel to Montreal to witness the official launching of the HMCS Stettler. He was also noted as being a former Rotary President and a member of the Knights of Columbus.

He passed away while in the Stettler Municipal Hospital. He was predeceased by his wife who had died in 1957. He left behind his children Frances and Mary.

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