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Kirby, Paul and Pearl

Paul Kirby
February 4, 1912 - April 14, 1991

Pearl Eugenia Davis Kirby
September 10, 1912 - December 29, 1967

Paul Kirby (his full name was Ransom Paul Kirby) was born on February 4, 1912, the son of Ransom Pitts Kirby and Melinda Stancil Kirby.

Paul grew up in a large family with eleven siblings and half-siblings. His father Ransom Pitts Kirby owned considerable farmland and produced primarily tobacco and cotton. Ransom had a large two-story house with dormers and a wide porch on two sides. It is now long gone, but it stood in Wilson County on Highway 581 just east of its intersections with the present US Highway 301 Business and, at that time, the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad.

Paul graduated from Kenly High School and studied business at Louisburg College, graduating in 1933. He returned home after college and married Pearl Eugenia Davis in 1934. They settled on a farm near Ransom, just off Highway 581 on what is now known as Kirby Road. Paul and Pearl raised two sons, Rodger Paul Kirby and Sammy R. Kirby. Their first child, Paul Douglas, died shortly after his birth.

Their farm produced tobacco and hogs. During tobacco selling time in the fall, Paul worked in the office of Wainwright’s Warehouse in Wilson. Paul loved fishing, whether in local ponds, on White Oak River near the coast, or from the fishing piers of Atlantic Beach. He built a pond on his own farm stocked with bass and bream, which was greatly enjoyed by the family.

Pearl died suddenly on December 29, 1967. Paul felt this loss the rest of his life, but he continued to live and work on the farm, and he eventually remarried to Pearl’s sister Bertha Davis Cockrell. When he retired from farming, the farm was taken over by his son Rodger.

Paul was a member and deacon of the Upper Black Creek Primitive Baptist Church. He died April 14, 1991, and is buried in Evergreen Memorial Gardens in Wilson, beside Pearl. His church wrote an obituary for the church minutes describing Paul as “one who got things done without attention to himself, and above all strove to uphold the peace, welfare, and order of the church…”

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