Wednesday, November 30, 2011

A Brief Look at Abilene's Historic Buildings: the Kirby House, Abilene Club

The Jeffcoat Photography Studio Museum is currently featuring the exhibit City on the Plains: A Look at Abilene Architecture until early January.  The following is a brief look at the Kirby House, which at one point was known as the Abilene Club.

Courtesy of the Jeffcoat Photography Studio Museum
Thomas Kirby was an Abilene banker who began his career working for another prominent banker, Conrad H. Lebold. Kirby built his home on the original site of the home of the father of the cattle town, Joseph G. McCoy. In later years, the home underwent a major redesign to become the Abilene Club, a men’s social club for Abilene businessmen. This group was a precursor to the Abilene Area Chamber of Commerce. Years later, the building was redesigned to return it to its original state, as it appears now.


  1. Hi! In light of the recent loss of the Thomas Kirby House, I was wondering if you had any additional information or photographs that you could share about the home, the family, and their connections to other prominent residents? I wasn't aware that Kirby worked for Lebold, but I suppose it's not surprising considering how much smaller the town was in the 1880s. Do you know how long they lived here or why they left? I'd be curious to learn more about where they ended up, but I haven't had much luck locating information online. I did find another Thomas Kirby House built in 1889 in Idaho and wondered if this was the same family or simply coincidence. Now that the most tangible piece of his legacy is gone, I'd be interested to read more about the man that left such a beautiful mark on Abilene. Thank you!! Bridgette

    1. Hi Bridgette!
      Due to last night's fire I am planning on writing another post with expanded information on Thomas Kirby and the history of the building, with additional photos as well. Thanks for your questions. There really isn't much about the Kirby family online, so we hope to alleviate that very soon.

    2. Bridgette,

      I just created a new post which should answer your questions about Thomas Kirby and the Kirby House. Feel free to leave a comment on either of these articles if you have more questions!