Kirby Memorial Health Center

Angeline Elizabeth Kirby Memorial Health Center

Fred Morgan Kirby was the benefactor for the Angeline Elizabeth Kirby Memorial Health Center. He was the son of William and Angeline Elizabeth Kirby and was born in Brownsville, New York in 1861. He attended public school in Watertown, New York until the age of 14. He then became employed by Moore and Smith as an errand boy.
Angeline Elizabeth Kirby
He received steady promotions and while developing a sound knowledge of the dry goods business and merchandising principles, he eventually attained the position of bookkeeper. At this time, he became closely associated with C.S. and F.W. Woolworth, with whom he was destined to open a new page in mercantile history through the founding of the Five-and-Ten-Cent stores. In 1884, Fred M. Kirby and C.S. Woolworth combined their accumulated earnings of a few hundred dollars and opened a Five-and-Ten-Cent Store at 172 W. Market Street in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania.

Three years later, Fred M. Kirby purchased the interest of C.S. Woolworth and persuaded his father to become his partner. The firm reorganized as F.M. and W. Kirby. The volume of business steadily increased. By 1912, the Kirbys operated 96 stores east of the Mississippi River. At that time, the business interests were merged with F.W. Woolworth Co. and Fred M. Kirby became the Vice President of that corporation.
Fred Morgan Kirby
Even as director of over twenty large corporations, Mr. Kirby still found time to take interest in civic improvement, humanitarian development, and philanthropic projects –one of these being the Angeline Elizabeth Kirby Memorial Health Center. The Health Center was built in memory of Fred M. Kirby’s mother, Angeline Elizabeth Kirby, whose inspirational life gave it its purpose. She was an ideal homemaker of remarkably strong character tempered with understanding and affection – “no case of suffering or distress came to her notice that did not receive consideration and practical help where possible.” This building was erected and dedicated with the earnest hope that it may be a benefit to and make life more enjoyable for all people.

“When you see the building and think about it, please remember it is erected to commemorate the memory of a woman who had one of the most beautiful Christian characters the world has ever seen.”