Note: N129 Don Kirk grew up in Illinois and had a twin brother Bonum or Bonnie, who he refers to in the below 1966 letter.
My mother said Don was a commodities trader in the Chicago area. After his wife Anna's death in 1954 he continued to keep in touch with my mother Virginia and wrote her many wonderful letters which my mom kept. He sounded like a very funny and warm-hearted man.
Here is a sample of his letters to Mom: At the time of Mom & Dad's wedding in 1941, Uncle Don sent Mom a letter from his address at A608 Beacon, Chicago, Ill.:
May 14, 1941
My Dear Virginia: I had wanted very much to accept your kind invitation to the wedding next Saturday, but so many things have intervened that it now looks impossible so I thought I Had better write and let you know about it. I wouldn't want you to hold up the ceremony just waiting for me to get there and then me not show up. A girl gets married for the first time only once or so in a lifetime and I wouldn't want to be the cause of your missing out on anything like that. I understand your father is going to give you away. I was a little surprised to hear that because it was only a few years ago that almost any kind of girl was worth at least a couple of ponies or a blanket or two and the husky ones would bring alot more than that. But times change and I suppose that they are harder to get rid of know than they used to be, and maybe he didn't have time to shop around very much. But if I had known the market was so bad I might have been willing to make some kind of modest offer myself. But I wouldn't feel too badly about it if I were you, because they tell me that over in Europe they can't even give them away. They have to pay the guy to take them. In England they call it a dowry or a dot. But from what I have heard about some of them, I think I would want alot more than a dot. It would be worth at least six pages of punctuation marks, mostly dollar signs. But I am hoping that maybe you will come out alright anyway because I read the other day that some woman out west rented her husband out for only a year for ten thousand dollars. Of course he was a little older and naturally we older ones are more desirable. So maybe if you take time to look around a little you make out alright after all, although I guess alot of wives would be glad to play it the other way around. But anyway I wanted to say that I have always thought very highly of my nieces and I am sure that you are entitled to and will have all happiness. I am sorry I can't be there to toss a little rice and maybe fling an old boot or two, although my aim isn't as good as it used to be. You must give my regards to Minerva and to your mother and father and when you get a chance drop in on us.
Affectionately Best Wishes,
Your Uncle Don
P.S. If you get a chance you might just whisper to your Aunt Anna and just kinda hint around that the boarding at this joint down here doesn't seem quite as good as it was and the service has become something fierce. D.K. ______________
A much later letter to Mom from Uncle Don:
Saturday, Dec. 17, 1966
To My Dear Virginia, Bob & family: Thank you for your splendid letter and Christmas card. I enjoyed very much hearing about your giving family. I am sorry I can't tell anything anywhere nearly as entertaining. I hesitate to try to write because My writing never was any good and since last summer it seems to be even worse. I don't remember whether or not I wrote you that I had a really rugged summer. My twin brother passed away in February and shortly after that my older sister had a stroke and lay in St. Mary's hospital for several weeks in a coma. She passed away in Aug. and Vida felt that she had to go over every day to look after her. Of course she didn't but she thought so. So I spent most of my time down there in Kankee keeping Vida company and dashing back to Chicago about once a week to look after this place up here. And it was hot. In the meantime Vida has developed something of a growth in the ovary and had an operation to have it removed. So there was double shock there and Vida hasn't recovered fully yet either. She has been taking chemical treatments down in Champaign now for several weeks. So I kept house for her down in Kankakee for several weeks til I got completely wore out and came back here to Chicago, I think early in October, to rest up. I take vitamins and I'm still tired. However, I have managed to do a little cleaning and decorating and my place sometimes looks halfway presentable. I expect to eat Christmas dinner down in Champaign. We have a flood of nieces, nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews, etc. down there and I've been invited carelessly, so they know about it. Of course I will have to take some things but they don't know about that part yet. Maybe I am the one who should get out of town. Once that thing is that after spending all summer down at Kankakee I have lost all my girfriends - both of them. And I am the only one it bothers. They seem happy enough about it. (Too much so.) We have been having dark smoggy weather and on dark days my vision isn't quite so good. I have been trying to write to Minerva for several weeks, but in these dark short days I just don't like to start on it. Every year my vision does seem to improve a little and I think it will be back to normal by the time I reach 100. So I am going to stop now and of course you know I am wishing all of you the best.
P.S. I had intended to enclose this letter in the Christmas card envelope and then thoughtlessly sealed the envelope. Lucky you. You get two Christmas messages.
P.P.S. Just got a splendid picture of Malcolm's family. Dandy. ____________________
DEATH NOTICE Kirk
"Donald D. Kirk of 4608 N. Beacon street, Nov. 6, 1968, husband of the late Anna Kirk; uncle of Mary Ann Kesler, Alfred E., Thornton R., Bon L. Jr., and Colleen J. Kirk, all of Champaign, Ill. At Lair and Son Chapel, 5501 N. Ashland avenue, after 7 p. m. Friday, where services will be held Saturday, Nov. 9, at 2 p. m. Interment Irving Park."
OBITUARY Donald D. Kirk
"Services for Donald D. Kirk, 82, of 4608 Beacon St., will be held at 2 p. m. tomorrow in the chapel at 5501 N. Ashland Av. Mr Kirk, who died yesterday in St. Joseph's Hospital, was a certified public accountant with the Illinois Commerce commission and the Chicago park district prior to retiring in 1965. He is survived by several nieces and nephews."
Irving Park Cemetery is located at 7777 Irving Park Road. His grave site is in the Hazelcrest Section, Block 18, Lot 7, Grave 2. In 1992, his niece, Mary Anne Kirk Kesler, arranged for his death year to be placed on his stone.
Chicago Tribune, Section 1A, Page 2-3, Friday, November 8, 1968: ______________________
1900 U.S. Census:
Name: Donald D Kirk Event Type: Census Event Year: 1900 Event Place: Carbondale Township (excl.Carbondale), Jackson, Illinois, United States District: 17 Gender: Male Age: 15 Marital Status: Single Race: White Race (Original): W Relationship to Head of Household: Son Relationship to Head of Household (Original): Son Number of Living Children: Years Married: Birth Date: Dec 1885 Birthplace: Illinois Marriage Year (Estimated): Immigration Year: Father's Birthplace: Illinois Mother's Birthplace: Ohio Mother of how many children: Sheet Number and Letter: 4B Household ID: 77 Line Number: 68 Affiliate Name: The U.S. National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) Affiliate Publication Number: T623 GS Film Number: 1240306 Digital Folder Number: 004113765 Image Number: 00709
Household Role Gender Age Birthplace James Kirk Head M 52 Illinois Mary E Kirk Wife F 49 Ohio Mary E Kirk Daughter F 21 Illinois Vida G Kirk Daughter F 17 Illinois Bonnie L Kirk Son M 15 Illinois Donald D Kirk Son M 15 Illinois
Citing this Record: "United States Census, 1900," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MSWC-PZ2 : accessed 7 September 2015), Donald D Kirk in household of James Kirk, Carbondale Township (excl.Carbondale), Jackson, Illinois, United States; citing sheet 4B, family 77, NARA microfilm publication T623 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.); FHL microfilm 1,240,306. ____________
WW I Draft Registration Cards:
BF Note: The actual doc shows he was working in Philadelphia, PA as a Staistical Clerk for Emergency Fleet Corp. and lists his permanenet home address as: 159 North Evergreen, Kankakee, Ill. It also lists his nearest relative as B.L. Kirk of Champaign, Ill. (which ties in with him having a brother Bonnie L. Kirk from 1900 Census.
Name: Donald Dee Kirk Event Type: Draft Registration Event Date: 1917-1918 Event Place: Kankakee County, Illinois, United States Gender: Male Nationality: United States Birth Date: 23 Dec 1885 Birthplace: , , United States Affiliate Publication Number: M1509 Affiliate Publication Title: World War I Selective Service System Draft Registration Cards GS Film Number: 1614027 Digital Folder Number: 005248707 Image Number: 04394
Citing this Record: "United States World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:K6DK-L74 : accessed 7 September 2015), Donald Dee Kirk, 1917-1918; citing Kankakee County, Illinois, United States, NARA microfilm publication M1509 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.); FHL microfilm 1,614,027. __________________
WW II Draft Registration Cards:
His WW II Draft Reg document was prepared at age 56 and shows his contact as Anna Kirk and their address as: 4608 Beacon Chicago, Ill. His place of employment or business was : Lincoln Park, Chicago, Ill.
Name: Donald Dee Kirk Event Type: Draft Registration Event Date: 1942 Event Place: Chicago, Cook, Illinois, United States Residence Place: Chicago, Cook, Illinois Gender: Male Employer: Birth Date: 23 Dec 1885 Birthplace: Eureka, Ill. Relative's Name: Anna Kirk Box Number: Affiliate Name: Affiliate Publication Number: M2097 Affiliate Publication Title: World War II Draft Cards (4th Registration) for the State of Illinois Affiliate ARC Identifier: 623284 Digital Folder Number: 004134732 Image Number: 03782
Citing this Record: "United States World War II Draft Registration Cards, 1942," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:V1KQ-BFM : accessed 7 September 2015), Donald Dee Kirk, 1942; citing NARA microfilm publication M1936, M1937, M1939, M1951, M1962, M1964, M1986, M2090, and M2097 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.). ___________
1930 U.S. Census:
Name: Donald Kirk Event Type: Census Event Year: 1930 Event Place: Chicago (Districts 1751-1976), Cook, Illinois, United States District: 1841 Gender: Male Age: 45 Marital Status: Married Race: White Race (Original): White Relationship to Head of Household: Head Relationship to Head of Household (Original): Head Birth Year (Estimated): 1885 Birthplace: Illinois Immigration Year: Father's Birthplace: Ireland Mother's Birthplace: Ohio Sheet Number and Letter: 11A Household ID: 175 Line Number: 34 Affiliate Name: The U.S. National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) Affiliate Publication Number: T626 Affiliate Film Number: 492 GS Film number: 2340227 Digital Folder Number: 004584293 Image Number: 00895
Household Role Gender Age Birthplace Donald Kirk Head M 45 Illinois Anna K Kirk Wife F 45 Wisconsin
Citing this Record: "United States Census, 1930," index and images, <i>FamilySearch</i> (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/XS5V-G54 : accessed 30 Oct 2014), Donald Kirk, Chicago (Districts 1751-1976), Cook, Illinois, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) 1841, sheet 11A, family 175, NARA microfilm publication T626, roll 492. ____________________
1940 U.S. Census:
Name: Donald Kirk (states his occupation as Clerk for the city Park Dist.) Event Type: Census Event Date: 1940 Event Place: Ward 48, Chicago, Chicago City, Cook, Illinois, United States Gender: Male Age: 54 Marital Status: Married Race (Original): White Race: White Relationship to Head of Household (Original): Head Relationship to Head of Household: Head Birthplace: Illinois Birth Year (Estimated): 1886 Last Place of Residence: Same House District: 103-3097 Family Number: 344 Sheet Number and Letter: 61A Line Number: 5 Affiliate Publication Number: T627 Affiliate Film Number: 1018 Digital Folder Number: 005459774 Image Number: 00855
Household Role Gender Age Birthplace Donald Kirk Head M 54 Illinois Anna Kirk Wife F 54 Wisconsin
Citing this Record: "United States Census, 1940," index and images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/K49Q-WP8 : accessed 30 Oct 2014), Donald Kirk, Ward 48, Chicago, Chicago City, Cook, Illinois, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) 103-3097, sheet 61A, family 344, NARA digital publication of T627, roll 1018. __________________
Info from U.S. Social Security Death Index:
Donald Kirk Age: 83 Given Name: Donald Surname: Kirk Birth Date: 23 Dec 1885 State: Illinois Last Place of Residence: Cook, Illinois Previous Residence Postal Code: 60640 Event Date: Nov 1968
Citing this Record: "United States Social Security Death Index," database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:JYNB-RZR : accessed 6 September 2015), Donald Kirk, Nov 1968; citing U.S. Social Security Administration, Death Master File, database (Alexandria, Virginia: National Technical Information Service, ongoing).
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