Kirbyville is on Trout Creek, U.S. Highway 96, and the Gulf, Colorado and Santa Fe Railway, eighteen miles south of Jasper in east central Jasper County. It was first named Kirby, for John Henry Kirby, by W. C. Averill, then treasurer of Kirby's railroad, the Gulf, Beaumont and Kansas City line between the Neches and Sabine rivers. The town was established and laid out by R. P. Allen of Galveston in 1895, when the railroad reached the site where Kirby planned to develop a community to facilitate marketing lumber from his extensive timber holdings. The first lots were sold on May 1, 1895. That year a post office was established, and the name was changed to Kirbyville when postal officials discovered another town called Kirby. In 1896 the local schools had seventy-five pupils and one teacher, and the community had four general stores, a hotel, and a population of 300. Kirby sold his railroad to the Santa Fe (see ATCHISON, TOPEKA AND SANTA FE RAILWAY SYSTEM) in 1900, and after 1904 the town served as the Texas terminus of the Jasper and Eastern Railway. In 1905 the local White school had 320 pupils and one teacher, and the local Black school had sixty-five pupils and one teacher. By 1914 the community reported 2,900 residents, two banks, five general stores, and the Kirbyville Banner, founded in 1902.
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Kirbyville by the Numbers
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|2,257||2019||Texas Demographic Center|
|2,142||2010||Texas Demographic Center|
|2,085||2000||Texas Demographic Center|
|1,871||1990||Texas Demographic Center|