Kirby is on Farm Market 78, eight miles northeast of downtown San Antonio, in eastern Bexar County. It became a station on the Galveston, Harrisburg and San Antonio Railway in 1877. In 1900, the settlement had a cotton gin, a blacksmith shop, and a population of 100. A post office operated at the site from 1907 to 1916, when service was discontinued and the mail sent to Converse. By 2000, the population was reported as 8,673. In July 1946, the Town of Kirby had already been named, and a sign signifying "Town of Kirby," was posted at the railroad platforms. Sometimes the railroad workers would hang their lunch pails on that sign. A Southern Pacific Railroad executive shared this story with his barber at The Village Barber Shop in Kirby:
The town of Kirby was named after Kirby Yards -- which consisted of four acres located along the Southern Pacific Railroad tracks. Since it is believed that the Southern Pacific Railroad line came to San Antonio in 1877, this yard could have been established a few years later. The Kirby Yard was a stockpile of railroad ties that had been shipped here from Kirby Forestry of South Carolina. A family named Kirby operated this forestry. At the forestry, trees were felled and their logs cut into railroad ties. These ties were then bought by the Southern Pacific Railroad, shipped by rail, and some were stockpiled at the Kirby Yard. The ties were used by the Southern Pacific Railroad for construction and repairs of their tracks. Later, a house was built on this yard for a section foreman of the railroad, named Donald Hering, out of the lumber from the Kirby Forestry.