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Isaac S. Kirk

Isaac Stubbs Kirk was born in East Nottingham, Chester County, Pennsylvania on August 14, 1834, the son of Jacob Renolds Kirk and Hannah Brown Stubbs (both Quakers). His father died when he was 4 years old, and he was raised by his uncle, Joseph Isaac Stubbs, who farmed in rural East Nottingham. He was educated in the District school; the Pugh Boarding School of East Nottingham; and the Henry Ridgeway Boarding School of Bordentown.

Not caring for the farming life, Isaac opened a store in West Nottingham in the late 1850s and worked as a dry goods merchant for the rest of his life. He married Francina ("Fannie") Knight Lincoln (1836-1915) in Philadelphia in 1860, and they had four children together. In 1861 Isaac was also appointed Postmaster of the nearby Fremont Post Office, and he gave Fremont as his address on his mineral labels.

Isaac must have had a substantial mineral collection, as his label shown here is for specimen no. 979. This label is very much in the style of the labels of the prominent collector William W. Jefferis (1820-1906) (q.v.), who also lived in Chester County and who was no doubt well-known to Kirk. He also collected Indian relics, postal currency, coins, postage stamps and Revenue stamps. His tiny three-line ads in The Mineral Collector (1894) read: "Minerals and Indian Relics sent by mail, pre-paid, labeled name and locality. List for 2c stamp. Isaac S. Kirk, Fremont, Chester Co., Pa." He also advertised in The Antiquarian, The Archeologist, Natural Science News, and The Oologist. Among other items, he offered a boxed collection of 20 mineral specimens from Pennsylvania, which he called the "Keystone Collection;" each specimen measured about 1 by 1.5 inches.

Isaac Kirk died of typhoid fever on January 6, 1908, and was buried in Rosebank Cemetery in Calvert, Maryland. His collection was sold around 1910 to Ward's Natural Science Establishment.

History Quarterly,Vol. 3, No. 1, January 1940, pages 4.
Isaac S. Kirk Death Certificate.
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[Citation format for this entry:
WILSON, Wendell E. (2019)
Mineralogical Record
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The Mineralogical Record - Isaac S. Kirk Isaac S. Kirk (courtesy of Sue Phelps)
The Mineralogical Record - Isaac S. Kirk 46 x 77 mm
The Mineralogical Record - Isaac S. Kirk Ad in The Mineral Collector (1899)
The Mineralogical Record - Isaac S. Kirk Ad in Natural Science News (1896)
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