In the 19th Century Russell Risley worked a farm in Kirby with his sister. He was well known for his Yankee ingenuity and his labor saving inventions. He used a trapeze to get from the house to the barn and ran a series of cables to carry the milk. He also was a self-taught artist and sculptor who covered his barn with charcoal sketches of local notables. He made carvings out of trees and fence posts. Risley and his sister lived like hermits and to keep people away he painted a large sign that said smallpox on his barn. John McClaughry of South Kirby was a former White House policy advisor in the Reagan administration. He has served in the Vermont House and Senate and has been the Kirby moderator for 22 years (1989). He is President of the free-market Ethan Allen Institute.
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