Edward Kirk was Station Master at Worsley, became Editor of the Eccles Advertiser and was well known in literary and archaeological circles in Manchester.
The Salford Reporter of 3rd April 1886 records the "Death of Mr Edward Kirk of Pendleton". It continues, "We regret to announce the death of Mr Edward Kirk of Church Street, Pendleton, which occurred on Sunday 28th March at his residence. Mr Kirk had been ailing for some months, but his condition gave no anxiety to his friends. He was at Southport on Sunday 21st March and on his return the following day he was attacked with paralysis, and despite the attention of his medical advisers, Drs Orchard and Ross (Manchester), he died as stated.
The deceased was well known in literary and archaeological circles of Manchester. He was a native of Goosnargh, where he was born on 12th February 1832 and was educated at the Grammar school of his native village. Here he acquired a taste for literature and in particular a love of Virgil, which never left him. His father was a substantial tenant farmer, but only one of his sons remained on the native soil, some emigrating and others adopting other callings.
Mr Kirk entered the railway service and was successively stationmaster at Leyland and Worsley. He became the editor of the Eccles Advertiser about 12 years ago and wrote some criticisms of local affairs under the pen name "The Owl". Perhaps no living man knew more of the antiquities of Worsley and Eccles. His description of the scenery and places were always interesting and instructive. He was a member and Councillor of the Manchester Literary Club and read several papers descriptive of Lancashire scenery. The freshness and power with which these were written attracted much notice. He took part in the foundation of the Lancashire and Cheshire Antiquarian Society and became a Councillor. One of his papers gave an extended account of investigations of Roman Roads in the Delamere Forest and elsewhere. The Roman archaeology of Britain was a particular interest and he wrote columns in the Manchester Guardian.
Mr Kirk was a Churchman (Anglican) of the moderate type. He was heartily in sympathy with the movement for rational recreation on the first day of the week, and during his visits to London acted as a steward of the Sunday Society at the Hanover Gallery and elsewhere. In Manchester he was one of Mr Charles Rowley's early helpers in the Sunday Lectures at the New Islington Hall. He possessed an unlimited fund of humour and anecdote, which made him a most agreeable companion. Mr Kirk leaves a widow, two daughters and five sons, two of whom are settled in Australia."
The Funeral of Edward Kirk took place at Weaste Cemetery on Thursday 1st April 1886. There was a considerable gathering of relatives and friends. The principal mourners were Mrs Kirk, three sons and two daughters and his brother Thomas Kirk of Goosnargh. There were representatives of the Manchester Literary Club, the Lancashire and Cheshire Antiquarian Society and Swinton Schools. Also in attendance were Mr Charles W. Sutton (chief librarian of Manchester Free Libraries), Mr W.E.A. Axon and Mr Abel Heywood jnr. He was interred in plot B17 of the Church of England portion and the service was conducted by Rev W.A. O'Connor.