Established in 1895 in east central Jasper County, Kirbyville is on the Gulf, Colorado, and Santa Fe Railroad, and the terminus of the Jasper and Eastern Railroad. Kirbyville was named for John Henry Kirby, who, along with R.P. Allen, laid out the townsite. Kirby was known as "Prince of the Pines," at one time producing more Southern Pine lumber than any man in the world.
Today, lumber is still king, but agribusiness and tourism play an important role in the economy. Kirbyville is minutes away from three popular lakes - Toledo Bend Reservoir, Sam Rayburn Reservoir, and B.A. Steinhagen Lake. It's right in the middle of national and state forests, as well as the Big Thicket National Preserve. Because of the abundance of trees, birding is a popular activity here. Residents salute the forests with the popular Magnolia Festival each April.