Some town names simply fall out of favor. Kirkwood is one of them. There are said to be 18 of them in the world, but most of them are very tiny or have become part of larger communities. There is one true international Kirkwood in the world. The name derives from Scotland where it means “the wood near the church”. There is only one Kirkwood of consequence. It is in the Saint Louis area as a major suburb and Amtrak terminus.
The Kirkwood in West Virginia came into existence in 1902 and was gone by 1939. The Kirkwood in tiny Delaware has been absorbed into the town of Kemps Corner. The Kirkwood in California is almost devoid of people and is the name of a mountain resort south of Lake Tahoe in the Eldorado National Forest. The Kirkwood in Tennessee is 8 miles from the town of Clarksville. The other 12 Kirkwoods are mostly unincorporated towns of little consequence.
That leaves only one important Kirkwood in the entire United States, the town of 27,500 people that has become a satellite community for St. Louis. We have spent a lot of time in this town and like it a lot. It is a very settled community with a fine international food mart, lots of gardens, and regular Amtrak service to distant places like Kansas City. It is definitely a town with many churches. Ruth had 2 friends who resided there and were property owners. The Kirkwood in Ohio is a town of only about 400 people near Lake Erie. Originally called Pontiac, its post office remained in operation until 1913. Its name honors Kirkwood Gillespie who owned a local grain elevator at one time.
The only international Kirkwood is in South Africa. It’s a town just north of Port Elizabeth. About 14,000 people live there. It is near the Addo Elephant Park.