Anna Victoria Cunningham was born February 25, 1883, to William Bamford and Alice Delcina Woodward Cunningham in Victoria County on Victoria Road, three miles from Lindsay, Ontario. She entered the United States from Ontario with her parents when she was approximately eighteen months old.
On January 24, 1905, Anna V. Cunningham and Ernest L. Kirk were married at Lakota, North Dakota. They resided on a farm near Niagara, North Dakota. Anna Kirk joined the North Dakota Woman's Christian Temperance Union (WCTU) in 1908 and was elected president of the Niagara Union in 1909. At the 21st Annual Convention of the WCTU in 1910, she was appointed Vice President for Nelson County.
Anna Kirk wrote articles and letters pertaining to suffrage, politics, and her experiences related to WCTU which were published in several newspapers. From 1909 to 1911, she took part in five writing contests, winning silver and gold medals.
In 1912, Kirk was a Progressive Party delegate from Nelson County to the Party's convention in Fargo, which was the first convention women attended as voting delegates in North Dakota. Kirk also worked with the Red Cross Auxiliary during 1917, knitting stockings, wristlets, and sweaters, and was the first woman to serve on a grand jury in North Dakota, when she served in Grand Forks County District Court in 1925.
Ernest and Anna Kirk resided at Niagara until 1931, when they moved to a farm near Mallory, Minnesota. Anna died in 1965 and was survived by her three children: Sidney, Harvey, and Dorothy Ann.
The Anna Victoria Kirk Papers were deposited in the Orin G. Libby Manuscript Collection by Dorothy Ann Kirk, Anna's daughter on December 4, 1995 (Acc.#95-2048).
The Anna V. Kirk Papers consist of a scrapbook, photographs, family history information, and a newspaper clipping pertaining to a 1925 Grand Forks trial where Anna Kirk served as a jury member.
Anna Kirk created the scrapbook, which contains photographs of the groups of which she was a member, ribbons from the WCTU annual conventions, and newspaper articles, many written by Kirk, about women and politics, suffrage, and WCTU activities. She personalized the scrapbook with a selection of poems, quotes, and pictures of people, such as past Presidents of the United States, which inspired her.
Two photographs are included in the collection. One photograph, dated 1925, is of a grand jury in the Grand Forks County District Court. Kirk was the first woman to serve on a jury in Grand Forks County District Court. The other photograph is a 1962 portrait of Anna Kirk.
A family history contains a brief biography of Ernest Kirk, Anna's husband, and their children, Sidney, Harvey, and Dorothy Ann. Also included is an article written by Milt Winger, which resulted from an interview with Dorothy Ann Kirk, Anna's only daughter, on December 6, 1993.