In 1947 Kirby Todd became the music teacher for the rural schools of La Salle County. I was attending the Dayton school when he first took up his post, succeeding Miss Ida Chamberlain. He taught us folk songs and square dancing and was immediately very popular.
He was the founding president of Folk Valley, a non-profit corporation dedicated to the preservation of the art of square dancing and other folk arts. Folk Valley was situated on land near the Illinois river east of Marseilles. The idea of Folk Valley came to him when he was teaching the school children in Grand Ridge. The principal and several adults asked him to teach adult square dancing. He began teaching square dance classes every fall and winter.
He was an assistant professor of health and physical education at Illinois State University from 1964 to 1972 and served as sponsor and director of two groups that provided recreational activities for students – Shufflin’ Shoes and the Lloyd Shaw Dancers. He retired in 1989 and died September 21, 1998, at the age of 88.