William F. Kirsch

Transcribed by : Tina Easley

After Mr. Sullivan left Paragould, Mr. Block continued to practice alone until 1909 when he formed a partnership with William F. Kirsch. Mr. Kirsch was also blessed with a brilliant legal mind, having graduated first in his class at the Washington University School of Law.

Although Mr. Kirsch was a native of Belleville, Illinois, he became acquainted with Paragould as a result of his father's service as superintendent of the Paragould Brick Factory.

Mr. Kirsch's association with the law firm lasted almost sixty years. He was an active real estate title lawyer and became an investor in farm lands which have remained in his family. He was active in drainage law, organizing and representing some of the drainage districts which still operate in Northeast Arkansas.

In addition to his law practice, he was heavily involved as a board member, officer, and president of the National Bank of Commerce.

Mr. Kirsch was an effective trial lawyer. He cut back his trial practice extensively after Maurice Cathey returned from military service in the forties but still participated in some of Mr. Cathey's trials, usually making the closing argument.

Mr. Kirsch was still with the firm when Ray Allen Goodwin joined in 1965. Despite his age, he always kept early morning hours, as Goodwin quickly learned. To impress his new bosses with his work habits, Goodwin started coming to the office earlier than the 8:30 opening time in hopes of arriving before the senior partners. Coming earlier each morning on successive days, Goodwin finally gave up found Mr. Kirsch already working at 6:30 a.m.

Mr. Kirsch was an eloquent orator and was the featured speaker in many civic celebrations. Mr. Kirsch and his wife, Jessie, had two children, Mary Elizabeth and William F. Kirsch, Jr. The junior Mr. Kirsch practiced briefly with the firm in 1950; then moved to Memphis where he became a partner in one of the city's most prominent law firms, Heiskell, Donelson, Bearman, Adams, Williams & Kirsch, where he practiced until his death in 1989.