We shared a photo of a serious looking you man on our Facebook page on September 24 to see if anyone could guess the name of the man he grew up to be.
Guesses included James Leffel and Jonathan Winters, but the newspaper clipping actually shows a young Harry S. Kissell when he was about 12 years old. Harry Seaman Kissell was born on September 25, 1875 to Cyrus Broadwell (C.B.) and Lucretia Caroline McEwen Kissell. Harry graduated from Wittenberg in 1896, studied law for a couple of years, and worked as a newspaper reporter before entering the Kissell Real Estate business started in 1872 by Harry’s great grandfather Emmanuel and grandfather C.D. Harry married Olive Troupe, the daughter of drug store owner Theodore Troupe and they had two children: Roger and Mary Lucretia (Mary Lu).
Harry’s involvement in the local community and beyond was extensive. In 1907 Harry helped to organize the National Association Real Estate Boards (he also established the Ohio and Springfield Board of Realtors). He was one of the original organizers of American Trust and Savings, which merged with First National Bank, directed the Clark County Chapter of the American Red Cross, served on the Ferncliff Cemetery Association, on the Wittenberg executive committee, and was a founder of Ridgewood School. Harry served as the first chairman of the Springfield Community Fund, helped establish the Springfield Rotary Club (which just celebrated 100 years). He was a member of Beta Theta Pi fraternity, the Springfield Polo Club, Springfield Country Club, Springfield Chamber of Commerce, and Sons of the American Revolution. He was elected Most Worshipful Master of Mason in Ohio in 1910 and headed a half a million dollar effort to construct a Masonic Temple in Springfield.
One of his most notable ventures was the development of Ridgewood, which is discussed in great detail (along with a fantastic history of Springfield as a whole) in the book “Ridgewood in the Country Club District” by Tamara Dallenbach.
Harry was stricken by a fatal heart attack during a business meeting in Cincinnati on February 14, 1946. He is buried in Ferncliff Cemetery.
More from the Kissell-Noonan Collection:
Beautiful Ferncliff: Springfield, Ohio’s Historic Cemetery and Arboretum by Paul W. Schanher III and Anne E. Benston
Biographical Category – Kissell-Noonan Collection