William Kirsch Papers, 1921-1954

Scope and Content Note

The William Kirsch collection is organized in two series: Correspondence and Research Files.

Correspondence, 1921-1922, 1924, 1931-1954, in the Kirsch Papers represents both personal and business activity, and is concerned almost entirely with Kirsch's absorbing interest in Wisconsin agriculture, and especially in marketing practices. In the 1930's he carried on much correspondence concerning problems of the Milk Pool in Wisconsin. The following decade he wrote and received many letters relating to anti-monopoly indictments against the large cheese companies, price controls in dairy products, advertising in the dairy industry, and agricultural production and marketing in Wisconsin.

Kirsch often corresponded with Senator Robert M. La Follette, Jr., 1936-1946, and Congressman Merlin Hull, 1939-1945, in reference to government conferences, indictments, hearings, and appropriations affecting Wisconsin agricultural production and marketing. His other correspondence was usually with state or Federal officials interested in the cheese anti-monopoly suits, cheese grading, or standardization of farm products. These included Thurman Arnold of the Justice Department and Donald Montgomery, consumer's counsel for the United States Department of Agriculture.

The Research Files contain a variety of information relating to the milk and cheese industry of Wisconsin--minutes of meetings, resolutions, background information and notes made by Kirsch, copies of articles and speeches, and clippings. These materials have been left under the topics in which Kirsch had kept them, although within each topic they are now arranged chronologically, usually by months.

Box 9 contains information gathered by Kirsch concerning production and trade practices relating to various agricultural products in Wisconsin, such as pea canning, tobacco surveys, and malt and barley investigations. Since Kirsch was also interested in the promotion of the Great Lakes Seaway he kept a file of miscellaneous information concerning this project.

Volume 1 contains clippings relating to agricultural industries and marketing in Wisconsin in the early 1930's.