Date Original



This collection contains records regarding land owned by Michael Kirst in Little Rock, Arkansas, during the 1870s. Most of the land purchased was along East Main Street.

Biographical/Historical Note

Michael Kirst was born in Prussia in 1839. At the age of seventeen, he emigrated to the United States. Kirst joined the Union Army in 1861, serving in Wisconsin’s Twenty-seventh Infantry, Company B. He first came to Little Rock, Arkansas, during the Civil War while serving under General Frederick Steele. Kirst married Alvina Geyer, and they had six children; Lillie, Walter, Annie, Emma, Josephine, and Fred. Kirst returned to Little Rock in 1866 and opened a grocery store with John M. Cooper. Cooper and Kirst was located at Sixth and Main Streets. After his partnership with Cooper came to an end, Kirst opened a grocery store in 1870 at 805 Main Street. In 1882, a new store was erected and opened at Ninth and Main Streets. Charles J. Kramer and L.H. Krodel eventually joined him as partners and the store was renamed M. Kirst and Co. Krodel left the partnership in September 1883, and the store was then renamed M. Kirst and Kramer. Kramer and Kirst's partnership dissolved in 1893. Shortly after, the store's name was changed again to Kirst and Son, after Kirst had added his son, Walter George Kirst, as a partner. His son, Fred also became a partner on January 1, 1905, and the store was renamed Kirst and Sons. The store continued to operate under Walter and Fred Kirst until 1941. Michael Kirst was politically active in Little Rock, serving on the Little Rock City Council in the 1880s. Kirst died on September 2, 1916, while visiting family in Sheboygan, Wisconsin. He was buried at Oakland Cemetery in Little Rock.

Physical Description

Document, 8.5" x 11"

Geographical Area

Little Rock, Pulaski County (Ark.); Wisconsin; Prussia





Resource Type



Michael Kirst land papers, SMC.022.002


Arkansas State Archives

Contributing Entity

Arkansas State Archives

Recommended Citation

Michael Kirst land papers, Arkansas State Archives, Little Rock, Arkansas.


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United States History