Harry S. Kissell

President of the National Association of REALTORS - 1931

Beginning his career as a newspaper reporter in his native Springfield, Ohio, Harry Seaman Kissell*, MAI, read law for two years before entering the real estate business with his father in 1899. The firm, first known as C. B. Kissell & Son, later became the Kissell Real Estate Company. In addition to the presidency of this company, he was president of the Kissell Improvement Co., the Kissell Development Co., the Kissell Insurance Agency, Inc., and the Limestone St. Realty Co. He was treasurer of R.T.K. Corporation and a director and member of the executive committee of Springfield’s First National Bank & Trust Co.

A pioneer with the REALTOR® group, Mr. Kissell was organizer and first president of the Springfield Real Estate Board and one of the organizers and a former president of the Ohio Association of Real Estate Boards. He was a member of the commission which framed the charter of Springfield, giving it a city manager form of government. He was a trustee and member of the executive commitee of Wittenberg College. He served from 1917 to 1920 as a director of the American Red Cross and was cited for distinguished service as chairman of the Clark County War Savings Stamp Committee. In addition, he was organizer and first chairman of the Springfield Community Fund.

As president of the National Association of Real Estate Boards Mr. Kissell led its fight for a central mortgage discount bank and played a large part in securing the creation by Congress of the Federal Home Loan Bank system for relief of savings institutions holding long term mortgage paper. Upon enactment of the legislation he was appointed by President Hoover the first president of the Cincinnati Home Loan Bank, of which he later served as director.

A thirty-third degree Mason, Mr. Kissell was a Grand Master and Grand Treasurer of Grand Lodge F & AM of Ohio, He also served as president of Springfield’s Rotary Club and of its Men’s Literary Club.

Source: Presidents of the National Association of REALTORS®, (Chicago: NAR, 1980).