Reinholdt Otto Kirschke (1850-1937), Contractor & Builder

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Grand Island, Nebraska, 1900-1918

DBA: Otto Kirschke

Otto Kirschke was born on February 25, 1850 in Grass Meincke, Posen, and was baptized in Birnbaum (both, at that time, in the eastern part of the German state of Prussia, now Poland). His parents were Eduard and Charlotte Kirschke. Otto Kirschke immigrated to the United States in 1872, settling in Grand Island soon thereafter.[3] He worked as a builder and contractor in Grand Island, making notable contributions to the town's early architecture, including working with Henry H. Falldorf, Jr. to build the Hall County Courthouse.[4] He was married to his wife Sarah in 1877, with whom he had at least four children.[1][2] One of those children was Oscar R. Kirschke, who went on to become a notable Grand Island architect. Otto Kirschke died on July 22, 1937 in Grand Island.[4][5]

This page is a contribution to the publication, Place Makers of Nebraska: The Architects. See the format and contents page for more information on the compilation and page organization.

Compiled Nebraska Directory Listings

Educational & Professional Associations

1885: naturalized as U.S. citizen, O'Neill, Nebraska.[6]

1900: brick mason, Grand Island, Nebraska.[1]

1903-1904: bricklayer and employee, Falldorf & Kirschke, Building Contractors, Grand Island, Nebraska.[a]

1905: No Grand Island directories.

1906-1907: stone and brick contractor, Grand Island, Nebraska.

1908-1911: general contractor and builder, Grand Island, Nebraska.

1912-1918: proprietor, Kirschke Flats, Grand Island, Nebraska.[b]

1914: mason, Grand Island, Nebraska. [6]

Buildings & Projects

Kirschke House [now B&B] (1902), W 3rd St., Grand Island, Nebraska.[4]

Liederkranz Club (1912, 1915), 401 W 1st, Grand Island, Nebraska. [4][c] (HL06-009)

Elks Club (n.d.), Grand Island, Nebraska. [4][c] Demolished/Replaced.

Masonic Temple (n.d.), Grand Island, Nebraska. [4] [c]

Grand Island High School [later Walnut Junior High] (n.d.), Grand Island, Nebraska.[4][c]

Hall County Courthouse (n.d.), SW Corner W 1st & S Locust St., Grand Island, Nebraska.[4]

Carnegie Library (n.d.), SE corner W 2nd & Walnut St., Grand Island, Nebraska. [4]


a. First Grand Island directory listing, 1903. No Grand Island directories before 1903.

b. Last Grand Island directory listing, 1912. No Grand Island 1919 or 1920 directories.

c. Source [4] says that Falldorf and Otto Kirschke were the building contractors of these buildings, while Oscar Kirschke, son of Otto, was the architect who designed them.


1. 1900 United States Census, s.v. “Otto Kirschke,” Grand Island, Hall County, Nebraska, accessed through

2. 1910 United States Census, s.v. “Otto Kirsche,” Grand Island, Hall County, Nebraska, accessed through

3. National Archives and Records Administration (NARA); Washington D.C.; NARA Series: Passport Applications, January 2, 1906 - March 31, 1925. Accessed through on September 28, 2017.,%20Hall,%20Nebraska,%20USA&msypn=58494&msypn_PInfo=8-%7C0%7C1652393%7C0%7C2%7C0%7C30%7C0%7C1256%7C58494%7C0%7C0%7C&msbdy=1850&gskw=architect&_83004003-n_xcl=f&catbucket=rstp&MSAV=1&uidh=69a&pcat=ROOT_CATEGORY&h=479763&dbid=1174&indiv=1&ml_rpos=1

4. "150: A Commemoration of the Sesquicentennial of Hall, County, Nebraska" (Grand Island: The Grand Island Independent, Morris Communications, 2007), 53 & 86.

5. U.S., Find A Grave Index, 1600s-Current [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2012. Accessed September 29, 2017 via,%20Hall,%20Nebraska,%20USA&msypn=58494&msypn_PInfo=8-%7C0%7C1652393%7C0%7C2%7C0%7C30%7C0%7C1256%7C58494%7C0%7C0%7C&msbdy=1850&catbucket=rstp&MSAV=0&uidh=69a&pcat=ROOT_CATEGORY&h=34398299&dbid=60525&indiv=1&ml_rpos=3

6. National Archives and Records Administration (NARA); Washington D.C.; NARA Series: Passport Applications, January 2, 1906 - March 31, 1925; Roll #: 202; Volume #: Roll 0202 - Certificates: 21452-22300, 22 Jan 1914-11 Feb 1914. Accessed on on October 5, 2017 via,%20Hall,%20Nebraska,%20USA&msypn=58494&msypn_PInfo=8-%7C0%7C1652393%7C0%7C2%7C0%7C30%7C0%7C1256%7C58494%7C0%7C0%7C&msbdy=1850&gskw=architect&_83004003-n_xcl=f&catbucket=rstp&MSAV=1&uidh=69a&pcat=ROOT_CATEGORY&h=479763&dbid=1174&indiv=1&ml_rpos=1

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Page Citation

D. Murphy, “Reinholdt Otto Kirschke (1850-1937), Contractor & Builder,” in David Murphy, Edward F. Zimmer, and Lynn Meyer, comps. Place Makers of Nebraska: The Architects. Lincoln: Nebraska State Historical Society, September 29, 2017. Accessed, October 16, 2019.

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