Biographical Sketch

Scope and Content Note

Arrangement Note

Conditions of Access and Use

Related Material

Administrative Information

Search Terms

Box and Folder Listing

Series A. James Magrish Correspondence, 1925-1972.

Series B. James Magrish Personal, 1900-1990.

Series C. Edith Magrish Personal, 1888-1992.

A Finding Aid to the James L. and Edith K. Magrish Papers. 1888-1992.

Manuscript Collection No. 198


Repository: The Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives
Creator: Magrish, James L. (James Lee), 1901-1972.
Title: James L. and Edith K. Magrish Papers.
Dates: 1888-1992
Quantity: 4.1 linear feet (9 Hollinger boxes, 1 oversize box)
Abstract: The James and Edith Magrish Papers contain correspondence relating to the Magrish's personal and public life (1918-1972), records of James' service as counsel to the War Production Board (1943-1945), and material relating to his leadership in Jewish and secular organizations on a national and local level. The papers also include material about Edith Krohn Magrish and her parents, prominent Cincinnati residents Irwin and Cora Fechheimer Krohn.
Collection Number: MS-198
Language: Collection material in English.

Biographical Sketch

James Magrish, 1901-1972

In 1901, James L. Magrish was born in Cincinnati, Ohio to Kate Toby Magrish and Louis Magrish. He earned an A.B. degree from the University of Cincinnati and his law degree from Yale University in 1924. Following his bar admittance in 1925, Magrish entered the Cincinnati law firm of Moulinier, Bettmann and Hunt. He was to remain active in this firm until after World War II, when he returned to Cincinnati to begin a law firm with his brother Conrad Magrish.

In 1941, Magrish moved to the Washington D.C. area to serve for 4 ½ years on the War Production Board. He served first as an assistant attorney but was later promoted to assistant general counsel of the textile, clothing and leather division. The Magrish family considered opening a branch office of his Cincinnati law firm and remaining in the Washington D.C. area, but decided to return to Cincinnati. In 1957, Magrish earned a Doctor of Philosophy degree from the University of Cincinnati.

Magrish was active in numerous Cincinnati Jewish organizations including the presidency of Wise Temple, president of the State of Israel Bonds committee, the Board of Governors of the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, secretary of the Alfred Bettman Foundation, board member of the Jewish Federation, president of the Associated Jewish Agencies, and campaign chairman of the Jewish Welfare Fund. In 1971, Magrish received an award of excellence from the National Conference of Christians and Jews for his service to the Jewish community and in 1972, the B'nai B'rth awarded him the Guardian of the Menorah Award.

Magrish also served on the faculty of the University of Cincinnati College of Law and as president of the Mental Health Association of Cincinnati, the Anderson Historical Society and the Mt. Washington Civic Club. After his death, a recreational area in the Mt. Washington area was named the "James L. Magrish Riverlands Preserve."

Magrish died in 1972 in Cincinnati, Ohio. He married Edith Krohn in 1930. They had two children: Kate Magrish Foreman and Mary (Polly) Magrish Stein.

Edith Krohn Magrish, 1901-1991

Edith Krohn was born to Irwin and Cora Fechheimer Krohn in 1901 in Cincinnati, Ohio. She traveled frequently in her early years. After graduating from University School in Cincinnati, Edith earned her B.A. in Economics at Vassar College and went on to study at the Art Academy in Paris in 1923. She returned to continue her studies at the Art Academy in Cincinnati, followed by a period studying sculpture and dance in New York.

In 1930, Edith Krohn married James L. Magrish, a local attorney in practice with Bettmann, Mouliner and Hunt. They moved to a 150-year-old remodeled farmhouse in Mt. Washington, where they were to remain until her husband's death in 1972. They were extremely active in Mt. Washington affairs- Jim served as the president of the Civic Club and she ran the Playground Mother's Club.

During World War II, the Magrish family moved to McLean, Virginia. Edith Magrish contributed to the war effort in a variety of ways, from spotting airplanes to working for the Red Cross with Supreme Court Justice wives Mrs. Hugo Black and Mrs. Robert Jackson. After the war, the family returned to Cincinnati. Edith Magrish became involved in a variety of local causes including the local chapter of the League of Women Voters, the Cincinnati Symphony and the Craft Shop for the Handicapped.

Following her husband's death, Edith Magrish moved to the Regency Apartments in Cincinnati. She became an active volunteer in the library of the Cincinnati Art Museum and was a Corbett Award finalist for her service there in 1983. She also became an active tour guide for Plum Street Temple.

Edith Magrish died on 16 December 1991. She was survived by two daughters: Mary (Polly) Magrish Stein and Kate Magrish Foreman.

Scope and Content Note

The James and Edith Magrish Papers detail the personal and professional lives of James Magrish, lawyer, and Edith Magrish, clubwoman and family matriarch, of Cincinnati, Ohio.

Magrish was a lawyer who served on the War Production Board and in multiple Cincinnati law firms. There is material relating to legal cases in both the correspondence and personal series. There is also correspondence relating to the Magrishs's involvement in various Jewish organizations including the Hebrew Union College Board of Governors, Isaac Wise Temple, National Federation of Temple Brotherhoods and the Jewish Federation. There is one scrapbook (X-136) detailing the 1958 Jewish Welfare Fund campaign through correspondence, newsclippings and photographs.

This collection contains an extensive series of scrapbooks and photographs relating to the Magrish and Krohn families at the turn of the century. Photographs and memorabilia chronicle Edith's life from girlhood in Cincinnati, to Vassar in the teens, to Europe in the twenties, and trips as late as the early 1960s with grandchildren. Edith's parents Irwin and Cora Fechheimer Krohn were prominent Cincinnati residents. Additional photographs have been donated to the American Jewish Archives as a part of the Jews of Cincinnati Collection (MSS Collection No. 676).

The Edith Magrish series also contains a selection of writings from her literary clubs, a party planning book, obituaries, and other newsclippings about activities such as the Craft Club for the Handicapped. There are a number of materials relating to her 1930 wedding including shower poems, telegrams and a trousseau book. There is also a trousseau/gift book and wedding book from her parents' wedding in 1898.

The papers span the dates 1888-1992.

Arrangement Note

This collection is arranged in three (3) series:

Series A. Magrish, James - Correspondence.
Series B. Magrish, James - Personal Materials.
Series C. Magrish, Edith Krohn - Personal Materials.

Conditions of Access and Use

Terms of Access

The collection is open for use; no restrictions apply.

Terms of Reproduction and Use

Copyright restrictions may apply. Authorization to publish, quote, or reproduce, with exceptions for fair use, may be obtained through the American Jewish Archives, Cincinnati, Ohio. Please address queries to the Executive Director of the American Jewish Archives. For more information, see the American Jewish Archives copyright information webpage.

Related Material

  • Jews of Cincinnati Collection. MSS. Collection No. 676.
  • Magrish family. Family bible vital statistics. 1869-1973. Small Collections.
  • Magrish, James. Diplomas from Yale University and University of Cincinnati. FF: C2/D10
  • Magrish, James. Nearprint Biographies Files.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Footnotes and bibliographic references should refer to the James L. Magrish Papers and the American Jewish Archives. A suggestion for at least the first citation is as follows:

[Description], [Date], Box #, Folder #. MS-198. James L. Magrish Papers. American Jewish Archives, Cincinnati, Ohio.


The James and Edith Magrish papers were donated to the American Jewish Archives by Edith Magrish, Cincinnati, Ohio, in June, 1989 and by Polly Stein, Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1992.

Processing Information

Processed by Melinda McMartin, July, 2002.

Box and Folder Listing

Series A. James Magrish Correspondence, 1925-1972.
The correspondence series consists of three Hollinger boxes of correspondence relating to Magrish's legal activities both in Cincinnati and as a lawyer for the War Production Board and his participation in Jewish affairs.
The series is arranged alphabetically by name and chronologically within the folders.
Box Folder
1 1 A-B, General.
1 2 C-D, General.
1 3 E-F, General.
1 4 G-H, General.
1 5 Hebrew Union College. Board of Governors . 1941-1942.
Box Folder
2 1 J-L, General.
2 2 M, General.
2 3 Metropolitan Transportation and Subway Committee. 1939-1942.
Box Folder
3 1 N-Q, General.
3 2 National Federation of Temple Brotherhoods. 1942-1943.
3 3 R, General.
3 4 S, General.
3 5 T-Z, General.
3 6 Unidentified correspondence.
Series B. James Magrish Personal, 1900-1990.
The personal series consists of material relating to Magrish's activities including law school notes, speeches and addresses, photographs and an expense ledger.
The series is arranged alphabetically by subject.
Box Folder
4 1 American Bar Association. Convention. London, England. 1957.
4 2 Awards. 1924-1970.
4 3 Expense ledger. 1927-1936.
4 4 Funeral register. 1972.
4 5 James L. Magrish Riverlands Preserve. 1990.
4 6 Law. Legal correspondence. 1936-1942.
Box Folder
5 1 Law. Legal correspondence; notes; summons. 1927-1967.
5 2 National Cyclopedia of American Biography. 1974.
5 3 Newsclippings. 1921-1972.
5 4 Personal.
5 5 Photographs.
5 6 Speeches; addresses. 1930-1968.
Box Folder
X-136 -- Scrapbook relating to the Jewish Welfare Campaign. Cincinnati, Ohio. 1958.
Box Folder
6 1 World War II. 1942-1945.
6 2 Yale Law School. Lecture notes. 1924.
Series C. Edith Magrish Personal, 1888-1992.
The Edith Magrish series consists of material relating to Edith Krohn Magrish and her parents, Irwin M. Krohn and Cora Fechheimer Krohn. It contains correspondence, newsclippings, scrapbooks and writings.
The series is arranged alphabetically by subject.
Box Folder
6 3 Correspondence. Incoming. 1912-1989; undated
6 4 Correspondence. Outgoing. 1904-1976; undated
6 5 Condolence correspondence. 1992.
6 6 Family papers. undated
6 7 Fechheimer, Cora Krohn. Wedding gifts/ trousseau book. 1898.
6 8 Fechheimer family. Genealogy.
6 9 Funeral register. 1991.
6 10 Krohn/ Butzel family. Genealogy.
6 11 Krohn, Irwin M. Memorials. 1948.
Box Folder
7 1 Krohn, Irwin M. Photo album. undated
7 2 Krohn, Irwin M. Scrapbook. 1888-1894.
7 3 Krohn, Irwin M. and Fechheimer, Cora. Wedding book. 1898.
Box Folder
8 1 Magrish, Kate.
8 2 Memory scrapbook. undated
Box Folder
9 1 Memory scrapbook. Extra pages. undated
9 2 Newsclippings. 1962-1982.
9 3 Obituaries. 1991.
9 4 Party planning book. 1965-1971.
9 5 Personal. undated
Box Folder
6 Writings. Literary club. 1965-1971.
Box Folder
9 7 Wedding. Trousseau book. 1930.
9 8 Wedding. Telegrams. 1930.
9 9 Wedding. Shower poems. 1930.

Search Terms

The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the AJA's online catalog.

Persons and Families

Fechheimer family -- Photographs
Krohn family -- Photographs
Magrish, Edith -- 1901-1991 -- Photographs
Magrish, James L. -- (James Lee), -- 1901-1972. -- Photographs


American Jewish Committee
Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. -- Board of Governors
Jewish Hospital (Cincinnati, Ohio)
National Federation of Temple Brotherhoods


Jews -- Ohio -- Cincinnati

Genres and Forms



Lawyers, Jewish -- Ohio -- Cincinnati