JIRSA, FERDINAND "FERD" (18 May 1893-29 Nov. 1971), attorney and active member of the CUYAHOGA COUNTY DEMOCRATIC PARTY, participated in the local and national Czech Sokol movement. In May 1937, Jirsa was one of 5 Cleveland CZECHS awarded the Order of the White Lion by the Czechoslovakian government in honor of contributions to Czechoslovakia and the promotion of its cultural ties with the U. S. Born in Pelec, Czechoslovakia, son of Joseph and Mary (Unk) Jirsa, he attended business school before emigrating to the U. S. in September 1913. In Cleveland he studied English and worked as a clerk, driver, and salesman while attending John Marshall Law School. He married Celia Kratochvil in 1915; they lived in SHAKER HEIGHTS with daughters Celia and Vera Niebuhr. After graduating (1921), Jirsa practiced law from an office in the Society for Savings Building. By 1942, with an office at 3513 E. 131 St., he was also in the real-estate business. In 1946 Jirsa became a member of the Cleveland Law Department, where he battled slum landlords as assistant police prosecutor and then assistant law director. He retired in 1968.
Jirsa served as an officer in Sokol Czech-Havlicek (see SOKOL CLEVELAND). He also served as president of the Northeast District of the American Sokol Organization and member of the financial committee of the American Sokol Organization. He belonged to the Knights of Pythias. Jirsa was buried in Highland Park Cemetery.