KIRBY, JOSIAH (16 May 1883-4 Feb. 1964), controversial businessman, was born in Wyoming, Ohio, came to Cleveland in 1911 following a business failure, and formed Cleveland Discount Co., a $10 million mortgage company which by 1921 was the largest company of its kind in the U.S., with capital of $37 million. But Kirby's company was taken over by receivers in 1923 with huge losses. Kirby also headed the CLEVELAND YACHT CLUB (1918-20), taking over when the club was in receivership, yet constructing new buildings and making improvements. However when Kirby's finances collapsed, the Club went into bankruptcy. Following several trials during the mid-1920s in which he was acquitted or released by failure of juries to agree, Kirby was sentenced to prison, convicted of using the mails to defraud and of jury tampering. Kirby was released in 1932, returned to Cleveland, but by 1940 was living in New York, indicted by a federal grand jury on 14 counts, including conspiracy, mail fraud, and market rigging. He was permanently enjoined from selling securities in 1949, served 10 months in prison, and returned to Cleveland upon his release. In 1962, the Securities & Exchange Commission charged Kirby had been selling and buying stocks since 1954, and he was placed on 5 years' probation. Little is recorded about Kirby's family life other than in 1962 trial he lived with his second wife, Ruth, after "tragedy had deprived him of his [first] wife and all but one of his children."

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