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Peter Deisch Materials

Identifier: MC 1679

Scope and Content Note

The materials include photocopies of genealogical information, correspondence, photographs and a partial autobiography. Materials are divided into two volumes. The volumes were compiled by the donor, Richard Cochran, who married Deisch's great-granddaughter in 2000.


  • Creation: 1880-1968


Language of Materials

Materials are in English.

Access Information

Please call (479) 575-8444 or email at least two weeks in advance of your arrival to ensure availability of the materials.

Use Information

Restrictions Apply: At the request of the donor, folders 21 and 22 have been removed.

No Interlibrary Loan.

Standard Federal Copyright Laws Apply (U.S. Title 17).

Biographical Note

Peter Albert Deisch was born in 1880 on the plantation of his uncle, Peter Mengoz, at Hardy, Sharp County, Arkansas. He was one of five sons of Nicholas and Marie Deisch. Deisch attended country schools in Arkansas and Iowa after his family moved there in February 1896. Thereafter, he worked in a general store in Seligman, Missouri, until entering Watson’s Business School in Memphis, Tennessee, in 1898. He subsequently became a bookkeeper in Cleveland, Mississippi, a traveling book salesman in Michigan and the western United States, and a stenographer in Jacksonville, Oregon, for the Reames and Reames law firm. He attended law school at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor in 1904. He graduated in 1907 and returned to Reames and Reames as a member of the firm. Deisch returned to Arkansas in 1908 to become executor of Peter Mengoz's estate. On August 15, 1910, he married Lillian Buford of Memphis on the Mengoz plantation in Hardy. They had three children, daughters Dorothy and Susan, and a son, Peter Deisch Jr.

Managing the Mengoz property, which included a store, sawmill and cotton gin, in 1910 he was elected to the Arkansas House of Representatives, a member of the first legislature that met in the new state capitol building in January 1911. He served as a delegate to the Democratic National Convention in St. Louis in 1916, was appointed to the state house in 1919, served as a member of the state senate from 1921 until 1924, and as a delegate to the Democratic National Convention in Chicago in 1932. His most notable legislative accomplishments included authorship of a measure creating the state Highway Department. From 1924 until 1944, Deisch practiced law in Helena, Phillips County, Arkansas. As the Arkansas Medical Association’s legislative counselor for 35 years Deisch wrote the bill that established the University of Arkansas Medical Center. He died in Helena June 3, 1968. He is buried in Wahpeton Cemetery in Hardy.


.8 Linear Feet (2 box)

Arrangement of the Papers

Materials are arranged by topic.

Acquisition Information

The Peter Deisch Materials were donated to Special Collections, University of Arkansas Libraries, on July 16, 2006, by Richard A. Cochran of Dallas, Texas.

Processing Information

Processed by Jim Kelton; completed in February 2007.

Peter Deisch Materials
Jim Kelton
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid is written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Department Repository

University of Arkansas Libraries
365 N. McIlroy Avenue
Fayetteville AR 72701 United States
(479) 575-8444