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Greensfelder: Celebrating 125 Years – Read our anniversary feature in the St. Louis Business Journal.

Celebrating Greensfelder's 125th anniversary

Our History


Bernard Greensfelder was admitted to the bar and enrolled in the St. Louis County Circuit Court on June 26, 1895.


Bernard Greensfelder is one of the original founders of the Jewish Federation, being elected secretary of the new group at age 29, according to the St. Louis Light. "From the minutes of that historic first meeting in November 1901, Greensfelder's recorded reports on board meetings are remarkable alike in their attention to detail and fidelity to the spirit motivating the organization."


Between 1922 and the 1940s, the firm changed and grew as various partners joined and departed. The firm operated under names including Greensfelder & Levi; Greensfelder & Grand; Greensfelder, Dyott & Grand; and Greensfelder, Rosenberger & Grand. By the 1930s, the firm had eight attorneys, although the ranks did shrink during the wartime years of the next decade.


Forrest Hemker received his law degree from Washington University in St. Louis and joined the firm making $80 a month. He remained with the firm for 59 years until his death in 1986.


Edward Greensfelder was Bernard’s son and the second of three generations of Greensfelders to practice with the firm. He joined after his graduation from Washington University in 1928 and was the seventh attorney with the firm.


The firm weathers the Great Depression and manages to continue to grow. It had about eight attorneys during this time and also rented office space and shared secretarial services with sole practitioners.


The firm adopts the name Greensfelder & Hemker.


Edward Wiese becomes a partner of the firm after returning from the war. He was instrumental in establishing the downtown St. Louis landmark Kiener Plaza. A very good athlete, he brought in clients from his many activities and interests related to sports. 


Mark Gale and Kent Chappelow join the firm, both graduates of Washington University School of Law. The two were instrumental in helping the firm to expand beyond its small clientele and bring in new business.


Forrest Hemker was named head of the Missouri Bar Association.


Bernard Greensfelder retires from active law practice, turning his focus to "projects to benefit the poor, the hungry, the aging, school children and many other groups," according to the St. Louis Globe-Democrat.


Forest Hemker’s son, F. Roger Hemker, joins the firm right out of law school, practicing general business and estate planning.


The firm moves to the Victoria Building at 407 N. Eighth St. in downtown St. Louis.


Founding partner Bernard Greensfelder dies on Dec. 14 at 92 years old at Jewish Hospital of complications following pneumonia.


Greensfelder moves into its current headquarters at 10 S. Broadway in downtown St. Louis.


The firm becomes a professional corporation, with 46 attorneys at the time.


The firm adopts its current name of Greensfelder, Hemker & Gale, P.C.


Greensfelder's Southern Illinois office opens in Belleville, serving the Metro East and beyond in a full range of practice areas. As the firm as a whole celebrates 125 years in 2020, the Southern Illinois office marks a quarter-century in business.


Missouri Gov. Mel Carnahan recognizes “Greensfelder, Hemker & Gale, P.C. Day” in honor of the firm’s 100th anniversary. As noted in the proclamation, the firm had about 85 attorneys at the time and was noted for its support for "professional bar activities" and its "civic responsibility and generosity in the community."


The Chicago office of Greensfelder opens its doors, bringing the firm into its second major metro area.


The Greensfelder sign is added to St. Louis office building, overlooking downtown toward Busch Stadium.


New St. Louis conference center opens, expanding to about 10,500 square feet and filling the majority of the 20th floor at 10 S. Broadway. Highlights include a bar and café, updated  teleconferencing technology and flexible meeting space.


Tim Thornton is appointed as the firm's first Chief Executive Officer. Thornton held the position of President and CEO until his death in 2019.


Greensfelder opens an office at the Cortex Innovation Community,  an active and growing innovation hub and technology district in St. Louis.


Kevin McLaughlin begins tenure as the firm's President and CEO in 2020, as the firm celebrates its 125th year.


In summer 2020, the firm opened a satellite office in Clayton, Missouri, the St. Louis County seat. This expanded geographic reach allows the firm to improve client service by offering a meeting location further west in the St. Louis metro area. 

Greensfelder was founded in St. Louis in 1895, and the firm celebrates 125 years in 2020. This timeline provides highlights from our long history. Click on any item above to learn more.

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