|Pre-eminently a self-made man and one of the leading members of a bar
noted for the high order of its legal talent, the subject of this sketch
fills a large place in the public view and for a number of years bas figured
prominently in the civil affairs of his county and state. He enjoys to
a marked degree the confidence and esteem of his fellow citizens, bas held
worthily positions of honor and trust and although a young man, has made
his influence felt in various lines of activity and may with propriety
be classed among the leaders of thought in the city of his residence. Conrad
Schul, attorney and counsellor-at-law, and ex-Judge of Jefferson county,
was born February 23, 1875, in New York City. His father, Conrad Schul,
also a native of the great metropolis, was a tailor by trade and for a
number of years conducted a thriving establishment in the city of his birth.
Katherine Landregan, who became the wife of the elder Schul, was born and
reared in New York state and was of Irish descent, her husband's people
coming originally from Germany. She died when her only child, the subject
of this sketch, was quite young and left to him the memory of a beautiful
character and a devoted life.
Conrad Schul, Jr., spent the first ten years of his life in his native city and about 1885 came to Hamilton county, Illinois, where be received his education. Subsequently, August, 1892, he be came a resident of Mount Vernon and for several years thereafter was employed in the car shops of this city, devoting his leisure time the meanwhile to the study of law, for which he early manifested a decided preference. Mr. Schul began his legal studies in March, 1894, under the direction of George B. Leonard, a well known attomey of Jefferson county, and by diligent application made such rapid and commendable progress that within less than three years he was able to pass the required examination and engage in the practice of his profession, his admission to the bar bearing date of February 23, 1897, the twenty-second anniversary of his birth. Considering the difficulties under which he labored and the many obstacles encountered, his is a remarkable record and has few if any parallels among the members of the legal profession in the field to which his practice is principally confined.
Immediately after receiving his license, Mr. Schul entered upon the practice of law at Mount Vernon and in due time won a fair share of business and secured quite a large and lucrative clientele. Like the majority of young attorneys, however, he was obliged to enter a field already occupied by old and experienced practitioners, but nothing daunted, he strove earnestly in the face of opposition and it was not long until his ability was recognized and his progress was assured. In the meantime, he became interested in public matters and entering the political arena, soon rose to a place of influence in the Democratic party, his services to which led to his nomination and election in 1902, to the honorable and responsible office of County Judge. Mr. Schul's official career was eminently satisfactory and creditable and compares favorably with that of the many able men thus honored. He discharged his duties fairly and impartially, looked carefully after the interests of the county and strove by every laudable means to prove a worthy and acceptable official and a true servant of the public. Retiring from the office at the expiration of four years, he resumed the practice of his profession and now has an extensive and profitable business, which is constantly growing in magnitude and importance, not only in his own city and county, but in other jurisdictions as well. As a lawyer, he ranks high and stands today among the leaders of the Jefferson County Bar. As already stated, he is a Democrat and has long been a power in local and state affairs, being a leader of his party in the county, besides wield. ing a wide influence in political circles throughout the state. He has been influential in party counsels for a number of years, serving from 1900 to 1902 inclusive, as Congressional Committeeman for the Twenty-third Congressional District and at the present time he is Judicial Committeeman of the Second Judicial Circuit, in both of which capacities his services have been valuable and highly ap- preciated. As a campaigner he has few equals in Southern Illinois, being not only a shrewd and judicious manager-and tireless worker, but also a forcible, logical and eloquent speaker, his ability on the hustings causing large demands for his services in every political contest. Although active and influential as a politician, he is eminently honorable in his methods, never resorting to the questionable practices of the professional partisan, nor making use of any of the wiles and subterfuges of the demagogue. A man of strong character and invincible integrity, he is popular with the people, irre- spective of party alignment and as an enterprising public-spirited citizen with the good of the community and the welfare of his fellow men ever at heart, no one today in the city of Mount Vernon stands higher in the esteem of the people or has shown himself more worthy of the regard in which he is held.
In addition to his general practice, Mr. Schul is attorney and counsellor for several local and general enterprises, among which are: The American Security Company, the Purity Ice Cream Com pany and the Kansas, Illinois Gas Company. He belongs to the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks. Knights of Pythias, Red Men and the American Home Circle, aside from which organizations he manifests a lively interest in the social and intellect life of Mount Vernon, besides giving his encouragement and support to all measures and enterprises having for their object the material progress of the city 'and the moral advancement of the populace. Mr. Schul has never taken upon himself the duties and responsibilities of the marriage relation, nevertheless he is popular in the social circle and a hale fellow well met among his friends whom he numbers by the score and fastens to himself, as it were, with bands of steel. A sane, well rounded, forceful man, he has acted well his part in life and his past success and present high standing professionally and otherwise may be taken as an earnest of the still brighter laurels and greater honors which he is destined to achieve in coming years.
SOURCE: History of Jefferson County, IL By: John A. Wall 1909
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