Jackson County

Biography - John Schmidgall

JOHN L. SCHMIDGALL. It is due to the efforts of the public-spirited citizens of Murphysboro that this city is at present in such a flourishing condition industrially and commercially, and to the fact that they have found time to lay aside their private interests and take up the work of promoting the movements that have pertained to the civic welfare. Ex-Mayor John L. Schmidgall, a business citizen of high standing and a leader of Republican polities in Jackson county, occupies a prominent place among the representative men of this class. He has been a resident of Murphysboro all of his life, and was born April 17, 1870, a son of Henry and Sarah (Cooper) Schmidgall.

Henry Schmidgall, who is well remembered in Murphysboro as a business man of excellent reputation, was a soldier during the Civil war, enlisting August 12, 1862, in Company D, Eighty-first Regiment, Illinois Volunteer Infantry, and serving until he received his honorable discharge at Vicksburg, August 5, 1865. He had a fine war record, and when he took up the occupations of peace was as faithful to his city's interests as he had been to his country's and during a long period spent in farming and the transfer business established a reputation for fair dealing and public-spirited citizenship. His death occurred March 20, 1911.

John L. Schmidgall received his early educational training in the public schools of Murphysboro, after leaving which he entered Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri, from which institution he was graduated in 1891, with the degree of C. E. Until 1894 he was engaged in civil engineering, and in that year became an operator, but in 1900 sold out and became the owner of the Schmidgall Coal Company, which employs sixty-five men and has an output of two hundred and fifty tons of coal daily. Since his father's death Mr. Schmidgall has been the manager of his estate, and he is also a director in the Southern Illinois Milling Company. He has been very prominent in Republican politics here, and has served the city as alderman for three years, resigning that office to accept the nomination for the mayoralty chair, to which he was eventually elected and served faithfully and efficiently from 1909 until 1911. He was for a long period a member of the city school board and is now trustee of the township high schools. Formerly he was secretary of the Republican County Central Committee, and he now serves as a member of the executive board. Mr. Schmidgall is a member of the Illinois Mine Rescue Commission, and has interested himself in other movements of a progressive nature.

On June 16, 1897, Mr. Schmidgall was united in marriage with Miss Edna Davis, daughter of G. B. Davis, a well known pharmacist of De Soto, Illinois, and three children have been born to this union, namely: Henry Arthur, John Raymond and Robert Green. Fraternally Mr. Schmidgall is a thirty-second degree Mason, being past high priest in the chapter, a member of the Knights Templar at Cairo and the Consistory at Chicago, and he also holds membership in the Elks. Years of activities in the business and political fields have given him a wide acquaintance, and it is safe to say that there is no more popular citizen in Murphysboro.

Extracted from 1912 A History of Southern Illinois, volume 2, page 643.

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