JUDGE LOUIS BERNREUTER, one of the judges of the third judicial circuit of the state of Illinois, has been a resident of this state since the year of his birth. Since his early manhood he has been actively connected with the politics of his section of the state, and he has held many important offices and been prominent in the affairs of his city, county and district. A man of upright and sterling character, his influence has ever been of an order eminently calculated to advance the best interests of the community, and as such his career has been valuable and praiseworthy.
Born at St. Charles, Missouri, on the 11th of April, 1863, he is the son of Conrad and Catherine (Stulken) Bernreuter, the former a native of Bavaria and the latter of Oldenburg, Germany. Conrad Bernreuter was born in Bavaria, in 1826, the son of well-to-do parents. He was given the advantage of a liberal education there, and when he immigrated to America he was accompanied by his father, Jacob Bernreuter, who settled on a farm in Madison county, Illinois, and passed the remaindler of his days thereon. He died in 1871,
when he was more than eighty years of age. He was the father of two sons: George, who died in Bond county, Illinois, as a farmer, and left a family, and Dr. Conrad, the father of Louis Bernreuter, of this sketch. Dr. Bernreuter had just arrived at the age of eighteen when the Mexican war broke out, and he joined Captain Wheeler's company, with Colonel Bissell in command of the regiment, and he saw service under General Taylor in the routing of Santa Anna's army of Mexicans at Buena Vista, Saltillo and other historic places near the Rio Grande border. After returning with the victorious troops from Mexico, Dr. Bernreuter experienced a call to preach the gospel, and for eight years he filled the pulpit of the Methodist church in Madison county and other places in Iowa and Wisconsin, giving up the work at the end of that time owing to his impaired physical health. After this he studied medicine and remained in active practice until the time of his death, in 1888. He was a Republican in his political sympathies, but gave voice to his opinions and aid to the party only as a voter at the polls, and never as a politician.
On September 9, 1851, Dr. Bernreuter married Catherine Stulken in Madison county, Illinois. Her father, John Stulken, and her mother, Margaret Stoffleman, were born in Oldenburg, Germany, and were pioneers in Madison county. Mrs. Berureuter was born May 18, 1830, and died in 1893, while her husband passed away in 1898. Their children were: Lydia, residing in Bison, Kansas; Esther and Amelia, who died in childhood; Dr. Edward, who graduated from the Missouri Medical College, took a post graduate course in Berlin, Germany, and who took up the practice of his profession in Mt. Olive, Illinois, dying there in 1893, leaving a family; Reverend George, a graduate of McKendree College and of the Boston University, and was a Methodist minister at Compton, Illinois, when he died in 1903; Louis, of Nashville, Illinois, the subject of this sketch; Helen, who married George Ficken and resides at Bison, Kansas; Emma, who passed away at that place as the wife of Fred Humberg; nd Matilda, the wife of Fred Krumsick, of Nashville, Illinois.
Louis Bernreuter passed through the public schools of Nashville and took up the profession of teaching. He followed that work in both the country and the graded schools of the county and gave it up eventually to pursue the study of the law. He began his studies in the office and under the direction and preceptorship of Judge Charles T. Moore, of Nashville, and was admitted to the bar upon examination in 1894. Of the Republican faith he soon became a figure in the politics of that party in his district, and in 1896 became a candidate for state's attorney. He was declared elected by a majority of two votes on the face of the returns, but lost the decision on a recount. In 1901 he was elected city attorney of Nashville. In 1902 he was elected county judge as the successor of Judge Vernor, and in 1906 was again, elected, by an increased majority. In 1906 he was elected circuit judge on the Republican ticket with Judges Hadley and Crow, by a majority of over four thousand from the counties of Washington, Madison, Bond, St. Clair, Monroe, Perry and Randolph. His political record has been one in which he may justly show pride, and which is eloquent evidence of the regard of his fellow citizens for him.
On June 15, 1892, Judge Bernreuter was married in Washington county to Miss Minnie Krughoff, a daughter of Fred Krughoff. The wife of Fred Krughoff was Miss Wilhelmina Peithman, who bore him
ten children. Judge and Mrs. Bernreuter are the parents of two children: Ruth Ada and Edward Louis.