RIEFLER, CHARLES J. - Among the men who have been identified with the progress and welfare of Sangamon County, Ill., for nearly half a century, is Charles J. Riefler, who has lived at Springfield uninterruptedly since his birth. He is well known locally for his keen interest in home affairs and to the people of Illinois through his past association with the labor movement. Mr. Riefler was born at Springfield, September 13, 1862, son of Michael and Elizabeth (Lutz) Riefler, the former born in Eden, N.Y., in 1839, and the latter born in Germany in 1842. The father located in Springfield in 1860 and died there in 1885. The mother came to America with her parents in childhood and now resides in Springfield, her home for over fifty years. They were parents of eight children.
The early education of Charles J. Riefler was received in the public schools of Springfield, and later he secured a business education in the same city. After leaving school he spent two years on a farm. At the age of sixteen years he entered a printing office and followed the trade of printer until 1906, entering into the field of journalism in 1900, as publisher of "The Court of Honor," a publication in the interests of the fraternal organization of the same name, issued at Springfield. Mr. Riefler was one of the organizers of the Court of Honor, a beneficiary society, with home offices at Springfield, and this organization has been phenomenally successful, doing business at the present time in eighteen States, with financial resources of over $2,000,000.
For over twenty years Mr. Riefler was identified with the labor movement in Illinois, and held many offices of honor and trust with the Illinois State Federation of Labor, being three times unanimously chosen as its President. H was appointed by Governor Altgeld as a Member of the City Council of Springfield, and although never going into politics with a view to securing public office, has fulfilled his duty to his fellow citizens when called upon to serve them. He is now Secretary of the Lincoln Library, having been a member of its Board of Directors for seven years. He is an enthusiastic supporter of every cause which he believes to be for the general good and is always ready to investigate any public movement.
Mr. Riefler is a member of the Springfield Men's Association and Chamber of Commerce, Springfield Mercantile Club, the Court of Honor, the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, Independent Order of Red Men, Modern Woodmen of America, Tribe of Ben Hur and typographical Union. In all these societies he is a useful member and an active worker in their good cause. In political views he is a Democrat. He is looked upon with the highest esteem by all who have been associated with him in a social or business way, and has the universal respect of the people of his native city.
Mr. Riefler was married in Springfield, in 1886, to Barbara Kessler, born in Springfield in 1865, daughter of Adam and Mary Kessler. Her family settled in Sangamon County in the early 'fifties. Two sons have blessed the union of mr. Riefler and his wife, namely: Carl J., born September 5, 1887, an Harold J., born September 6, 1891.