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  • Samuel Alschuler Collection

Samuel Alschuler, judge of the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit (1915-1936), was born in Chicago, Illinois, on November 20, 1959 to Bavarian-born Jacob and Caroline Stiefel Alschuler. After growing up and attending school in Aurora, Alschuler began practicing law at the age of twenty-two in 1881 and starting in the 1890s, served as a public servant for the rest of his life. As a Democrat, Alschuler won a seat in the Illinois House of Representatives in 1896. He became the House Minority leader in 1898, a position he held until leaving the House of Representatives in 1900. Alschuler unsuccessfully ran for Illinois State Governor in both 1900 and 1912. In 1915, President Woodrow Wilson recognized Alschuler’s potential and appointed him to the U.S. Court of Appeals 7th Circuit. Alschuler served as arbitrator during the meat packing labor dispute of 1918. During the coal labor problems of 1922, President Warren Harding also asked him to serve on a coal fact-find commission. Alschuler, uncertain if he could properly be a member of the commission while serving on the federal bench, chose to serve unofficially as a legal advisor to the commission. In 1925, he became the presiding judge of the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, a position he held for nine years, and retired in May 1936. Alschuler was a bachelor until 1923, when he married the daughter of the Chicago clothing manufacturer Ella Kahn. On November 10, 1939, Samuel Alschuler died, having no children.

Judge Samuel Alschuler is related to the nineteenth century photographer, Samuel Alschuler. The photographer is best known for photographing Abraham Lincoln in Urbana, Illinois, in 1858 in which Lincoln wore Alschuler's black suit coat which was far too small for the political figure. Images taken by the photographer Samuel Alschuler are included in this collection.

The finding aid for the Samuel Alschuler Papers, 1890-1940 at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum may be found at: 

This collection features photographs relating to Samuel Alschuler and his family, including unidentified family members and scenes from Chile. 

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ca. 1936