Biography of Charles A. Jilek
Cuyahoga County, OH Biographies

CHARLES ALFRED JILEK, Cleveland attorney and former chief police prosecutor for the city, is a veteran of the World war, who completed his law studies and engaged in practice after his return from overseas. He was born in Qeveland, April 10, 1889, and represents one of the pioneer Bohemian families of this city. His parents, Charles and Anna (Jirele) Jilek, were both born in Bohemia, his father having come to the United States in 1880, locating at once in Cleveland, where for many years he was a contracting carpenter. He died in 1909. Anna Jirele, his wife, was about one year old when she was brought to the United States by her parents. Her father, John Jirele, was an iron molder by trade, and worked at that occupation for a time after arriving in Baltimore, but before the close of the Civil war period he located at Cleveland, and was one of the very early men of his nationality in the city, being a pioneer in the Bohemian colony of this city. She is still living.

Charles A. Jilek acquired his early education in the public schools, attending the Central High School until his junior year, and then went to work as a clerk in the offices of the Lake Shore & Michigan Southern Railway. For six years he held a clerkship, studying and taking examinations from time to time, and entering the building department of the City of Cleveland he was later promoted chief clerk of that department. During that time he also pursued and completed two years of the course in law.

When the United States entered the war against Germany Mr. Jilek volunteered, though married and a father, and entered the first Officers' Training Camp at Fort Benjamin Harrison, Indianapolis, where he was commissioned a second lieutenant, and sent to Camp Sherman. Ohio, and was assigned to duty with the Three Hundred and Thirty-first Infantry. Subsequently he was detailed to Fort Sill, Oklahoma, as instructor in grenade work, and was made general instructor for the division, teaching grenade and the use of automatic rifles, particularly the French gun, known as the Chauchat automatic rifle. On May 23, 1918, with his command, he left Camp Sherman for overseas, landing in England June 6, and thence proceeding to an eastern area in France. Later his division was assigned duty in the Lemon area, where he was put in oharge of the ordnance department of that area and remained there until after the close of the war. On his return to the United States he was honorably discharged and was mustered out March 15, 1919. He was offered a commission if he would remain in the service, but declined.

On returning to Cleveland he immediately resumed his law studies, and was graduated from the Cleveland Law School of Baldwin-Wallace University in 1920, and in 1922 he took a post-graduate course in the John Marshall Law School of Northern Ohio University, and received his Doctor of Laws degree. Admitted to the bar in June of 1922 he engaged in law practice in association with the firm of Payer, Winch & Minshall, one of the foremost law firms in Cleveland. Five months later he withdrew to engage in private practice, and he has distinguished himself as one of the best qualified of the younger attorneys in the city.

In 1920 he was an unsuccessful candidate at the republican primaries for the nomination for the Legislature. He was appointed assistant police prosecutor January 1, 1922, and on September 1, 1923, was promoted to chief police prosecutor, which position he resigned in 1924 to enter private practice. He is generally active in political and civic affairs, and f raternally he is affiliated with the Masons, the Knights of Malta, the American Legion and the Veterans of Foreign Wars.

Mr. Jilek married Miss Sarah Smith. She was born in Omaha, Nebraska, but her father, William R. Smith, brought his family to Cleveland, and has lived here for twenty years or more. Mr. and Mrs. Jilek have one son, Byron Charles, born February 14, 1917.

A History of Cuyahoga County
and the City of Cleveland
By: William R. Coates
The American Historical Society
Chicago and New York, 1924

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