Real, Julius (1860–1944)

By: Rebecca J. Herring

Type: Biography

Published: 1952

Updated: June 1, 1995

Julius Real, rancher, county judge, and state senator, son of Caspar and Emilie (Schreiner) Real, was born at his parents' ranch on Turtle Creek seven miles south of Kerrville, Texas, on May 7, 1860. His erratic early education included a private tutor on the family's isolated ranch, attendance at the Comfort school eighteen miles away, and later attendance at a country school three miles from the ranch. He also attended Southwestern University at Georgetown for two years in the early 1880s. In 1894, after ranching for several years with his father on the family homestead, Real was elected Kerr county commissioner. He held this post for eight years. In 1902 he was elected both county judge and county superintendent of education, positions he held simultaneously for the next six years. He was elected to the state Senate in 1908 and served for six years. Although he was a Prohibitionist, Real's district included San Antonio, at that time the largest and wettest city in the state. In 1911, when a retiring state legislature and governor planned to enact prohibition in Texas, Real and ten other senators in the "Whiskey Rebellion" left Austin and hid in the hills of Bandera County to prevent a quorum. After retiring from the legislature, Real devoted his time to ranching in Kerr County. In 1924, however, he was recalled to the Senate by popular mandate. He served until 1929, when he retired from public life.

In the Senate he served as chairman of the Finance Committee and of the Land Office Committee and as a member of eleven other committees. His tenure in the legislature was unique. He was elected and reelected from a primarily Democratic area, although he was a Republican, the only Republican member of the entire Democratic Senate. Despite political differences, however, he was well respected by his colleagues. When the legislature formed a new county in 1913 from portions of Edwards, Bandera, and Kerr counties, it was named Real County in his honor. Real chaired the Kerr County Republican Committee and served on the board of trustees of Schreiner Institute and on the board of directors of the Kerrville Chamber of Commerce. He was a member of the Masons, the Rotary Club, the Woodmen of the World, and the Order of the Sons of Hermann, and served as president of a German singing society, the Texas Gebirgs Sängerbund. Real married Marguerethe Koch Schmidt on February 23, 1886; they had one child. He died on May 29, 1944, at his home on Turtle Creek and was buried in the family cemetery near the house in which he had lived for almost sixty years.

Bob Bennett, Kerr County, Texas, 1856–1956 (San Antonio: Naylor, 1956; bicentennial ed., rev. by Clara Watkins: Kerr County, Texas, 1856–1976, Kerrville, Texas: Hill Country Preservation Society, 1975). Vertical Files, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin.
  • Law, Law Enforcement, and Outlaws
  • Politics and Government
  • Judges

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Rebecca J. Herring, “Real, Julius,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed June 25, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

June 1, 1995