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Adolph Olson Eberhart (June 23, 1870 – December 6, 1944) was an American politician, who served as the 17th Governor of Minnesota.

Adolph Olson Eberhart
17th Governor of Minnesota
In office
September 21, 1909 – January 5, 1915
LieutenantEdward Everett Smith
Samuel Y. Gordon
Joseph A. A. Burnquist
Preceded byJohn Albert Johnson
Succeeded byWinfield Scott Hammond
17th Lieutenant Governor of Minnesota
In office
January 7, 1907 – September 21, 1909
GovernorJohn Albert Johnson
Preceded byRay W. Jones
Succeeded byEdward Everett Smith
Member of the Minnesota Senate
In office
Personal details
Born(1870-06-23)June 23, 1870
Värmland, Sweden
DiedDecember 6, 1944(1944-12-06) (aged 74)
Savage, Minnesota, United States
Political partyRepublican
Spouse(s)Adele O.M. Koke


Adolph Olson Eberhart was born in Kil, in Värmland, Sweden, the son of Andrew and Louise Olson. Because of bad economic conditions, Andrew, Louise and all of the family except Adolph emigrated to St. Peter, Minnesota. In 1882, Adolph joined the family there. Eberhart graduated from Gustavus Adolphus College, St. Peter, Minnesota (1895) and studied law in a law office in Mankato, Minnesota.[1]


Eberhart above a crowd at the 1913 Goodhue County Fair in Zumbrota, Minnesota

Eberhart was a member of the Minnesota State Senate from January 1903 to January 1907. He was elected the 17th Lieutenant Governor in 1906. He became the 17th Governor of Minnesota on September 21, 1909, when Governor John Albert Johnson died, and served until January 5, 1915. Eberhart was a Republican. Minnesota elected Governors and Lt. Governors on separate ballots until 1974, so it happened occasionally that the two were of different parties. Elected the youngest member of the state senate in 1902, the Republican Eberhart was chosen as lieutenant governor four years later in the administration of the legendary Democrat, John Albert Johnson. Although his first partial term as governor resulted from Johnson's death in 1909, he subsequently won the office twice on his own merits.[2][3]

An efficient administrator, Eberhart was also a consummate politician, and his detractors, including many Republicans, questioned his sincerity as well as the reputation of certain close associates. To assure his re-nomination in 1912, he called a special 13-day legislative session and deflated his critics by bulldozing through such progressive reforms as rural school consolidation and primary elections. Eberhart's strategy worked; he avoided the censure of his own party and was re-nominated for a second full term in the first statewide primary.[4]

Eberhart lost his re-nomination bid for a fourth term as governor. A second defeat in the 1916 U.S. Senate primary marked the end of his political career. After a career as a real estate and insurance executive in Chicago, he retired to a rest home where he died in Savage, Minnesota. An inventory of his gubernatorial records is maintained at the Minnesota Historical Society Library.[5]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Eberhart, Adolph Olson (Minnesota Historical Society)
  2. ^ "A. O. (Adolph Olson) Eberhart (Minnesota Historical Society)". Archived from the original on February 10, 2005. Retrieved September 10, 2005.
  3. ^ Minnesota Governor Adolph Olson Eberhart (National Governors Association) [1]
  4. ^ Eberhart, Adolph Olson "A.O." (Minnesota Legislators Past and Present) [2]
  5. ^ Minnesota Governor: Eberhart. Records (Minnesota Historical Society. State Archives) [3]

External linksEdit

Political offices
Preceded by
Ray W. Jones
Lieutenant Governor of Minnesota
1907 – 1909
Succeeded by
Edward Everett Smith
Preceded by
John Albert Johnson
Governor of Minnesota
1909 – 1915
Succeeded by
Winfield Scott Hammond