Frank Farrar

Frank Leroy Farrar (born April 2, 1929) is an American politician who was the 24th Governor of South Dakota. A Republican from Britton, he served as the state's attorney general from 1963 to 1969, and as governor from 1969 to 1971. After leaving office, he chaired several holding companies and became the owner of numerous banks.[2]

Frank Farrar
Portrait of Frank Leroy Farrar.jpg
24th Governor of South Dakota
In office
January 7, 1969 – January 5, 1971
LieutenantJames Abdnor
Preceded byNils Boe
Succeeded byRichard F. Kneip
22nd Attorney General of South Dakota
In office
GovernorArchie M. Gubbrud
Nils Boe
Preceded byAlbert C. Miller
Succeeded byGordon Mydland
Personal details
Born (1929-04-02) April 2, 1929 (age 92)
Britton, South Dakota, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
Spouse(s)Patricia Farrar (1953–2015; her death)[1]
Alma materUniversity of South Dakota (BS, 1951, LLB 1953)

Early life and educationEdit

Farrar earned a B.S. from the University of South Dakota an LL.B degree from the University of South Dakota School of Law. He did not take the bar exam as he was admitted to the South Dakota bar under the state's diploma privilege. He was in the US Army Reserve from 1949 through 1953, and on active duty during the Korean War from 1953 to 1955.[3] He married the former Patricia Henley on June 5, 1953, in Fort Benning, Georgia, where he was stationed in the U.S. Army.[4]


After the Korean War ended, Farrar was an Internal Revenue Agent until 1957. He was a judge in 1958. Farrar served as State's Attorney for Marshall County from 1959 to 1962. He also served as President of the States Attorneys Association.[5] He was Attorney General for South Dakota from 1963 to 1969.[6]

On May 22, 1962, Farrar announced that he was running for Attorney General. Sterling Clark, of Belle Fourche, also ran for the Republican nomination for Attorney General.[7] Farrar won the nomination with 96,608 1/2 vote to 57,339 1/2 votes for Clark.[8] Farrar went on to defeat Democrat Thomas E. Poe of Vermillion, South Dakota, in the general election.[9] Poe had replaced Democrat William Day of Winner, South Dakota, who resigned his candidacy for business reasons. [10]

On July 1, 1964, Farrar sought re-nomination as Attorney General.[11] He was re-elected in the general election with 157,848 votes defeating Democrat William C. Grady who received 125,047.[12] In the general election Farrar ran against Democrat Robert M. Swanson.[13] Farrar won a third term with 141,734 votes to 79,670 for Swanson. With Farrar's election to a third term as Attorney there was much speculation that he would be the heir apparent for Republican Gubernatorial nomination in 1968.[14] Elected Governor, he served in that capacity from January 7, 1969 to January 5, 1971.

Later lifeEdit

Portrait of the Governor

Farrar has over 17,000 hours of logged piloting time. He is also an avid athlete, completing the Kona Ironman Competition at age 73, a decade after surviving lymphatic cancer.[15] He also holds the 9th fastest finishing time in the Coeur D’Alene Ironman in the 70+ Men's division. He completed the 2003 race in 16:48:49.[16] His wife, former First Lady of South Dakota Patricia Farrar, who was also a Senior Olympian, died on October 31, 2015, at the age of 84.[17]


  1. ^ Former S.D. First Lady Pat Farrar dies at 84
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-01-09. Retrieved 2010-12-17.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^ "Frank Farrar". National Governors Association. Retrieved 2 September 2012.
  4. ^ "The First Ladies of South Dakota". South Dakota State Historical Society. 1973.
  5. ^ Rapid City Journal, May 22, 1962, page 18
  6. ^ "Frank Farrer". National Governors Association. Retrieved 2 September 2012.
  7. ^ Rapid City Journal, May 22, 1962, page 18
  8. ^ The Daily Plainsman, July 17, 1962, page 1
  9. ^ Sioux Falls Argus Leader, October 12, 1962, page 8
  10. ^ The Daily Republic, August 4, 1962, page 10
  11. ^ The Daily Plainsman, July 1, 1964, page 1-2
  12. ^ Deadwood Pioneer-Times, November 4, 1964, page 1
  13. ^ Rapid City Journal, November 4, 1966, page 10
  14. ^ The Daily Republic, November 16, 1966, page 18
  15. ^ "Meet Frank Farrar, Kona's Last Official Finisher in 2002". Archived from the original on 2011-09-30. Retrieved 2010-12-17.
  16. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2010-06-10. Retrieved 2010-12-17.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  17. ^ Nelson, Katie (2015-10-31). "Former S.D. First Lady Pat Farrar dies at 84". Argus Leader. Retrieved 2015-11-30.

External linksEdit

Party political offices
Preceded by
Nils Boe
Republican nominee for Governor of South Dakota
1968, 1970
Succeeded by
Carveth Thompson
Legal offices
Preceded by
Albert C. Miller
Attorney General of South Dakota
Succeeded by
Gordon J. Mydland
Political offices
Preceded by
Nils Boe
Governor of South Dakota
Succeeded by
Richard F. Kneip