Hjalmar Petersen

Hjalmar Petersen (January 2, 1890 – March 29, 1968) was an American politician who served as the 23rd Governor of Minnesota.

Hjalmar Petersen
Hjalmar Petersen.jpg
23rd Governor of Minnesota
In office
August 22, 1936 – January 4, 1937
LieutenantWilliam B. Richardson (acting)
Preceded byFloyd B. Olson
Succeeded byElmer Austin Benson
28th Lieutenant Governor of Minnesota
In office
January 8, 1935 – August 24, 1936
GovernorFloyd B. Olson
Preceded byKonrad K. Solberg
Succeeded byWilliam B. Richardson
Member of the Minnesota House of Representatives
In office
Personal details
Born(1890-01-02)January 2, 1890
Eskildstrup, Denmark
DiedMarch 29, 1968(1968-03-29) (aged 78)
Columbus, Ohio, U.S.
Political partyFarmer-Labor
Spouse(s)Rigmore C. Wosgaard (1st), Medora Grandprey (2nd)


Hjalmar Petersen was born in Eskildstrup, Denmark to Lauritz and Anna Petersen, who moved with Hjalmar to Chicago, Illinois shortly after his birth. They later moved to the Danebod in Tyler, Minnesota. Petersen attended school until the seventh grade.[1] His career in journalism, which had begun in 1904, culminated in his purchase in 1914 of the Askov American in Askov, Minnesota, a weekly newspaper he owned for the rest of his life.[2]

Political careerEdit

After serving as Askov's village clerk and mayor, Petersen won two terms in the Minnesota House of Representatives,[3] where he sponsored the state income-tax law and urged that tax revenues be spent on public education. Before he ran for the Minnesota Legislature he had been a member of the Republican Party. By the time he ran for office he was a member of the Farmer-Labor Party. He served in the legislature from 1931 to 1934, representing the old House District 56.

Petersen was elected the 28th Lieutenant Governor of Minnesota in 1934 and served with Governor Floyd B. Olson. He was sworn in as governor two days after Olson died of cancer on August 22, 1936. He served the remainder of Olson's term but declined to run for governor himself in the November general election, opting instead to launch a successful bid for Railroad and Warehouse Commissioner, a position he then assumed after leaving the governship on January 4, 1937. He later ran for governor in 1940 and 1942, losing both times to Harold Stassen.[4]

Personal lifeEdit

After his term as governor, he served as the president of the American Publishing Company. He was married twice, first to Rigmor C. Wosgaard in 1914 and later to Medora Grandprey in 1934. He died in 1968 in Columbus, Ohio.[5]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Keillor, Steven J. "A Country Editor in Politics" (PDF). Retrieved June 4, 2018.
  2. ^ Minnesota Historical Society's Governors of Minnesota (Minnesota Legislators Past and Present) [1]
  3. ^ Minnesota Legislators Past and Present-Hjalmar Petersen
  4. ^ Hjalmar Petersen, Twenty-third State Governor (Minnesota Historical Society) [2]
  5. ^ Minnesota Governor Hjalmar Petersen (National Governors Association) "Archived copy". Archived from the original on June 4, 2011. Retrieved June 29, 2009.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)

Other resourcesEdit

Further readingEdit

  • Keillor, Steven J. Hjalmar Petersen of Minnesota: The Politics of Provincial Independence ( Minnesota Historical Society Press. 1987)
Political offices
Preceded by
Konrad K. Solberg
Lieutenant Governor of Minnesota
Succeeded by
William B. Richardson
Acting Lieutenant Governor
Preceded by
Floyd B. Olson
Governor of Minnesota
Succeeded by
Elmer Austin Benson