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Nelson, Knute

Senate 1875-78 (District 39)

Party when first elected:  Not Available

Counties Served:  Big Stone, Douglas, Grant, Pope, Stevens

BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION

Date of Birth: 2/2/1843
Birth Place: Evanger, Voss/Vosse Elven,
Birth County:
Birth Country: Norway
Date of Death: 4/28/1923
Gender: Male
Religion: Lutheran
Other Names:
City of Residence (when first elected): Alexandria
Occupation (when first elected): Lawyer/Farm Owner

EDUCATION

Albion Academy, Wisconsin; Secondary; Graduate, June 1865
Studied Law; Office of Senator William F. Vilas, Madison, Wisconsin; Admitted to the Wisconsin Bar, Spring 1867

OTHER GOVERNMENT SERVICE

Military: 4th Wisconsin Cavalry Regiment/Volunteer Infantry (United States Civil War, Capture of New Orleans, Siege of Vicksburg, Battle of Baton Rouge and Bisland; Wounded and Taken Prisoner in Port Hudson Siege, Louisiana; Private and Noncommissioned Officer); 04/1861 to 08/1864
State Legislator (Not Minnesota): Wisconsin Assembly; 1868 to 1869 [Elected]
County Attorney: Douglas County, Minnesota; 1872 to 1874 [Elected]
Board of Regents: University of Minnesota; 1882 to 1893
U.S. Representative: 5th Congressional District, Minnesota; 03/04/1883 to 03/03/1889 [Elected]
State Governor: Minnesota; 01/04/1893 to 01/31/1895 [Elected]
U.S. Senator: Minnesota; 03/04/1895 to 04/28/1923 [Elected]

FAMILY RELATIONSHIPS

Spouse: Nicolina or Nicoline Jacobson Nelson (married in 1867)
Children:
Family Members Who Have Served in the Minnesota Legislature:

GENERAL NOTES

He came to Chicago, Illinois on July 3, 1849, when he was six years old, with his mother. They next moved to Wisconsin. He moved to Alexandria, Minnesota in August 1871.

He lived on a farm in Alexandria, Minnesota.

"Politics, Republican." (Biographical Sketches of the Officers of Minnesota and the 19th Minnesota State Legislature by C.L. Hall, 1877, p. 19)

He was listed as a Republican on the list of members posted after the 1877 election. ("The Next Legislature." St. Paul Pioneer Press, November 10, 1877)

He was elected as a Republican party member to the United States Congress.

He was the state's first foreign-born governor. (MNopedia, June 6, 2011.)

He resigned his second term as Minnesota Governor to run for the United States Senate.

He was wounded in the Siege of Port Hudson, Louisiana.

He died before his term expired in the United States Senate. He died on a railroad car near Timonium/Baltimore, Maryland while returning to Minnesota from Washington D.C. His body was lain in state in the State Capitol on May 1, 1923. He was buried in Kinkead Cemetery in Alexandria, Minnesota.

Religion provided by Biographical Sketches of the Officers of Minnesota and the 19th Minnesota State Legislature by C.L. Hall, 1877.

Total Days Served: 1463

SESSIONS SERVED

20th Legislative Session (1878)

  Session Details
Body: Senate
District: 39
Elected: 11/7/1876
Residence: Alexandria
Term of Office: 1/2/1877 to 1/6/1879
Counties Represented: Big Stone, Douglas, Grant, Pope, Stevens
Occupation: Lawyer
Party: Republican Party Notes: "Politics, Republican." (Biographical Sketches of the Officers of Minnesota and the 19th Minnesota State Legislature by C.L. Hall, 1877, p. 19); He was listed as a Republican on the list of members posted after the 1877 election. ("The Next Legislature." St. Paul Pioneer Press, November 10, 1877)
Committees:
  • Joint Grasshopper Devastation
  • Joint Taxes and Tax Laws
  • Judiciary
  • Railroads
  • State Reform School

19th Legislative Session (1877)

  Session Details
Body: Senate
District: 39
Elected: 11/7/1876
Residence: Alexandria
Term of Office: 1/2/1877 to 1/6/1879
Counties Represented: Big Stone, Douglas, Grant, Pope, Stevens
Occupation: Lawyer
Party: Republican Party Notes: "Politics, Republican." (Biographical Sketches of the Officers of Minnesota and the 19th Minnesota State Legislature by C.L. Hall, 1877, p. 19); He was listed as a Republican on the list of members posted after the 1877 election. ("The Next Legislature." St. Paul Pioneer Press, November 10, 1877)
Committees:
  • Judiciary
  • Railroads
  • Retrenchment and Reform
  • State Reform School

18th Legislative Session (1876)

  Session Details
Body: Senate
District: 39
Elected: 11/3/1874
Residence: Alexandria
Term of Office: 1/5/1875 to 1/1/1877
Counties Represented: Big Stone, Douglas, Grant, Pope, Stevens
Occupation: Lawyer
Party: Not Available
Committees:
  • Judiciary
  • Railroads
  • Retrenchment and Reform

17th Legislative Session (1875)

  Session Details
Body: Senate
District: 39
Elected: 11/3/1874
Residence: Alexandria
Term of Office: 1/5/1875 to 1/1/1877
Counties Represented: Big Stone, Douglas, Grant, Pope, Stevens
Occupation: Lawyer/Farm Owner
Party: Not Available
Committees:
  • Insane Asylum
  • Judiciary
  • Railroads
  • Retrenchment and Reform (Chair)