CARL GUNDERSON was born in Clay County, Dakota Territory. He attended the University of South Dakota from 1886 to 1890 and studied engineering at Cornell University in 1892, going on to become a land surveyor. He served as Alloting Agent for three Indian Reservations from 1904 to 1911. He was a member of the South Dakota House of Representatives for a number of non-consecutive terms starting in 1893 and ending in 1919, and served two terms as Lieutenant Governor before being elected governor. During Gunderson's gubernatorial administration, the Standard Cooperative Law was enacted, enabling the creation of commodity marketing associations. In addition, the State Department of Agriculture was established, and legislative action provided for an Executive Budget. Gunderson was defeated for a second term as governor and retired to Mitchell, South Dakota to farm.
Sobel, Robert, and John Raimo, eds. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978, Vol. 4. Westport, CT: Meckler Books, 1978. 4 vols.
The National Cyclopaedia of American Biography, Vol. 24. New York: James T. White & Company.