CHARLES N. HERREID was born in Dane County, Wisconsin. He attended Galesville University in Wisconsin from 1874 to 1878 and the University of Wisconsin from 1880 to 1882. He moved to Dakota Territory in 1882, where he served as a McPherson County Court judge from 1888 to 1891 and Lieutenant Governor of the new State of South Dakota from 1892 to 1896. He chaired the Republican State Central Committee from 1898 until 1900, when he was elected governor. During Herreid's first gubernatorial term, efforts were made to reform the state's penal code, and a reduction in railroad rates helped ease the plight of farmers. During his second term, big business interests were brought under control, as was the power of political machines. Herreid declined to run for a third term, returning to his law practice in Aberdeen, South Dakota. In addition to his political activism and engagement in the practice of law, during his lifetime Herreid was director of the Western Mutual Life Insurance Company, president of Citizens Trust and Savings Bank, Federal Food Administrator for South Dakota, chairman of the South Dakota Military Training Camps Association, trustee of the University of Wisconsin, and a member of the Board of Regents for Education for South Dakota. He also served as a member of the South Dakota committee of the Red Cross.
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. 13. New York: James T. White & Company.