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Governor Joseph Alfred Arner Burnquist

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Office Dates:  Dec 30, 1915 - Jan 05, 1921


Born:  Jul 21, 1879

Passed:  Jan 12, 1961

Birth State:  Ohio

Party:  Republican

Family:  Married Mary Louise Cross; four children

School(s):  Carleton College; Columbia University; University of Minnesota

JOSEPH A. A. BURNQUIST, the nineteenth governor of Minnesota, was born in Dayton, Ohio on July 21, 1879. His education was attained at Carleton College, where he graduated in 1902, at Columbia University, where he earned a M.A. degree in 1904, and at the University of Minnesota, where he earned a law degree in 1905. Burnquist entered politics in 1909, serving as a member of the Minnesota House of Representatives, a position he held until 1911. He also served as the lieutenant governor of Minnesota from 1913 to 1915. On December 30, 1915, Governor Winfield S. Hammond died in office, and Burnquist, who was the lieutenant governor at the time, assumed the duties of the governorship. He was elected to a term of his own on November 7, 1916, and was reelected to a second term in 1918. During his tenure, the state highway system was advanced; a public safety commission was formed; children's labor laws were improved; a uniform sales law was sanctioned; and a soldier's bonus bill was authorized. After completing his term, Burnquist left office on January 5, 1921. He returned to public service in 1938, serving as the attorney general of Minnesota, a position he held sixteen years. He also served as the court commissioner, as well as serving on the State Pardon Board and on the Land Exchange Commission. Governor Joseph A.A. Burnquist passed away in Minneapolis on January 12, 1961.


Sobel, Robert, and John Raimo, eds. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978, Vol. 2, Westport, Conn.; Meckler Books, 1978. 4 vols.

Minnesota Historical Society

The Political Graveyard