Born in Madison, Wisconsin to German immigrants, ALBERT G. SCHMEDEMAN graduated from Northwestern Commercial College in Madison. He served two terms as Madison City Alderman, and was also City Fire and Police Commissioner and a member of the Board of Education. He lost bids for a seat in Congress in 1910 and for Mayor of Madison in 1912, but was appointed Minister to Norway by President Wilson in 1913, holding the position for eight years. In 1925 he was elected Mayor of Madison, winning reelection three times. Although he was unopposed in the Democratic gubernatorial primary of 1928, he was defeated in the general election. He went on to win the governorship four years later, however, in the midst of the Great Depression, during which he closed the state banks prior to similar action at the federal level and sought a moratorium on loans against farms and homes. In 1934, he was defeated for reelection by the Progressive Philip La Follette. The summer of his defeat, he suffered an injury to his foot that turned gangrenous and resulted in the amputation of his leg, for which the legislature voted him compensation. He went on to be named Federal Housing Administrator for Wisconsin by President Franklin Roosevelt, a post that he held from 1935 until 1942.
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. 33. New York: James T. White & Company.