Born in Malmo, Sweden, ALBIN WALTER NORBLAD moved with his family to Grand Rapids, Michigan as a child. Leaving home at the age of twelve, he held a number of jobs before pursuing the study of business and then law. He began the practice of law in Michigan, where he won election as District Attorney of Delta County. While traveling in the west, he visited a friend in Astoria, Oregon and made the decision to move his family there. He practiced law, served as City Attorney from 1910 to 1915, and was on the local school board. He won election twice to the state Senate, and as Senate President in 1929, he succeeded to the governorship upon the death of Isaac L. Patterson. He was unable to rally the support he needed to deal with the state’s deepening economic crisis, costing him the Republican nomination for governor in his own right in 1930. Although the winner of the nomination—George Joseph—died within a month of receiving the nomination, Norblad declined further consideration. During his remaining time as governor, Norblad focused on addressing deteriorating economic conditions head on with organization of a labor commission that disbursed $2 million for road construction to help provide jobs for 5,000 people. He also helped secure federal assistance to settle a dispute between cattle and sheep ranchers in Eastern Oregon, established a State Pardons Board, brought Oregon’s industrial leaders together to discuss occupational safety improvements, and supported national legislation to implement a universal military draft. After leaving office, Norblad returned to Astoria and the practice of law.
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. D. New York: James T. White & Company.