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George Frederick Shafer
North Dakota

Gov. George Frederick Shafer

  • January 9, 1929 - January 4, 1933
  • Republican (Independent Voters Association)
  • November 23, 1888
  • August 13, 1948
  • North Dakota
  • University of North Dakota
  • Married Frances Kellogg; four children


GEORGE F. SHAFER, the sixteenth governor of North Dakota, was born in Mandan, Dakota Territory on November 23, 1888. His early education was attained in Mandan’s public school system. He graduated from Williston (ND) High School and later he attended the University of North Dakota. He went on to study law, and in 1912 was licensed to practice. Shafter first entered politics in 1915, serving as the states attorney for McKenzie County, a position he held four years. He also was the assistant attorney general of North Dakota from 1921 to 1923, as well as serving as the attorney general from 1923 to 1929. Shafter next secured the Independent Republican gubernatorial nomination, and was elected governor by a popular vote in the 1928 general election. He went on to win reelection to a second term in 1930. During his tenure, the state mill and elevator flourished; problems resulting from a severe drought were dealt with; and the state capitol was destroyed by fire. After completing his term, Shafer retired from politics. Governor George F. Shafter passed away on August 13, 1948 in Bismarck, North Dakota.


Sobel, Robert, and John Raimo, eds. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978, Vol. 3, Westport, Conn.; Meckler Books, 1978. 4 vols.

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