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Harlan John Bushfield
South Dakota

Gov. Harlan John Bushfield

  • January 3, 1939 - January 5, 1943
  • Republican
  • August 6, 1882
  • September 27, 1948
  • Iowa
  • Dakota Wesleyan University, University of Minnesota
  • Married Vera Cahalan; three children
  • Senator


HARLAN JOHN BUSHFIELD was born in Atlantic, Iowa and attended Dakota Wesleyan University from 1899 until 1901, going on to receive a law degree from the University of Minnesota and beginning the practice of law in Miller, South Dakota. He chaired the South Dakota State Republican Committee in 1936 and went on to win election as governor two years later. During Bushfield’s gubernatorial administration, the state budget was significantly reduced, as were income taxes, and the state property tax was abolished. After serving a single term as governor, Bushfield won election to the U.S. Senate, where he was an outspoken opponent of the United Nations and of reciprocal trade agreements made by the Roosevelt administration. He died of a cerebral hemorrhage in Miller, South Dakota.


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. 39. New York: James T. White & Company.

South Dakota State Historical Society

Biographical Direcoty of the US Congress

Recent South Dakota Governors