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Horace Austin

Gov. Horace Austin

  • January 9, 1870 - January 7, 1874
  • Republican
  • October 15, 1831
  • November 7, 1905
  • Connecticut
  • Married Mary Lena Morrill; six children
  • National Guard


HORACE AUSTIN, the sixth governor of Minnesota, was born in Canterbury, Connecticut on October 15, 1831. His early education was attained in the Connecticut public schools, and later at the Litchfield Academy in Maine. He studied law and then established his legal career in St. Paul, Minnesota. Austin fought in the U.S.-Dakota War of 1862 as a member of the Frontier Guards. After his military service, he entered into a career in public service, serving on the bench of the Sixth Judicial District from 1865 to 1869. Austin next secured the Republican gubernatorial nomination and was elected governor by a popular vote on November 2, 1869. He was reelected to a second term in 1871. During his tenure, the state board of health was established; seventeen new counties were formed; the state constitution was revised; and passenger and freight rate regulations were promoted. After completing his term, Austin left office on January 7, 1874. He continued to stay politically active, serving as the third auditor of the U.S. Treasury, a position he held four years. He also served seven years as the registrar of the U.S. Land Office in Fargo, North Dakota, and was a member of the Minnesota railroad and warehouse commission from 1887 to 1891. Governor Horace Austin passed away on November 7, 1905, and his cremated ashes were buried in the Oakland Cemetery in St. Paul, Minnesota.


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.

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