JACOB A. O. PREUS, the twentieth governor of Minnesota, was born in Columbia County, Wisconsin on August 28, 1883. His education was attained at Luther College, where he graduated in 1903, and at the University of Minnesota, where he earned a law degree in 1906. Preus entered into a public service career in 1906, as clerk to U.S. Senator Knute Nelson, a position he held three years. He also served as the executive clerk to the Minnesota governor from 1909 to 1910, was the state insurance commissioner from 1910 to 1914, and served as the state auditor from 1914 to 1920. Preus next secured the Republican gubernatorial nomination and was elected governor by a popular vote on November 2, 1920. He was reelected to a second term in 1922. During his tenure, a Department of Agriculture was formed; highway construction was advanced; election procedures were improved; low interest farm loans were authorized; and women became prominent in state politics. After completing his term, Preus left office on January 6, 1925, and retired from political life. He later worked in the insurance industry in Chicago, as well as playing a part in the founding of the Lutheran Brotherhood. Governor Jacob A. O. Preus passed away on May 24, 1961, and was buried in Decorah, Iowa.
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.