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John Moses
North Dakota

Gov. John Moses

  • January 5, 1939 - January 4, 1945
  • Democratic
  • June 12, 1885
  • March 3, 1945
  • Other
  • University of North Dakota
  • Married Ethel Joslyn; four children
  • Senator


JOHN MOSES, the twenty-second governor of North Dakota, was born in Strand, Norway on June 12, 1885. His education was attained in Norway, where he attended high school and junior college. After moving to the United States, he continued his education at the University of North Dakota, earning both an undergraduate degree and law degree. He then went on to establish a legal practice in Hazen, North Dakota. Moses first entered politics as the states attorney for Mercer County, a position he held from 1919 to 1923 and 1927 to 1933. He next secured the Democratic gubernatorial nomination, and was elected governor in the 1938 general election. He went on to win reelection to a second term in 1940 and a third term in 1942. During his tenure, state spending was controlled; and the state’s agricultural crops flourished. After leaving the governorship, Moses served in the U.S. Senate, an office he held from January 3, 1945 until he passed away on March 3, 1945. Governor John Moses was buried in St. Mary’s Cemetery 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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