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Joseph McMurray Devine
North Dakota

Gov. Joseph McMurray Devine

  • August 9, 1898 - January 3, 1899
  • Republican
  • March 15, 1861
  • August 31, 1938
  • West Virginia
  • University of West Virginia
  • Married twice—Ida Frances Holloway, Mary Bernadine Hanscom; four children
  • Succeeded


JOSEPH M. DEVINE, the sixth governor of North Dakota, was born in Wheeling, West Virginia on March 15, 1861. His early education was attained in the Wheeling public schools. He later attended and graduated from the University of West Virginia in Morgantown. In 1884 he moved to LaMoure County, Dakota Territory, where he was the superintendent of schools for ten years. Devine first entered politics as the lieutenant governor of North Dakota, a position he held from 1897 to 1898. On August 9, 1898 Governor Frank A. Briggs died in office, and Devine, who was the lieutenant governor at the time, assumed the duties of the governorship. During his tenure, educational improvements were promoted. After leaving the governorship, Devine won reelection as lieutenant governor, an office he held from 1899 to 1901. He also continued to stay active in the promotion of educational issues. He served as state superintendent of public instruction in 1900, as well as serving as superintendent of the State Training School in 1914. In his last position, he served as State Immigration Commisioner, a post he held from 1923 to 1933. Governor Joseph M. Devine passed away on August 31, 1938, and was buried in the Union Cemetery in Mandan, 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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