Back to former North Dakota governors
Louis Benjamin Hanna
North Dakota

Gov. Louis Benjamin Hanna

  • January 8, 1913 - January 3, 1917
  • Republican
  • August 9, 1861
  • April 23, 1948
  • Pennsylvania
  • Married Lottie L. Thatcher; four children (one died at an early age)
  • Representative


LOUIS BENJAMIN HANNA, the eleventh governor of North Dakota, was born in New Brighton, Pennsylvania on August 9, 1861. His education was attained in the public schools of Ohio, New York, and Massachusetts. Hanna established a successful business career, with interests in the banking and lumber industries. He first entered politics in 1895, serving as a member of the North Dakota House of Representatives, a position he held two years. He also served in the North Dakota State Senate from 1897 to 1901 and 1905 to 1909; and was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from 1909 to 1913. Hanna next secured the Republican gubernatorial nomination, and was elected governor by a popular vote in the 1912 general election. He went on to win reelection to a second term in 1914. During his tenure, an inheritance tax law was sanctioned; court regulations were initiated; and a teachers’ retirement and insurance fund was created. After completing his term, Hanna served as chairman of the 1917 and 1918 state liberty loan committee, as well as serving as chairman of the 1924 Republican state campaign committee. He also served in World War I as a captain in the American Red Cross, and was awarded the Grand Cross of St. Olaf. Governor Louis B. Hanna passed away on April 23, 1948, and was buried in the Riverside Cemetery in Fargo, 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.

North Dakota State Government

Biographical Directory of the U.S. Congress

Recent North Dakota Governors