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Nels H. Smith

Gov. Nels H. Smith

  • January 2, 1939 - January 4, 1943
  • Republican
  • August 27, 1884
  • July 5, 1976
  • South Dakota
  • University of South Dakota
  • Married Marie Christensen; two children


NELS H. SMITH was born in Gayville, South Dakota and graduated from the University of South Dakota in 1904 with a bachelor of arts degree. He moved to Wyoming in 1907, ranching and stock breeding with his brother. He was a member of the Wyoming Highway Commission and the state legislature. In his term as governor, Smith instituted programs leading to the abolition of the state property tax and encouraged the construction of farm-to-market roads. After being defeated in his bid for reelection to a second term, he returned to ranching and stock breeding. He died in Spearfish, South Dakota a the age of ninety-one.


The National Cyclopaedia of American Biography, Vol. G. New York: James T. White & Company.

Sobel, Robert, and John Raimo, eds. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978, Vol. 4. Westport, CT: Meckler Books, 1978. 4 vols.

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