NELSON, Knute, (1843 - 1923)

Senate Years of Service: 1895-1923
Party: Republican

NELSON, Knute, a Representative and a Senator from Minnesota; born in Voss, Norway, February 2, 1843; immigrated to the United States in 1849 with his mother, settled in Chicago, Ill.; moved to Wisconsin in 1850; attended the common schools and Albion Academy, Albion, Wis.; taught school; served as a private and noncommissioned officer with the Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry during the Civil War; wounded and taken prisoner at Port Hudson, La., 1863; at the close of the war he returned to Albion College and completed the course; studied law; admitted to the bar in 1867 and commenced practice in Cambridge, Wis.; member, Wisconsin assembly 1868-1869; moved to Alexandria, Douglas County, Minn., in 1871; county attorney 1872-1874; member, State senate 1874-1878; presidential elector on the Republican ticket in 1880; member of the board of regents of the University of Minnesota 1882-1893; elected as a Republican to the Forty-eighth, Forty-ninth, and Fiftieth Congresses (March 4, 1883-March 3, 1889); was not a candidate for renomination in 1888; elected Governor of Minnesota in 1892; reelected in 1894 and served until January 31, 1895, when he resigned, preparatory to becoming Senator; elected as a Republican to the United States Senate in 1895; reelected in 1901, 1907, 1912, and 1918 and served from March 4, 1895, until his death; chairman, Committee on the Improvement of the Mississippi River and Its Tributaries (Fifty-fourth through Sixtieth Congresses), Committee on Public Lands (Sixtieth through Sixty-second Congresses), Committee on Commerce (Sixty-second Congress), Committee on the Five Civilized Tribes of Indians (Sixty-third through Sixty-fifth Congresses), Committee on Private Land Claims (Sixty-fifth Congress), Committee on the Judiciary (Sixty-sixth and Sixty-seventh Congresses); died on a train near Timonium, Md., April 28, 1923, while en route to his home; interment in Kinkead Cemetery, Alexandria, Minn.


American National Biography; Dictionary of American Biography; Gieske, Millard L., and Steven J. Keilor. Norwegian Yankee: Knute Nelson and the Failure of American Politics, 1880-1923. Northfield, MN: Norwegian-American Historical Association, 1995; Odland, Martin. The Life of Knute Nelson. Minneapolis: The Lund Press, 1926.