Lynn Joseph Frazier
Monday, September 10, 2012
Avid Dakota Datebook fans and history buffs will remember the political force of Former North Dakota Governor Lynn Joseph Frazier. Frazier was born near Medford, Minnesota, on December 21, 1874. He moved to Dakota Territory in 1881 with his parents, who homesteaded in Pembina County. Frazier graduated from Mayville State Normal School in 1895, and from the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks in 1901. Thereafter, he was a farmer and teacher – and then became involved in politics, serving locally on the township board and school board.
He went on to become the first Nonpartisan League governor in North Dakota and served the state from 1917 until 1921, when he became the first public official in the nation to be removed from office in a recall election. He is well-known for this, but afterward, he was elected to the United States Senate in 1922 and served for 18 years, often championing agriculture.
In 1935, Frazier’s wife, Lottie Stafford of Crystal, passed away in Washington, DC. They had been married since 1903, and had five children. On this date in 1937, the Cavalier Chronicle reported that the once-recalled governor had remarried. His second wife was Mrs. Catherine Paulson, a friend of his for some time. Her husband had died some seven years prior. The two had lived in neighboring communities in Walsh and Pembina Counties. The wedding was a quiet ceremony in Mountain at the Mountain Icelandic Church. Afterward, they travelled to Winnipeg and tooled around Canada. The marriage expanded the family, as Catherine added three children to Frazier’s brood of five. On January 3, 1941, Frazier left the office of U-S Senator and retired from politics.
Frazier lived during a particularly tumultuous time in North Dakota. He saw North Dakota enter the union as a dry state; and lived through the era of booze runners and moonshining. He witnessed the birth of the Nonpartisan League, Townleyism, and the political machines. He saw the railroads lay their tracks, and the influx of pioneers. He was there for the repeal of prohibition, and the ratification of the nineteenth amendment, giving women the right to vote.
He died in 1947 in Riverdale, Maryland, and is buried in Park Cemetery in Hoople.
Dakota Datebook written by Sarah Walker
Cavalier Chronicle, September 10, 1937