Charles A. Christopherson

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Charles Andrew Christopherson
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from South Dakota's South Dakota's 1st congressional district district
In office
March 4, 1919 – March 3, 1933
Preceded by Charles H. Dillon
Succeeded by Fred H. Hildebrandt
Personal details
Born (1871-07-23)July 23, 1871
Amherst Township, Fillmore County, Minnesota
Died November 2, 1951(1951-11-02) (aged 80)
Sioux Falls, South Dakota
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Abbie Deyoe
Profession lawyer
Religion Congregational

Charles Andrew Christopherson (July 23, 1871 – November 2, 1951) was a lawyer and politician in South Dakota. He was elected to the state legislature in 1912. In 1918 he was elected to the United States House of Representatives, where he was re-elected to a total of seven terms until being defeated in 1932, during the Great Depression.

Early life and education[edit]

Christopherson was born in Amherst Township, Fillmore County, Minnesota to Knute C. Christopherson, a Norwegian immigrant who came to the US at age 14, and Julia Nelson. He was one of seven children and his father belonged to the Lutheran Church.[1] on July 23, 1871.[2] He attended the public schools there.

Christopherson moved to Sioux Falls, South Dakota, where he attended Sioux Falls Business College and Normal School. He graduated in 1890 and read the law with an established firm until he qualified for the bar.


Christopherson was admitted to the bar in 1893, and started his practice in Sioux Falls at the Joe Kirby law office[2] He later practiced alone until taking Fredolph H. Melquist as a partner in 1913.[1]

Marriage and family[edit]

Christopherson married Abbie Deyoe from Cedar Falls, Iowa on November 30, 1897. Her parents were both born in New York State and migrated west.[1] They had two children: Wanda M. and Charles A. Christopherson. He and his family belonged to the Congregational Church.[1]

Political career[edit]

Christopherson became active in local issues. He was elected as a member of the Board of Education of Sioux Falls from 1908–1918, and President of it from 1911-1915. He participated in the Masons, the International Order of Odd Fellows, the Knights of Pythias, and the Elks.

In 1912, he was elected as a Republican to the South Dakota House of Representatives, and served as Speaker of the House beginning in 1915, in his last term.[1]

In 1918, Christopherson ran for and won the state seat in the United States House of Representatives. He was re-elected every term until 1932 (for a total of seven), when he lost to a Democratic candidate, part of a sweep based on the popularity of President Franklin D. Roosevelt and his programs during the Great Depression. Christopherson ran again for office in 1934, but lost.

He returned to Sioux Falls full-time to pursue his legal career. He died there in 1951.


  1. ^ a b c d e "George W. Kingsbury", History of Dakota Territory, Vol. V (1915), p. 248
  2. ^ a b Dana R. Bailey, History of Minnehaha County, South Dakota (1899), p. 491
United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Charles H. Dillon
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from South Dakota's 1st congressional district
Succeeded by
Fred H. Hildebrandt