Ragnvald Nestos

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Ragnvald Nestos
13th Governor of North Dakota
In office
November 23, 1921 – January 7, 1925
LieutenantHoward R. Wood
Frank H. Hyland
Preceded byLynn Frazier
Succeeded byArthur G. Sorlie
Member of the North Dakota House of Representatives
In office
Personal details
Ragnvald Anderson Nestos

(1877-04-12)April 12, 1877
Voss, Norway
DiedJuly 15, 1942(1942-07-15) (aged 65)
Minot, North Dakota
Political partyRepublican (IVA)

Ragnvald Anderson Nestos (April 12, 1877 – July 15, 1942) was the 13th Governor of the U.S. state of North Dakota, from 1921 through 1925.


Ragnvold Anderson Nestos was a native of Voss, Norway. He was the son of Andres R. Nestos and Herborg [Saue] Nestos. One of ten children, he was sixteen and spoke no English when he came to the United States[1] to live with his aunt and uncle at Buxton, North Dakota. He entered the first grade at Buxton and attended school in between working odd jobs and working at lumber camps out of state. Four years later, in 1897, he passed the teachers' examinations and taught in a country school. He completed his studies at Mayville State University, a teachers' college, while homesteading in Pierce County. In 1904, he graduated from the University of North Dakota and moved to Minot, where he began practicing law with a partner, attorney C. A. Johnson.[2]

Political career[edit]

Nestos was a member of the Independent Voters Association, running on the Republican ticket. He was a member of North Dakota State House of Representatives, 1911–12; Ward County State's Attorney, 1913–16; and a primary candidate for U.S. Senator from North Dakota, 1916. He gained office when Governor Lynn Frazier was defeated in the first successful attempt to recall a state governor in U.S. history.

Frazier's term was plagued with controversy and a grassroots movement was started to press for his recall. The recall election that removed Governor Frazier had also removed two other members of the state's "Industrial Commission" from office. It was a time of bitter political discontent between the NPL (Nonpartisan League, which supported state-owned industry) and the IVA (Independent Voters Association, which opposed state ownership of industries). Nestos worked hard to make the new state-owned businesses (State Mill and Elevator and the Bank of North Dakota) a success. He also campaigned against illiteracy. During his administration, North Dakota came into national compliance for registering births and deaths, and the state had a full-time health officer for the first time. He ran for, and completed, a second term of office.[3]

Legacy and death[edit]

Nestos never married.

He received national recognition for his work on behalf of the Boy Scouts of America. He was a "Silver Buffalo Award" winner (1942).[4] He was active within the Norwegian Lutheran Church of America.

Nestos died of a stroke on July 15, 1942.[5] He is buried in Rosehill Cemetery in Minot, North Dakota.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ A passenger on board the S.S. British Prince, which sailed from Liverpool, and arrived at the Port of Philadelphia, May 31, 1893
  2. ^ Minot History Through Slides 1900 -1920 (by Gaylen Brown, Associate Professor, History. Minot State University "Archived copy". Archived from the original on July 6, 2008. Retrieved July 6, 2008.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^ Ragnvald A. Nestos, Republican/IVA (List of North Dakota State Governors) ( [1]
  4. ^ Silver Buffalo Award (Boy Scouts of America Awards)
  5. ^ "Ragnvald Nestos". Soylent Communications. Retrieved September 5, 2012.

Further reading[edit]

  • Gunderson, Carl M. Ringen Historie om guvernør Ragnvald Nestos med hans stamtavle : Førhenverende guvernør og senator av North Dakota, U.S.A. (Los Angeles, 1964) [In Norwegian].

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Lynn Frazier
Governor of North Dakota
Succeeded by
Arthur G. Sorlie