Walter Welford

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Walter Welford
20th Governor of North Dakota
In office
February 2, 1935 – January 6, 1937
Preceded by Thomas H. Moodie
Succeeded by William Langer
17th Lieutenant Governor of North Dakota
In office
January 7, 1935 - February 2, 1935
Governor Thomas H. Moodie
Preceded by Ole H. Olson
Succeeded by Thorstein H. H. Thoresen
Member of the North Dakota House of Representatives
In office
Member of the North Dakota Senate
In office
Personal details
Born (1868-05-21)May 21, 1868
Yorkshire, England
Died June 28, 1952(1952-06-28) (aged 84)
Pembina County, North Dakota
Political party Republican (NPL)

Walter Welford (May 21, 1868 – June 28, 1952) was inaugurated as the 20th Governor of North Dakota on February 2, 1935 after Thomas H. Moodie was removed from office after it was determined he was ineligible to hold the office. He served until 1937, having lost the 1936 race to former governor William Langer.


Welford moved with his family to Pembina, North Dakota, in 1879. A farmer, he also served as Vice President of the Merchants Bank of Pembina County. He was married to Edith Bachmann[1] and they had one child who died in infancy.


Welford served as township clerk at Pembina for twenty years. He also served in the North Dakota House of Representatives (1907 to 1911) and Senate (1917 to 1921).[2] As Lieutenant Governor of North Dakota, Welford became governor after Thomas H. Moodie was disqualified. Welford was a staunch supporter of the Nonpartisan League (NPL), a farmers' political group. During Welford's administration the state was caught in the grip of the Great Depression. The 1936 crop yield was disastrously low because of drought. Welford met with President Franklin Roosevelt and obtained federal aid for drought-stricken farmers. In 1936, Welford decided to run for office again. He beat former Governor William Langer for the Republican gubernatorial nomination, but Langer refused to drop out, and entered the general election as an independent. Welford lost the three-way governor's election to Langer. (The third-place candidate was Democrat John Moses, who became North Dakota's twenty-second governor, following Langer's second term.)


Welford died on June 28, 1952 at the age of 84 on route to a hospital in Altona, Manitoba after being stricken at his home in Pembina County.[3] He is buried in Cavalier Cemetery, Cavalier, Pembina County, North Dakota US.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Walter Welford". Soylent Communications. Retrieved 6 September 2012. 
  2. ^ "Walter Welford". National Governors Association. Retrieved 6 September 2012. 
  3. ^ "Walter Welford, Former N. D. Governor Dies", The Bismarck Tribune, Monday, June 30, 1952, Bismarck, North Dakota, United States Of America

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Ole H. Olson
Lieutenant Governor of North Dakota
Succeeded by
Thorstein H.H. Thoresen
Preceded by
Thomas H. Moodie
Governor of North Dakota
Succeeded by
William Langer