Elmer Austin BENSON, Congress, MN (1895-1985)

Senate Years of Service:
Farmer Laborite

BENSON, Elmer Austin, a Senator from Minnesota; born in Appleton, Swift County, Minn., September 22, 1895; attended the public schools; graduated from the St. Paul (Minn.) College of Law in 1918; during the First World War served as a private in the United States Army 1918-1919; admitted to the bar but did not practice; engaged in banking and retail clothing business; State commissioner of securities in 1933 and State commissioner of banks 1933-1935; appointed on December 27, 1935, as a Farmer-Laborite to the United States Senate to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Thomas D. Schall and served from December 27, 1935, until November 3, 1936, when a successor was elected; was not a candidate for election to fill the vacancy; Governor of Minnesota 1937-1939; unsuccessful candidate in 1938 for reelection as Governor; unsuccessful candidate for election to the United States Senate in 1940 and 1942; engaged in agriculture; died in Minneapolis, Minn., March 13, 1985; interment in Appleton Cemetery, Appleton, Minn.


Scribner Encyclopedia of American Lives; Benson, Elmer A. “Politics in My Lifetime.” Minnesota History 47 (Winter 1980): 154-60; Shields, James M. Mr. Progressive: A Biography of Elmer Austin Benson. Minneapolis: Denison, 1971.

Source: Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, 1771-Present