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Sigurd Anderson Edit Profile

Lawyer , Governor of South Dakota

Sigurd Anderson, Norwegian judge. Recipient Daughters of the American Revolution Americanism medal for contributions to state and nation by foreign-born citizen, 1958, Alumni Achievement award University South Dakota, 1979, Outstanding Alumni award Augustana Academy, 1979; hometown's airport named in his honor.


He was born at Frolands Verk, a rural community near Arendal, in the county of Aust-Agder, Norway and came to the United States at age of three with his family to settle in Lincoln County, South Dakota. Sigurd became a United States citizen at age 8 when his father became a naturalized citizen.


He graduated from the Canton Lutheran Normal, Canton, South Dakota, and enrolled at South Dakota State College. In 1928, Anderson enrolled at the University of South Dakota, and graduated in 1931 with cum laude honors and a B.A. degree and then went on to earn his LL.B degree from University of South Dakota School of Law.


Anderson, a Republican from Webster, South Dakota, served in that office from 1951 to 1955. During his first school year, he suffered from scarlet fever, which prevented his return to college the following fall. In order to secure funds to continue his education, he worked as a farm hand and taught rural school in Kingsbury County, South Dakota.

Their daughter, Kristin Karen, was born during Anderson's administration. He twice served as Day County state's attorney and as an assistant attorney general in the state capital, Pierre. Before he was elected governor he served two terms as South Dakota Attorney General, 1947-1951.

His re-election in 1952 marked the first time a candidate for South Dakota governor received more than 200,000 votes in a general election. It was during Anderson's administration that the Legislative Research Council was established. It was also during this time that the state had a debt-free status—the first time in 40 years.

After his service as governor, he served as a commissioner on the Federal Trade Commission. Boe appointed Anderson to fill a vacancy as a circuit judge, from which position Anderson retired in 1975. Anderson died on December 21, 1990, and was interred in Webster Cemetery, Webster, Day County, South Dakota USA. The Sigurd Anderson airport in Webster, South Dakota is named in his honor.


  • This was not accomplished again until Mike Rounds' reelection in 2006, over fifty years later. In 1964, Anderson once again announced his candidacy for governor, but lost the GOP gubernatorial primary to Nils Boe, who won the general election.


Board directors American Norwegian Museum. Board advisers Northeast Mental health, Aberdeen, South Dakota. Member advisory council Civil War Centennial Commission lieutenant Commander United States Naval Reserve, World World War World War II.

Member American Bar Association, American Judicature Society, Federal Bar Association, South Dakota Bar Association, Council Former Governors, South Dakota Judges Association, South Dakota History Society, Norwegian-American History Association, S.D Ornitholoigists Union, University São Paolo.D Alumni Association, Masons {33 degree, Shriner}, Kiwanis, Sons of Norway, Order Eastern Star, Veterans of Foreign Wars, American Legion, Phi Beta Kappa, Delta Theta Phi, Pi Kappa Delta, Lambda Chi Alpha {honorary}.


Married Vivian Walz, April 3, 1937. 1 child, Kristin Karen.

Karl Anderson

Bertha (Broten Anderson

Vivian Walz

Kristin Karen Anderson