Lynn J. Frazier: A Political Unknown

December 1, 1916

“Who is Frazier and is Hoople a place or a disease?” That is the question asked by many North Dakotans when Lynn J. Frazier was nominated for governor last March. Now the answer is, “Frazier is governor and Hoople is his hometown.” When the NPL endorsed Frazier, the NPL endorsed a real farmer, not a politician. Frazier, a life-long Republican, was born on a farm in Rice County, Minnesota, on December 21, 1874. When he was seven years old in 1881, his father moved to near Hoople where he homesteaded. Young Frazier attended country schools and graduated from Grafton High School.

Lynn J. Frazier. Courtesy of D. Jerome Tweton.

He taught rural school for two years, saving his money in the hope that someday he could attend medical school. He attended the normal school at Mayville for a year and then taught country school for two more years. In 1897 he entered the University of North Dakota. In 1901 he graduated with high honors and a letter in football, dreaming still of a career in medicine. The dream never materialized. His brother, who had taken over the farm after the death of the father, died suddenly. Not wishing to lose the homestead, Frazier’s mother asked him to return to the farm. He gave up his dream and became a farmer. At 42 Frazier is a physically rugged man, a bit portly and quite bald. He is a family man who has never smoked, drank, or uttered an off -color word.

His nomination came as a complete surprise. When Mrs. Frazier answered the telephone call from Fargo, the call that would tell him that he had been nominated for governor, she responded: “He’s out slopping the hogs.”

He changed his clothes and headed for Fargo. There Townley introduced him to the delegates as one of the first cases since George Washington where the office had sought the man rather than the man seeking the office.

By Dr. D. Jerome Tweton


Originally published as The North Star Dakotan student newspaper, written by Dr. D. Jerome Tweton and supported by the North Dakota Humanities Council.

Grade Level

3-4, 9-12

Subject Matter

Social Studies

North Star Dakotan:

Journals and Art Work: The Indian People, The Trade, and The Land

The Indian People

The Purchase and Exploration of Louisiana

The Fur Trade

Dakota Territory

The Military Frontier

The Reservation System

George Armstrong Custer and the Battle of the Little Bighorn

The Great Dakota Boom, 1878-1890

Reservation Troubles, 1886-1890

The Making of a State and a Constitution

The North Dakota Economy, 1890-1915

Life on the Indian Reservations

The North Dakota National Guard and the Philippines

North Dakota, The Great War and After

The Nonpartisan League's Rise to Power

The Nonpartisan League in Power

The Nonpartisan League's Decline

The 1920s

1930s: North Dakota's Economic and Political Climate

The New Deal in North Dakota

The Road to World War II

North Dakota and American Society

North Dakota Optimism and Economic Developments

North Dakota and Political Change

Related Media

  1. Dakota Datebook: Lynn Joseph Frazier
    Audio: A brief look into the life of North Dakota politician Lynn J. Frazier.