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Andrew E. Lee: Wikis


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Andrew Ericson Lee (March 18, 1847– March 19, 1934) was an American politician and a businessman. He was the third Governor of South Dakota.

Lee was born near Bergen in Norway and at a young age moved with his parents to the United States where he spent his childhood on a farm in Dane County, Wisconsin. He moved to Dakota Territory and settled at Vermillion in 1867. Lee and Charles E. Prentis became partners in a mercantile business in 1869.

In 1896, Lee ran for Governor of South Dakota on the Populist ticket and beat A. O. Ringsrud of Elk Point by only 319 votes. He was elected to his second term on the Fusion Party ticket, an alliance of Democrats and Independents in the state.[1] He was the only non-Republican Governor to hold office until the election of William J. Bulow in 1926. Populist Governor Lee was instrumental in getting the Initiative and Referendum passed. A major focus during his administration was eliminating inefficiency and mismanagement within State Government. A major issue during his administration was the organization and return of the state militia which served in the Philippines during the Spanish-American War.

In 1900, the Populists nominated Lee for Congress, and he spoke at the Populist convention in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Lee lost in a Republican landslide, which ended the political influence of the Populists in South Dakota. In 1908, Lee ran unsuccessfully as a Democratic candidate for Governor of South Dakota. He died at his home in Vermillion, South Dakota.


  1. ^ South Dakota Governor Andrew Ericson Lee. National Governors Association.

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Political offices
Preceded by
Charles H. Sheldon
Governor of South Dakota
Succeeded by
Charles N. Herreid


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