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Thomas H. MoodieNineteenth Governor

  • Residence: Williston, Williams County
  • Years Served: 1935
  • Date of Inauguration: January 7, 1935
  • Age at Inauguration: 56
  • Politics: Democrat
  • Born: Winona, Minnesota - May 26, 1878
  • Died: Spokane, Washington - March 3, 1948

Political Background:

  • 1935: Governor of North Dakota

A native of Winona, Minnesota, Thomas H. Moodie left school at the age of sixteen. He moved to Wadena, Minnesota, and began his career as a newspaperman in the printing department of the Wadena Pioneer. He also worked as a brakeman for the Northern Pacific Railroad. He moved to North Dakota and was a cub reporter for the Bismarck Tribune. He became a journeyman printer, reporter, and editor of newspapers throughout the state, and also served as an editorial writer for the Minneapolis Tribune. In 1933 President Franklin D. Roosevelt appointed him to a committee on federal grants to public buildings. In 1934 Moodie received the Democratic nomination for governor, and beat his Republican opponent, Lydia Langer (wife of William Langer).

As soon as the election was over, there was talk of impeachment, but no charges were filed. After Moodie's inauguration on January 7, 1935, it was revealed that he had voted in a 1932 municipal election in Minnesota. In order to be eligible for governor, an individual has to have lived in the state for five consecutive years before the election. The State Supreme Court determined that Governor Moodie was ineligible to serve, and he was removed from office on February 16, 1935. After his five-week stint as governor, Moodie became an administrator for the North Dakota Federal Housing Administration. He also served as deputy administrator for the State War Finance Committee in Montana. Finally he served as financial editor and confidential agent for the publisher of the Spokane Chronicle. Thomas Hilliard Moodie served as governor for about five weeks. He was removed from office after the State Supreme Court determined he was ineligible to serve due to state residency requirements.

North Dakota's new capitol, ca 1934
North Dakota's new capitol, ca. 1934.

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