Biography of Hon. Alfred Blaisdell of Minot, North Dakota

Hon. Alfred Blaisdell, born October 29, 1875, in Fairmont, Minnesota, was the Secretary of State of North Dakota. He graduated from Fairmont High School in 1894 and the University of Minnesota in 1898 with a Bachelor of Science, later studying law at the same university. Blaisdell’s legal career began in Fargo and led to a partnership with ex-State’s Attorney Hanchett in Minot in 1900. Politically active, he served as U.S. Commissioner in Minot and held various committee roles. Blaisdell married Grace P. Emmons in 1908, and his administration was noted for efficient state department reforms. He was involved in multiple social organizations, including the Masonic Order and the Order of Elks.

Alfred Blaisdell
Alfred Blaisdell

Hon. Alfred Blaisdell, secretary of state, was born in Fairmont, Minnesota, October 29, 1875, and graduated from the Fairmont High School, class of 1894, and the University of Minnesota, in 1898, receiving the degree of bachelor of science. He was also a member of the class of 1901, at the college of law, University of Minnesota.

He comes from a family of lawyers for several generations on both sides of the house. His father, the late Hon. H. M. Blaisdell, of Fairmont, Minnesota, one of the oldest practitioners in southern Minnesota, resided formerly in the state of Maine, where he studied law with Hon. Eugene Hale, of Ellsworth, Maine, and at one time was a member of the state legislature. Henrietta Crosby Blaisdell, the mother of our sketch was a daughter of the late Hon. Josiah Crosby, of Dexter, Maine, an active legal practitioner for half a century, and who served his state as state senator and lieutenant-governor.

After leaving the University of Minnesota, Mr. Blaisdell pursued the further study of law with Messrs. Newman, Spalding & Stambaugh, of Fargo. He later formed a partnership with ex-State’s Attorney Hanchett, of Harvey and Fessenden, under the firm name of Hanchett & Blaisdell, and removed to Minot the beginning of 1900. He is senior member of the law firm of Blaisdell, Bird & Blaisdell, and vice-president of the Blaisdell-Bird Company (Inc.), of which his law partner, John A. Bird, is president.

In a political way Mr. Blaisdell has been very fortunate. He made good as secretary of the Old Reorganizers of Ward county and as secretary of the Republican County Central Committee of the successful campaigns in Ward county. Mr. Blaisdell has entered political contests with vigor, but on account of his disposition at all times to be fair he has escaped much of the ill-feeling which falls to the lot of the average citizen who takes active sides in politics. He was United States Commissioner for many years in Minot, and was formerly a member of the State Normal Board, and director of the State Historical Society, in which he takes an active and personal interest. Socially he is a member of the Masonic order, Order of Elks, Knights of Pythias, Order of Eagles, and of the Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the Minnesota Commandery.

Mr. Blaisdell was married July 25, 1908, to Miss Grace P. Emmons, who was born September 23, 1888, at Emmons. Minnesota, the town bearing the family name. Her father, G. H. Emmons, is a leading general merchant and postmaster there, and her grandfather, Hon. H. G. Emmons, is one of the oldest living pioneers of Minnesota, and was formerly a member of the state legislature in early days. Mrs. Blaisdell is a graduate of Waldorf College, at Forest City, Iowa.

Mr. Blaisdell was but thirty years of age when nominated at the Jamestown convention for his first term, having been unanimously endorsed by the Ward county delegation, his county being the largest and casting the heaviest vote of any in the state. Upon taking his oath of office he retired from the active management of his various business interests in Ward county.

The state department, during his past administration, has been thoroughly overhauled and systematized.

When a candidate for re-nomination under the new primary system, he made the issue solely upon his business record in office, and was successfully re-nominated, and at the general election in the fall was elected by a large majority. Mr. Blaisdell’s majorities have always been especially large in his own county of Ward and the city of Minot, where he has lived some eight years, and, of course, where he is best known.


C.F. Cooper & Company, History of the Red River Valley, Past And Present: Including an Account of the Counties, Cities, Towns And Villages of the Valley From the Time of Their First Settlement And Formation, volumes 1-2; Grand Forks: Herald printing company, 1909.

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