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December 29: Henry J. Linde

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On this date in 1917, former Attorney General of North Dakota, Henry J. Linde, died. He had suffered a stroke three months earlier, after many years of illness. He was only 37 years old.

Linde had accomplished much in his short life, earning him front page death announcements in the Bismarck Tribune, Grand Forks Herald, and Fargo Forum.

Linde was born in Iowa in 1879 to Norwegian immigrants and earned a bachelor’s degree from Luther College in 1901. After teaching for two years at Park Region Luther College in Fergus Falls, Minnesota, Linde went to the University of Minnesota law school where he was the captain of the baseball team. Right after graduating in 1906, he moved to Plaza, North Dakota, to practice law, bringing with him his new bride, Julia Martin.

Plaza was founded earlier that same year, after the Soo Line railroad announced it was coming through the area. Linde and fellow University of Minnesota law grad R.O. Miller arrived shortly afterwards to open their law office. That year he also became the first president of the newly established Plaza First Evangelical Lutheran Church.

In 1908 Linde won a seat in North Dakota’s House of Representatives. In 1910 Mountrail County was officially formed. Consequently, Linde moved from Plaza to Stanley, the new county seat. He began serving as the assistant state’s attorney. He also ran successfully for a seat in the State Senate.

Linde’s political rise reached it’s peak when he was elected as Attorney General in 1914. One of his biggest achievements was writing briefs for the US Supreme Court to uphold the Webb-Kenyon Act, which prohibited the transportation of alcohol into dry states.

Unfortunately, Linde lost his bid to remain the state attorney general in 1916, when future governor William Langer defeated him in the Republican primary. Linde went back to practicing law for the firm of Linde, Fiske & Murphy in Bismarck. His ill health prompted him to move to Minneapolis. There he died, and he was laid to rest on December 31st, which would have been his 38th birthday.

Dakota Datebook by Trista Raezer-Stursa


  • Author Unknown. “Bone-Dry Suds Law for North Dakota Coming,” The Bismarck Tribune, January 11, 1917, pg. 2.
  • Author Unknown. “Former Attorney General Henry J. Linde Passes Away at Hastings Hotel in Mill City after an Illness of Several Years,” The Bismarck Tribune, December 29, 1917, pgs. 1, 3.
  • Author Unknown. “Henry J. Linde Taken by Death this Morning at Minneapolis,” The Fargo Forum and Daily Republican, December 29, 1917, pgs. 1, 7.
  • Author Unknown. Plaza Diamond Jubilee 1906 – 1981. Garrison, ND: Missouri Valley Publishing, Inc., 1981.

Dakota Datebook is made in partnership with the State Historical Society of North Dakota, and funded by Humanities North Dakota, a nonprofit, independent state partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in the program do not necessarily reflect those of Humanities North Dakota or the National Endowment for the Humanities.

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