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Harrison A. Bronson


Diversity defined Harrison A. Bronson’s working life, which brought him to law offices, a bank, a seminary, the state mill and the North Dakota Supreme Court.

Bronson was born in 1873 in Michigan. He came to North Dakota for higher education and studied at the University of North Dakota. After receiving his Bachelor of Arts degree, he earned a Master’s in Latin in 1895. This was UND’s first graduate degree. Bronson had studied the language in the context of Greek life in the plays of Terence, a second century playwright.

After a stint as a principal at a seminary in St. Paul, Bronson received a law degree from the University of Minnesota in 1901. He practiced law in St. Paul, East Grand Forks and in Grand Forks. He became a state senator, serving for four years. In 1917, became assistant attorney general, a post he held for a short time.

In 1918, Bronson won election to the North Dakota Supreme Court in the general election that fall, but before his normal term began, Governor Lynn Frazier got him off to an early start that December by appointing him to fill outgoing Justice Andrew Bruce’s seat.

UND credits Bronson’s intense study of Latin in Terence’s plays for his strength as a Supreme Court justice as it gave him great discipline. His time on the bench was brief. He retired on the last day of 1924 after six years’ service.

But Bronson’s working life wasn’t over. For twelve years he was general counsel for the State Mill and Elevator. He wrote books on property law, lectured at UND and worked in private practice. He was also a director of the First State Bank of East Grand Forks. Bronson died on this date in 1947 at age 73.

Dakota Datebook by Jack Dura





N.a. (1907). Little sketches of big folks in Minnesota. St. Paul, MN: R. L. Polk & Co. Retrieved from: