George F. Shafer

George F. Shafer
16th Governor of North Dakota
In office
January 9, 1929  December 31, 1932
Lieutenant John W. Carr
Preceded by Walter Maddock
Succeeded by William Langer
Attorney General of North Dakota
In office
Governor Ragnvald Nestos
Arthur G. Sorlie
Preceded by Sveinbjorn Johnson
Succeeded by James Morris
Personal details
Born November 23, 1888
Mandan, North Dakota
Died August 13, 1948 (aged 59)
Bismarck, North Dakota
Political party Republican (IVA)

George F. Shafer (November 23, 1888 – August 13, 1948) was born in Mandan, Dakota Territory and was the 17th Governor of North Dakota, serving from 1929 to 1933.[1]


Shafer was educated in Mandan's public school system and attended the University of North Dakota.[2] He married Frances Kellog on September 1, 1915, and they had three sons, George F. Jr., Richard K., and Charles D.; and one daughter, Virginia H. McCormick.[3]


Shafer pursued a career in politics and became the State's Attorney for Mckenzie County from 1915 to 1919. Serving as the Assistant Attorney General from 1921 to 1923,[4] he took on a more prominent role in 1923 when he became the North Dakota Attorney General. He served this position until 1929, after defeating incumbent Walter Maddock in the 1928 gubernatorial election. He served as the 16th Governor of North Dakota from 1929 to 1933. During his term, many profound events in the history of North Dakota occurred. The most severe problems facing the state during Shafer's administration were drought and low prices for agricultural products. To his credit, the State Mill and Elevator showed a good profit for the state under Shafer's direction, despite the weather and economic conditions. In 1930, the state capitol (former territorial capitol) burned down. A capital commission was formed to oversee the design and construction of the new capitol, and he was at the groundbreaking ceremony in 1932.


Shafer retired from public life after losing the Republican primary election for U.S. Senate against incumbent Gerald P. Nye in 1932.[5] He died in Bismarck, North Dakota on August 13, 1948 at the age of 59. He is buried at Saint Mary's Cemetery in Bismarck, North Dakota.[6]


  1. "George F. Shafer". Find a Grave. Retrieved 6 September 2012.
  2. "George F. Shafer". National Governors Association. Retrieved 6 September 2012.
  3. "George F. Shafer". Soylent Communications. Retrieved 6 September 2012.
  4. "George F. Shafer". Soylent Communications. Retrieved 6 September 2012.
  5. "Primary Election 06-29-1932" (PDF). North Dakota Secretary of State. Retrieved 11 August 2016.
  6. "George F. Shafer". Soylent Communications. Retrieved 6 September 2012.
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Legal offices
Preceded by
Sveinbjorn Johnson
Attorney General of North Dakota
Succeeded by
James Morris
Political offices
Preceded by
Walter Maddock
Governor of North Dakota
Succeeded by
William Langer
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