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Governor Andrew E. Lee


Andrew E. Lee was born near Bergen, Norway on March 18, 1847. 
When Lee was four, he and his family moved to Wisconsin. After 
receiving a general school education, Lee arrived in Vermillion, Dakota 
Territory, in 1867. 

Lee and Charles E. Prentis owned and operated the Main Street 
mercantile store Lee & Prentis for almost half a century. They also 
ran a large and successful farming and ranching operation. 

in 1872, Lee married Annie Chappell. They had one daughter, 
Jessamine (Lee) Fox. 

Lee entered the political arena in 1891 when voters elected him 
Vermilllion alderman. Beginning in 1892, Vermillion voters twice elected 
him mayor. 

In 1896, Lee ran for Governor of South Dakota supported by a 
coalition of Populists, Democrats, and Silver Republicans. Under the 
Populist banner, Lee served two terms (1897-1901) as the third Governor 
in the state's history. 

Lee championed initiative and referendum. In 1898, South Dakota 
became the first state to adopt that reform. 

At the age of 87, Lee died March 19, 1934, in his Vermillion home. 

Governor Lee is commemorated by the Andrew E. Lee Memorial Medicine
and Science Building on land he donated the the University of
South Dakota.

Submitted by @dwhitesock

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