Supreme Court Chief Justice, 1938 Election

Primary Nonpartisan

Date: June 20, 1938
Cycle: 1938
Office: Supreme Court Chief Justice
State: Minnesota
District: Statewide
Candidate Gender Party Votes Percent Margin
Henry Gallagher Incumbent Man Nonpartisan 375,872 59.11 +44.34
Henry J. Bessesen Man Nonpartisan 166,131 26.13 +11.36
Roy Delferd Modeen Man Nonpartisan 93,898 14.77

Chief Justice Gallagher was appointed to the Court by Governor Elmer Benson on February 15, 1937 following the resignation of Chief Justice John Devaney on February 14, 1937 to enter private practice. Gallagher was an attorney from Waseca, former Waseca municipal judge, former Waseca County Attorney, and former Waseca School Board member.

Bessesen was an attorney from Minneapolis, sitting Minneapolis School Board member, and former North Dakota state Senator (SD 33).

Modeen was an attorney from Minneapolis, GOP candidate for an at-large U.S. House seat in 1932, candidate for the SD 29 special election in December 1932, candidate for Associate Justice of the Supreme Court in 1934, and GOP candidate for Lieutenant Governor in 1936.


  • The Legislative Manual of the State of Minnesota, 1939 (p. 213).