Biography of Charles J. Gunderson

Charles J. Gunderson, born October 13, 1868, in Fillmore County, Minnesota, is a prominent lawyer in Vermillion, South Dakota. His parents, Harvey and Anna (Thompson) Gunderson, emigrated from Norway and settled in Clay County, South Dakota, in 1869. Charles grew up on the family homestead, attended local public schools, and graduated from the University of South Dakota with a Bachelor of Science in 1893. He earned his law degree from the University of Minnesota in 1896 and began practicing law in Vermillion. Originally a Republican, he switched to the Democratic Party in 1896. Charles is active in the Masonic order and the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and he is a member of the Lutheran church. He married Mamie L. Weeks on August 27, 1902.

Charles J. Gunderson, who is a representative of one of the sterling pioneer families of South Dakota, is a resident of Vermillion, Clay county, where he has passed practically his entire life, and is numbered among the able members of the bar of the state. Mr. Gunderson was born in Fillmore county, Minnesota, on the 13th of October, 1868, a son of Harvey and Anna (Thompson) Gunderson, both of whom were born in Norway, while both still reside in Clay county, South Dakota, whither they came in 1869, the father being one of the early settlers here, where he secured a relinquishment claim, upon which he proved, becoming one of the successful farmers of the locality.

The subject was not one year of age at the time of his parents’ removal to what is now the state of South Dakota, and his early years were passed on the homestead farm. After availing himself of the privileges of the public schools, he was enabled to continue his educational training in the University of South Dakota, in which he was graduated as a member of the class of 1893, receiving the degree of Bachelor of Science. He thereafter entered the law department of the University of Minnesota, where he completed the prescribed course and was graduated in 1896. In the autumn of the same year, he established himself in the practice of his profession at Vermillion, where he has secured an excellent clientage and gained marked success in his chosen field of endeavor. From the time of attaining his majority until 1896, he exercised his franchise in support of the Republican party and then transferred his allegiance to the Democracy, voting for William J. Bryan for president. He has since been an advocate of the principles for which this leader stands sponsor and has been an active worker in the party cause. Fraternally, he holds membership in the Masonic order, in which he has taken the Knights Templar degrees, and is a Shriner of Sioux Falls, and also is in the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. His religious faith is that of the Lutheran church, in which he was reared.

On the 27th of August, 1902, Mr. Gunderson was united in marriage to Miss Mamie L. Weeks, daughter of Canute and Carrie (Nelson) Weeks, honored pioneers of Clay county, where they still maintain their home.


Robinson, Doane, History of South Dakota: together with mention of Citizens of South Dakota, [Logansport? IN] : B. F. Bowen, 1904.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top