Senator Lars W. Boe View All Years

Compiled Historical Information
Date of Death: 12/27/1942
Birth Place: Calumet, MI
Party Affiliation: Republican
Assemblies Served:
Senate: 35 (1913) - 36 (1915)
House: 33 (1909)
Home County: Winnebago
Lars W. Boe
Winnebago County


MR. SPEAKER: Your committee, appointed to prepare a suitable resolution commemorating the life, character and public services of the late Honorable Lars W. Boe, begs leave to submit the following memorial:

Lars W. Boe was born on December 27, 1875, in Calumet, Michigan, the son of Reverend N.·E. Boe and Anna Reque Boe. His father was pastor at Calumet and later moved to a pastorate at Silver Lake, Iowa. Reverend Boe attended St. Ansgar Seminary from 1890 to 1893; the preparatory department of the U. C. Seminary from 1893 to 1894; St. Olaf College from 1894 to 1898 and the United Church Theological Seminary from 1898 to 1901. His first pastorate was in the country near Lawler, Iowa, from 1901 to 1904. In 1904 Reverend Boe came to Waldorf Academy at Forest City, Iowa, as its first president, and held this position from 1904 to 1915.

It was during this time that Reverend Boe became interested in politics and was a member of the Iowa House of Representatives in the Thirty-third General Assembly and a member of the Iowa Senate in the Thirty-fifth and Thirty-sixth General Assemblies. By that time he was convinced that he must choose between the service of the church and of the state and he chose the church. After serving as Executive Secretary of the Board of Trustees and the Board of Education in the United Church, he was elected president of St. Olaf College in 1918, and continued to hold this position until his death on his sixty-seventh birthday, December 27, 1942.

While serving in the Iowa Legislature, Reverend Boe was actively interested in school legislation, and served as chairman of the committee on schools in the Thirty-sixth General Assembly. He was also active in public health, highway legislation, and the many other questions that were considered in the sessions that he attended.

Reverend Boe was married to Miss Helga Jacobson in 1909. She survives him, together with two daughters, both graduates of St. Olaf College Miss Esther Boe, a teacher, and Miss Margaret Boe, taking nurse’s training at Fairview Hospital, Minneapolis. One brother, Major A. J. Boe, Army Chaplain, and one sister, Mrs. A. M. Sattre of Moorhead, Minnesota, are other immediate relatives.

Lars W. Boe was the recipient of many honors during his career. Roanoke College conferred the degree D.D. on him in 1921, Wittenberg College made him an LL.D. two years later, and King Haakon made him a knight of the Order of St. Olaf in 1926, and commander of the same order in 1940.

We can summarize the life and services of Reverend Boe by quoting the language of Governor Clarke in his inaugural address on January 4, 1915, at the opening of the last session of the Assembly that Reverend Boe attended. In this Governor Clarke said:

“Men of Iowa—living in the best day God ever vouchsafed to humanity—ought to set for themselves a goal toward which, leaving the things which are behind, he can press forward. He ought to be inspired with a vision inviting to fine accomplishment. The man without a vision is a burden.”

A final appraisal of the life and service of Lars W. Boe would be that he was a man of great faith and vision. His church and his country, for whom he labored, presented to him wonderful fields of service. To him, America was a country and a nation to love and to cherish. After Reverend Boe was taken sick, the question came up as to the rearrangement of things at St. Olaf to make greater service in the war effort. Even struggling in pain, he had a deep and abiding loyalty for his country. These are the words he spoke:

“If the Government needs and wants St. Olaf for the war effort, let them have it, and let us send our students, if necessary all of them, to the other colleges, and give the Government full control.”

He permitted nothing to hinder him from serving his country loyally, even to the end.

Therefore, Be It Resolved by the House of Representatives, That in the passing of Honorable Lars W. Boe, the state has lost a valued and honorable citizen and the House would tender, by this resolution, its sincere sympathy to the surviving members of his family, in their sorrow; and

Be It Further Resolved, That a copy of this resolution be spread upon the Journal of the House and that the Chief Clerk be instructed to send an enrolled copy to the family of the deceased.





Unanimously adopted,