He was born in Amherst Township, Minnesota in 1871. He attended the public schools there, then moved to Sioux Falls, South Dakota, where he attended Sioux Falls Business College and Normal School. He graduated in 1890, was admitted to the bar in 1893, and started his practice in Sioux Falls. He was a member of the Board of Education of Sioux Falls from 1908-1918, and President of it from 1911-1915. He was elected as a Republican to the South Dakota House of Representatives in 1912, and served as Speaker of the House in his last terms. In 1918, he ran for and won the seat in the United States House of Representatives. He served there through 1932, losing the election that year. He ran again, and lost again, in 1934.
He returned to Sioux Falls to pursue his legal career, and died there in 1951.