OSA History

The Office of the State Auditor has a long history, dating back before Minnesota’s entry into the Union. Prior to statehood, when Minnesota was a United States territory, there were four territorial auditors, officials charged with ensuring that the territorial and county governments’ finances were in order and handled properly. This continued when Minnesota became a state in 1858.

After statehood was granted, the duties of the constitutional office of State Auditor included functioning as a controller for the executive branch of state government, approving expenditures in advance, and overseeing county finances. In 1973 the State Legislature incorporated the county audit duties of the Public Examiner into the Office of the State Auditor. Since then the primary focus of the State Auditor has been auditing and overseeing county audits and local government finances. The Office of the Legislative Auditor was then charged with auditing state agencies and making recommendations for study topics to the Legislative Audit Commission. The post of Public Examiner was eliminated in the 1973 reorganization.

Minnesota State Auditors Since 1858

Photo Name Residence Assumed Office
Julie Blaha Julie Blaha Ramsey January 7, 2019
Otto Rebecca Otto Marine on St. Croix January 2, 2007
Anderson Patricia Anderson Eagan January 6, 2003
Judith H. Dutcher Judith H. Dutcher Minnetonka January 3, 1995
Dayton Mark Dayton Minneapolis January 7, 1991
Carlson Arne H. Carlson Roseville January 4, 1979
Mattson Robert W. Mattson St. Paul January 6, 1975
Hatfield Rolland F. Hatfield St. Paul January 4, 1971
O'Brien William J. O'Brien Mendota Heights March 7, 1969
King Stafford King St. Paul January 6, 1931
Chase Ray P. Chase Anoka January 5, 1921
Preus J. A. O. Preus Minneapolis January 5, 1915
Iverson Samuel G. Iverson Rushford January 5, 1903
Dunn Robert C. Dunn Princeton January 7, 1895
Biermann Adolph Biermann Rochester January 5, 1891
Braden W. W. Braden Preston January 10, 1882
Whitcomb O. P. Whitcomb Rochester January 13, 1873
McIlrath Charles McIlrath St. Paul January 1, 1861
Dunbar W. F. Dunbar Caledonia May 24, 1858

Territorial State Auditors

Photo Name Residence Assumed Office
  Julius Georgii St. Paul January 17, 1854
Socrates Nelson Socrates Nelson Stillwater May 15, 1853
Abraham Van Vorhes Abraham Van Vorhes Stillwater November 30, 1852
Jonathan E. McKusick Jonathan E. McKusick Stillwater November 3, 1849