Nels H. Smith, was born in Gayville, South Dakota on August 27, 1884. He attended the regular public schools and the University of South Dakota. After his schooling Smith began ranching near Gettysburg, South Dakota until 1907 when he sold out and moved to Wyoming. Smith acquired properties in Crook and Weston Counties and joined the Republican Party. He was elected to the House of Representatives for the Fifteenth State Legislature. Smith was elected Governor in November 1938 and served until 1943. Defeated during his bid for reelection he and his wife returned to their Ranch A on Sand Creek and led active lives as host to guests from all over the world. In a few years they moved to a home they built near Sundance and were happily active with family and politics. Nels Smith died July 5, 1976.
Term as Governor: Monday, January 02, 1939 - Monday, January 04, 1943