From the Minnesota Bar Journal Vol. 5, 1897.
Gauthe Emil Qvale was a native of Norway who, following his immigration to Minnesota in the late 1870s, became a prominent lawyer and jurist in the American midwest. As district court judge for Minnesota's Twelfth judicial district, Qvale served nearly five decades on the bench, and at the time of his retirement in 1946 was acknowledged as the longest tenured jurist in the state of Minnesota.
Born near Haugesund, Norway on September 24, 1860, Gauthe Emil Qvale attended school in the country of his birth and in 1878 removed to the United States with his family. Settling in the town of Willmar, Minnesota, Qvale began the study of law in 1880 under local attorney John Arctander. Admitted to the Minnesota bar in 1882, Qvale began the practice of his profession in Willmar, operating a partnership with John Arctander until 1884. In that year Qvale was elected as Judge of Probate for Kandiyohi County, an office which he would hold for six years.
At the end of his term as Judge of Probate Qvale continued his rise in local politics, winning election as Kandiyohi County Attorney. He served in that post until 1894 and afterward returned to private practice. In 1897 Qvale was appointed as judge for Minnesota's Twelfth judicial district and in the year following won a term of his own, running unopposed during that election year. He continued to serve on the bench for a record 49 years, and at the time of his retirement in 1946 was remarked as being the longest tenured jurist in Minnesota history.
Despite serving nearly half a century as a district judge, little information could be located on Qvale's life. He lived his remaining years in retirement in Willmar and died at age 90 on January 31, 1951. A burial location for Qvale is unknown at this time but is presumed to be somewhere in the Kandiyohi County vicinity.
Judge Qvale in his later years.