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Ojala, William R. "Bill"

House 1971-72 (District 62); House 1973-74 (District 6A)

Party when first elected:  Nonpartisan Election-Liberal Caucus

Counties Served:  St. Louis


Date of Birth: 1/23/1925
Birth Place: Eveleth, Minnesota
Birth County: St. Louis
Birth Country: United States
Date of Death: 1/6/2018
Gender: Male
Reported Minority: None Reported
Other Names: Bill
City of Residence (when first elected): Aurora
Occupation (when first elected): Attorney


Gilbert High School; Secondary;
Virginia Junior College; Junior College/Community College;
University of Minnesota; B.A.;
University of Minnesota; Attended Graduate School;
William Mitchell College of Law; Attended Law School;


County Board/Commissioner: St. Louis County, Minnesota (County Commissioner); [Dates Unknown]
Municipal Mayor: Aurora, Minnesota (City Mayor); [Dates Unknown] [Elected]
School Board/Administration: School District 691, Minnesota (Director); [Dates Unknown]
Military: United States Marines (World War II, Pacific Area, 33 months); 1942 to 1945


Spouse: Dorothy Jean Bonde
Children: Four children: Charles, Mary Jean, Kathryn Ann, and David
Family Members Who Have Served in the Minnesota Legislature:


He and Gabe Brisbois formed the Economic Justice Party; he ran for Congress under that party in 1974 but he was defeated by Jim Oberstar.

Total Days Served: 1463


68th Legislative Session (1973-1974)

  Session Details
Body: House
District: 06A
Elected: 11/7/1972
Residence: Aurora
Term of Office: 1/2/1973 to 1/6/1975
Counties Represented: St. Louis
Occupation: Attorney
Party: Nonpartisan Election-Democratic-Farmer-Labor Caucus
  • Crime Prevention and Corrections
  • Governmental Operations
  • Health and Welfare
  • Judiciary
  • Labor-Management Relations
Session Notes: There were efforts to unseat him due to the fact that on October 30, 1972, he told reporters that he had not paid his state income taxes for three years as a protest against the Vietnam War. (Seating of House Members Challenged. Fergus Falls Daily Journal, January 3, 1973)

67th Legislative Session (1971-1972)

  Session Details
Body: House
District: 62
Elected: 11/3/1970
Residence: Aurora
Term of Office: 1/5/1971 to 1/1/1973
Counties Represented: St. Louis
Occupation: Attorney
Party: Nonpartisan Election-Liberal Caucus
  • Commerce and Economic Development
  • Health, Welfare and Corrections
  • Insurance
  • Judiciary
  • Local Government
Articles & Books About
Lundy, John. "'A True Son of the Iron Range': Lawyer, Politician Bill Ojala Dies at 92." Duluth News Tribune, January 9, 2018.

William Ojala and Donald Moe (1973) - Cover sheet and various pages from the Minnesota Journal of the House, 1973 related to efforts to unseat him over his earlier refusal to pay income taxes as a protest against the Vietnam War.

The Minnesota Legislative Reference Library has collected newspaper articles on legislators since 1973. They are available in the Library.