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Regan, Sr., John E.

House 1931-32 (District 8)

Party when first elected:  Nonpartisan Election-Liberal Caucus

Counties Served:  Blue Earth


Date of Birth: 10/18/1883 (uncertain)
Birth Place: Mendota, Minnesota
Birth County: Dakota
Birth Country: United States
Date of Death: 3/8/1946
Gender: Male
Religion: Catholic
Reported Minority: None Reported
Other Names:
City of Residence (when first elected): Mankato
Occupation (when first elected): Attorney at Law


St. Paul College of Law; Law Degree;



Spouse: Mary Martin (married in 1908, she died in 1930); Widower (while in office); Winifred Maley (remarried in 1933)
Children: Six children, Four children (while in office): John E. Jr., Robert M., and Timothy M. (sons, with Mary); Jean Patrice (daughter, with Mary); Kathleen and Sheila (daughters, with Winifred, after he left office)
Family Members Who Have Served in the Minnesota Legislature:


Toensing lists his birth year as 1884. Southern Minnesota Historical Center lists 1883.

After law school he lived in Mankato, Minnesota. He moved to Balaton, Minnesota in 1908. He came to Mankato, Minnesota in 1910.

"John E. Regan, a leading Democratic politician in Minnesota during the period 1930 - 1946..." (Southern Minnesota Historical Center)

He ran unsuccessfully for the United States Senate in the 1940 election. He lost to Henrik Shipstead.

He ran unsuccessfully for Minnesota Governor in the 1932 election. A biography of Floyd B. Olson states, "The Democratic candidate for governor, John E. Regan, did not offer Olson much more competition than Earle Brown. His chief asset was his party label, and even that became valueless as a result of the informal cooperation between Roosevelt and Olson. The bitter quarrel between rumpers and regulars for control of the party left its mark on Regan, and the public lost sight of his generous, Celtic disposition as the factional fight goaded him into ever more intemperate statements."

"He became the angry man of the campaign, venting his spleen on all within range. He attacked the regular Democrats for supporting fusion, Olson for trying to ride Roosevelt's coattails, the Republicans for letting the country into a mess. Only the most elementary political necessities prevented him from denouncing Roosevelt, whom he heartily disliked for beating Smith and cooperating with the Farmer Laborites. Regan's campaign managers suffered through every address he made because they could never be sure what he would say. Even when the text had been prepared in advance, Regan sometimes got so worked up emotionally that he launched into an extemporaneous discussion of issues."

"Another troublesome matter was Regan's record in the state legislature. Conservative in his approach to economic questions, he had voted consistently with the Republicans during the 1931 session. Consequently, when he tried to don the toga of a reformer in 1932, he was vulnerable to Olson's attack. In a speech at Mankato the governor pointed out that "Regan fulminates against extravagance, but sat on a legislative investigating committee which failed to file a report, complains about superfluous bureaus, but urged the creation of a state board of embalmers, proposes farm relief, but championed a license tax on hogs." Such jibes made a joke of the Regan candidacy." (The Political Career of Floyd B. Olson, University of Minnesota Press, 1951, p. 111-112)

He was a member of the Knights of Columbus and Elks.

He died in Blue Earth County, Minnesota.

Religion provided by the Southern Minnesota Historical Center.

Total Days Served: 728


47th Legislative Session (1931-1932)

  Session Details
Body: House
District: 08
Elected: 11/4/1930
Residence: Mankato
Term of Office: 1/6/1931 to 1/2/1933
Counties Represented: Blue Earth
Occupation: Attorney at Law
Party: Nonpartisan Election-Liberal Caucus Party Notes: "John E. Regan, a leading Democratic politician in Minnesota during the period 1930 - 1946..." (Southern Minnesota Historical Center)
  • Game and Fish
  • Judiciary
  • Markets and Marketing
  • Taxes and Tax Laws
  • Telephones and Telegraphs
  • University and State Schools
  • Workmens Compensation
Archive Collections
"Regan, John E., 1883-1946. Scrapbooks, 1932-1940." - Available at the Minnesota State University, Mankato; Library Archives and Historical Center's Southern Minnesota Historical Center Manuscript Collection.
These files are available in the Legislative Reference Library.