Minnesota State Law Library
Walter Fredrick Rogosheske was born on July 12, 1914 in Sauk Rapids, Minnesota. He attended Trinity Lutheran School for elementary school and went on to attend Sauk Rapids High School. From 1932 to 1933, Rogosheske attended St. Cloud State Teachers College. He then attended Valparaiso University in Indiana from 1933 to 1934. Rogosheske obtained a B.S.L. from the University of Minnesota in 1937 and received his LL.B. from the University of Minnesota Law School in 1939. Rogosheske was admitted to the Minnesota bar in January 1940. He also opened his private law practice in 1940 and married his wife, Dorothy Heywood.
Rogosheske was elected to the Minnesota House of Representatives in November 1942 at the age of 28. He represented District 45 which covered Benton and Sherburne Counties for the 1943 term, but resigned to serve in the United States Army during World War II. Rogosheske was re-elected to the House in 1944 and was released from the Army in time to serve in the 1945 to 1946 session. Rogosheske was re-elected again in 1946. He ran again in 1948, but following his advocacy for an anti-gambling bill, he was defeated by pro-gambling candidate John T. Kosloske by 61 votes. Despite the narrow margin of victory, Rogosheske did not contest the election. While serving as a legislator, Rogosheske was the House chief author of the 1945 Area Vocational School bill. You can read more about Rogosheske’s time in the legislature in the member record compiled by the Minnesota Legislative Reference Library (linked below).
Rogosheske served as the Chairman of the Minneapolis-St. Paul Airports Commission from June 13, 1949 until 1950. This commission was in charge of selecting the location for what is now the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.
On March 1, 1950, Governor Luther Youngdahl appointed Rogosheske as a District Court Judge in the Seventh Judicial District. Rogosheske won re-election in November of that same year and again in 1956. On February 1, 1962, Rogosheske was appointed as an Associate Justice to the Minnesota Supreme Court by Governor Elmer L. Andersen. He served on the Supreme Court until his resignation on September 7, 1980.
Also in 1950, Rogosheske became a lecturer at the University of Minnesota Law School. He enjoyed conducting moot court sessions at the law school for many years. Rogosheske also served as a member and chairman of the A.B.A. Advisory Committee on Prosecution and Defense Functions, A.B.A. Project on Standards for Criminal Justice.
Rogosheske died on May 15, 1998 at the age of 83. He and his wife had 4 children together.
You may read more about the life and work of Justice Rogosheske in the Minnesota Supreme Court Historical Society's book: Testimony: Remembering Minnesota's Supreme Court Justices, which is a source of this brief biography.