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Dakota Datebook: Judge Lester Ketterling

Prairie Public

On this date in 1987, the Bismarck Tribune reported on Lester Ketterling, the new county judge for Bottineau, Renville, and Rollette counties. Judge Ketterling enjoyed the job and had a long career to look forward to. However, his journey to becoming a judge had not been easy, since he lost his eyesight at age 12.

Ketterling was born in 1940 in Wishek. He graduated from the State School for the Blind and went on to the University of North Dakota. He was only the second student who was blind to attend UND’s law school. He was an excellent student and finished in the top third of his class. In order to take his bar exam a secretary dictated the questions while he typed the answers. He became the second blind person to pass the bar in North Dakota.

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