Michael T. Lillehaugen was born in Hallingdal, Norway on June 4, 1881. He immigrated with his parents to the United States at the age of four. The Lillehaugen family lived in Dodge County, Minnesota for three years and then settled in Perth Township, Walsh County, North Dakota in 1888.
Michael Lillehaugen married Helen Sando in 1907. She died in 1914 leaving her husband with three small children. In 1917 Lillehaugen married Marie Moe and the marriage produced six children.
Lillehaugen was active in church, civic and community affairs. He served as church secretary for the Sarnia Lutheran Church for 36 years, and was instrumental in establishing the Michigan Telephone Co. He also helped establish the Livestock Shipping Association in Whitman and served many years on the board of directors of the Whitman elevator.
A Republican, Lillehaugen was first elected to the North Dakota House in 1926 and served one term. He was also elected to the House in 1932, serving another term. In 1940, he was again elected to the House, and served seven consecutive terms.
In 1952 Lillehaugen was a delegate to the Republican National Convention in Chicago.
Mr. Lillehaugen died on October 24, 1972, in Michigan, North Dakota. He is buried at West Forest Cemetery.
The M.T. Lillehaugen Papers consist mainly of family correspondence, dating 1899 (in Norwegian), 1915-1924, and political correspondence, dating from 1926-1934, 1950-1951, and 1952 regarding the 1952 Republican National Convention to which Lillehaugen was a delegate. The collection also contains various newspaper clippings related to agriculture and farm issues, state banking problems, prohibition, the death penalty, and compulsory military training in North Dakota Schools of Higher Education.
Four photographs were separated and placed in the Photograph File Cabinets.