Anton Kraabel was born in Norway and emigrated to the United States as a very young boy with his family. They settled in Wisconsin, and Kraabel moved to North Dakota, and worked as a hotel manager and lumber yard manager before settling in Clifford, N.D. and became manager of a general store. He was one of the founders of the Clifford Bank, and held several township positions. He served in the North Dakota House from 1903-1904, and the Senate from 1905-1908. He was Lieutenant Governor from 1913-1914 and again from 1917-1918.