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William S. Beardsley

Gov. William S. Beardsley

  • January 13, 1949 - November 21, 1954
  • Republican
  • May 13, 1901
  • November 21, 1954
  • Iowa
  • Bowen Institute of Pharmacy
  • Married Charlotte Manning; five children
  • Died in office


WILLIAM S. BEARDSLEY, Iowa’s thirty-first governor, was born in Beacon, Iowa on May 13, 1901. He graduated from the Bowen Institute of Pharmacy in 1921, and then established a career in the retail drug business. Beardsley entered politics in 1933, serving as a member of the Iowa State Senate, a position he held eight years. He also served as a member of the Iowa House of Representatives from 1947 to 1948. Beardsley won the 1948 Republican gubernatorial nomination and was sworn into the governor’s office on January 13, 1949. He was reelected to a second term in 1950, and to a third term in 1952. During his tenure, workmen’s compensation benefits were increased; the highway patrol was expanded; anti-gambling laws were sanctioned; roads, schools and institutions were all advanced; a World War II veteran’s bonus was authorized; and the Brannan plan was opposed. While still in office, Governor William S. Beardsley was killed in auto accident on November 21, 1954. He was buried at the New Virginia Cemetery in New Virginia, Iowa.



New Virginia, Iowa

The Political Graveyard

Sobel, Robert, and John Raimo, eds. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978, Vol. 2, Westport, Conn.; Meckler Books, 1978. 4 vols.

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