William Shane “Bill” Beardsley (May 13, 1901 – November 21, 1954) was an American politician. He served on the Iowa Senate from 1933 to 1941, and was a member of the Iowa House of Representatives between 1947 and 1949. Beardsley was the 31st Governor for Iowa between 1949 and 1954.
Beardsley was born in Beacon, Iowa to William and Carrie Shane Beardsley, and grew up in Birmingham, Iowa. The son of a pharmacist, he attended pharmacy school himself, and established a drugstore in New Virginia, Iowa in 1922. He was elected to the Iowa Senate, and served from 1933 to 1941. He raised cattle and hogs in New Virginia on his farm from 1938 to 1946. In 1947, he was elected to the Iowa House of Representatives to replace a deceased Representative. He became a vocal opponent of the education and labor policies of Governor Robert D. Blue (a fellow Republican). In June 1948, Beardsley successfully challenged Blue in the Republican primary, and went on to an easy victory in the general election.
Beardsley is known for advocating a balanced state budget and opposing the Brannan Plan of the Truman administration. He was reelected in 1950 and 1952, but chose not to run for a fourth term in 1954. During his tenure the following notable accomplishments were achieved: workmen’s compensation benefits were increased; the highway patrol was expanded; anti-gambling laws were sanctioned; roads, schools, and institutions were all advanced; and a World War II veteran’s bonus was authorized.
On November 21, 1954, Beardsley was killed in a highway accident on Iowa 60 just north of Des Moines while returning from a visit to his son, Dan Beardsley, a student at Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa. He is buried at New Virginia Cemetery in New Virginia, Iowa.
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