Jeff Stein retells the story of former Iowa Governor William Beardsley and his tragic passing on this day 68 years ago.
It was on November 21st, 1954, that Gov. Bill Beardsley and his wife Charlotte traveled by car to Ames to visit one of their five children, who was a student at Iowa State University. On their way home that Sunday night, just 2 miles north of Des Moines on Iowa Highway 60, Governor Beardsley drove his car into the back of a truck. He was killed instantly, and his wife was seriously injured. Lt. Gov. Leo Elthon drove through the night from his home in Fertile to Des Moines to take the oath of office early the next morning, serving the final 52 days of Beardsley's term.
His career in public service was well respected, but sadly most remember 53-year-old Gov. William Beardsley for being the only Iowa governor to die in office.