Open main menu

History of Iowa From the Earliest Times to the Beginning of the Twentieth Century/4/Charles Beardsley

CHARLES BEARDSLEY was born near Mount Vernon, Knox County, Ohio, on the 18th of February, 1830. He prepared for college at Granville Academy and Wesleyan University, Delaware, entering the Ohio Medical College at Cincinnati and was graduated from that institution. In 1855 he came to Iowa and began the practice of medicine at Muscatine, but soon removed to Oskaloosa, where in 1861 he became editor of the Weekly Herald. He was an accomplished writer and his paper attained wide influence in that section of the State. He was appointed postmaster of Oskaloosa, by President Lincoln. In 1865 he removed to Burlington becoming one of the owners and the chief editor of the Hawkeye. In 1869 he was elected by the Republicans to the State Senate, serving four years with marked ability. He was an earnest advocate of the taxation of corporate property on the same basis as other property and the taxation of the railroad bridges across the Mississippi and Missouri rivers. He favored the employment of women in the public service and the extension to them of the right of suffrage. In 1874 he was appointed Librarian of the War Department at Washington, with charge of the records of the Rebellion. In 1879 he was appointed by President Hayes Fourth Auditor of the Treasury, which position he held until 1885. He was a member of the council called by Plymouth Congregational church at Brooklyn, New York, which tried the charges preferred against Rev. Henry Ward Beecher in 1876. He was a life-long and prominent member of the Congregational church and moderator of its fifty-second annual meeting at Sioux City in 1891. At the celebration of the Semi-Centennial Anniversary of the admission of Iowa as a State held at Burlington in 1896, Dr. Beardsley was one of the chief managers. His great ardor in the work assigned to him led to overexertion bringing on nervous prostration from which he never rallied. He died at his home December 29, 1896.