History of Iowa From the Earliest Times to the Beginning of the Twentieth Century/4/William M. Beardshear
WILLIAM M. BEARDSHEAR was of Scotch ancestry and was born November 7, 1850, at Dayton, Ohio. He was reared on a farm and attended the public schools until fourteen years of age when he enlisted in the Union army and was accepted because of his unusual size and strength. He served through the entire war in the Army of the Cumberland and returning, entered Otterbein University from which he graduated. In 1876 he entered the ministry in the United Brethren church, preaching at Arcanum and Dayton, Ohio. Meanwhile he attended Yale Theological Seminary for two years. In 1881 he came to Iowa, accepting the presidency of Western College at Toledo, being one of the youngest college presidents in the country. In 1889 he was elected principal of the Des Moines public schools, but in 1891 resigned to accept the presidency of the State College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts. For fifteen years Dr. Beardshear took an active interest in education, attending every session of the Iowa State Teachers' Assocaiation, of which he was president in 1894. In the National Educational Association he served as manager and delegate from Iowa, as president of the industrial department and in 1901 was unanimously chosen president. In 1897 Dr. Beardshear was appointed by President McKinley a member of the United States Indian Commission. He died at Ames, August 5, 1902.