Transcribed by Pamela Wagler from: Biographical Review of Des Moines County, Iowa: Containing Biographical and Genealogical Sketches of Many of the Prominent Citizens of To-day and Also of the Past, Hobart Publishing Company, Chicago, 1905.


As an able representative of the younger business and professional element, and a member of one of the most distinguished families of Des Moines county, Simeon Beardsley is intimately identified with the vital interests of this section, where his influence has ever been exerted on the side of true progress. Mr. Beardsley was born at Burlington, Iowa, Aug. 23, 1872 a son of Dr. Charles and Eliza McCloud (Pool) Beardsley, and his father was a native of the Buckeye State, having been born and reared on a farm near Columbus, Ohio. The father of our subject, after receiving his preliminary education in the public schools, attended college for the purpose of pursuing a course of study in medicine, and on receiving his degree began practice in Oskaloosa, Iowa, having decided that the West offered superior opportunities for advancement. Later he entered the newspaper field, becoming the publisher of the Oskaloosa Herald and in this new venture he displayed decided talent, and met with very gratifying success. At the close of the Civil War he removed to Burlington to accept an editorial position with the Hawk-Eye, and here the highly individual quality of his work brought him enthusiastic recognition on the part of the public throughout Iowa and surrounding States. His daily contributions to the editorial columns were eagerly awaited and widely discussed. He gave much time and thought to matters of politics, and through his writings exercised a marked influence upon the public affairs of the State, while his careful and forceful editorials were a potent factor in shaping the sentiment of the entire Middle West with regard to national issues and questions of governmental policy. In recognition of his services, he was appointed, in 1879, fourth auditor of the treasury department, and removed with his family to the city of Washington, D. C., where he continued to reside for a period of six years. Upon returning to Burlington he resumed his active interest in Iowa politics and for a number of years served as chairman of the Republican State central committee. Previously Des Moines county had chosen him as her representative in the State Senate of Iowa, and during his senatorial term, besides influencing needed legislation in the interest of his constituency, he acquired a variety of experience in statecraft which rendered his services peculiarly valuable as Sate chairman of his party’s committee; and it may be said with truth that to him was due in large measure the continued supremacy of the Republican party in Iowa. After serving a term as oil inspector, by appointment of Governor Larrabee, he retired, devoting his remaining years to literature and the work of the church, he being a prominent member of the Congregational church, of Burlington, and serving for a number of years as superintendent of its Sunday-school. His death occurred in December, 1896, in the sixty-sixth year of his age, the date of his birth having been 1830. He was rich in the friendship and esteem of many of the leading men of his time, and the regret for his passing was universal.

Mrs. Charles Beardsley, mother of Simeon Beardsley, was, like her husband, born and reared on an Ohio farm. After attaining to years of womanhood she came to Iowa, locating at Oskaloosa, and it was while singing in the choir of a church at that place that she learned the identity of the tall and handsome young man in the audience who afterward became her husband. She is now residing on a farm near Clarks, Nebr. All her children are living, except one, a daughter, May, who died in infancy; Florence was married in 1890 to Edward M. Nealley, of Burlington, a well-known student of sociology, and resides with her husband near Santa Ana, Cal.; Charles, a graduate of Harvard, for some years an instructor of economics in his alma mater, and now living with his mother; George, at one time instructor in English literature at the Indiana State University at Bloomington, also makes his home with his mother at the present time; Simeon, fourth child of Dr. and Mrs. Beardsley, and the subject of this review; John, a graduate of the State University of Iowa, and while in attendance at that institution, met Miss Anna Wyman, whom he subsequently married, and with their two small sons now resides at Upland, Cal.

Mr. Beardsley, whose name forms the caption of the present article, was united in marriage on Thanksgiving day, 1904, to Mrs. Catherine (Dailey) Seward, of Burlington, and they have a pleasant home at Danville. Mr. Beardsley has been for some years the editor and publisher of the Danville News, which he purchased in January, 1898, from the firm of M. A. Kirkpatrick & Son. Since that date, with the exception of two brief periods during which the business was leased, first in 1903, to Mr. W. C. Moore, and in 1904 to Mr. Roy Speelman, he has conducted the enterprise with the aim of issuing a presentable country weekly.

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