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Iowa History Daily: December 16 - Governor Beryl Carroll

Iowa History Daily: On December 16, 1939, Iowa’s 20th Governor and the person perhaps most responsible for the beginning of conservation efforts to save Iowa’s natural resources died. Beryl Franklin Carroll’s life and career focused on conservation, education, and improving the quality of Iowa’s roads.

Born in Davis County as the second youngest in a thirteen child farm family, Beryl Carroll attended schools in rural southern Iowa before eventually graduating from Northern Missouri State Normal College in Kirksville. After a few years teaching, Carroll took over publishing responsibilities for the Davis County Republican.

Carroll first served in a public office as a State Senator representing Davis and Appanoose counties before ascending to the office of State Auditor in 1902. In 1908 he ran for governor and won by a massive majority. His inaugural address sought to inspire Iowans to conserve natural resources throughout the state. As coal mines quickly raced toward exhaustion throughout his home region of southern Iowa, Carroll recommended the creation of a commission to study Iowa’s natural resources.

The 33rd Iowa General Assembly responded by creating the Iowa State Drainage, Waterways, and Conservation Commission. Additionally, Carroll’s call for better roads resulted in the creation of the Good Roads Commission and eventual formation of the Iowa Highway Commission. Finally, at Carroll’s insistence on more uniformity of education, the 34th Iowa General Assembly established a system of normal training in the state’s high schools. #IowaOTD #IowaHistoryDaily #IowaHistoryCalendar


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