Stewards of the iconic buildings and grounds of Capitol Hill since 1793.

Featured

Abraham Lincoln bust made of white marble that is 40 inches high and weighs 375 pounds.
The bust of Abraham Lincoln features Lincoln’s head seemingly emerging from...

Featured

A virtual Map of Capitol Hill from above
View a map of the U.S. Capitol and other buildings and grounds cared for by the...

Featured

AOC members holding the Historic Preservation Award that they received
The Architect of the Capitol strives to perform all work at a high level of...

Featured

Dr. Ronnie Coffman, the director of the Durable Rust Resistance in Wheat Project.
Learn about the world of wheat from Dr. Ronnie Coffman on September 4 at 6:30 p...

William Henry Harrison Beadle

William Henry Harrison Beadle
H. Daniel Webster
Artist

Bronze
Given by South Dakota in 1938
National Statuary Hall
U.S. Capitol

Overview 

This statue of William Henry Harrison Beadle was given to the National Statuary Hall Collection in the U.S. Capitol by South Dakota in 1938.

William Henry Harrison Beadle, born in a log cabin in Parke County, Indiana, on January 1, 1838, grew up on the frontier. Refusing his father's offer of a farm, he accepted instead $1000 for an education. He studied civil engineering at the University of Michigan. Shortly after graduating in 1861, he enlisted in the Union Army and by the end of the war had risen to the rank of brigadier general. He received his law degree from the University of Michigan in 1867 and practiced briefly.

In 1869 President Grant appointed him surveyor-general of Dakota Territory. His journeys through the territory and his previous frontier experience convinced him that school lands were a trust for future generations and should be sold at their appraised value and never for less than $10 an acre. This effort dominated his life. He served as secretary of the 1877 commission to codify the territorial laws and as chairman of the judiciary committee in the territorial House. In 1879 he became superintendent of public instruction. Beadle drafted the school lands provision at the South Dakota constitutional convention of 1885. When Congress accepted the state constitution in 1889, it was so impressed that similar provisions were required for North Dakota, Montana, Washington, Idaho and Wyoming. This preserved 22 million acres for schools.

Beadle served as president of the Madison State Normal School from 1889 to 1906, and as a professor of history until his retirement in 1912. He died on November 15, 1915, in San Francisco while visiting his daughter.


Download pdf of this article.

Last Updated: February 26, 2014