Senator William Nielsen Skourup View All Years

Compiled Historical Information
Date of Death: 2/10/1954
Birth Place: Morrison, Iowa
Birth County: Grundy
Party Affiliation: Republican
Assemblies Served:
Senate: 52 (1947) - 53 (1949)
Home County: Des Moines
William Nielsen Skourup
Des Moines County


Wilbur Nielsen Skourup, 61, former Des Moines County State Senator, died of a heart attack at his White Acres farm near Spring Grove on Wednesday, at 3:45 p.m., February 10, 1954.

He had suffered from a heart condition for about three years. During 1950 he had been hospitalized for about a month but had continued active since. He had become ill at a recent Rotary Club meeting and was assisted home. Tuesday he had overseen work on his farm. He owned both the farm and White Acres service station at Spring Grove.

Mr. Skourup was a representative of the Standard Oil Company when the family moved to Burlington from Davenport in 1938. After living in the city for two years, the family moved to the Spring Grove farm.

From 1947 to 1951 he was Republican State Senator from Des Moines County. During the 1951 state legislature, he represented the American Automobile Association in Des Moines. In 1949 and 1950 he was sales manager for the automobile association, with his territory covering about half of the state.

In connection with his auto association work, he was active in the promotion of highway safety and highway patrol work.

Mr. Skourup was a member of the original committee which brought the potentials of Geode State Park to the attention of the state legislature and then pressed for the funds for its development.

An overseas veteran of World War I, he was a member of the Acacia fraternity, Rotary and Executive clubs, Chamber of Commerce, Junior Chamber of Commerce, American Legion, 40 & 8, and the V.F.W.

He was born in Morrison, Iowa, March 15, 1892, the son of J. H. and Anna Nielsen Skourup. On July 9, 1918, he married Rembert Harshbarger in Manhattan, Kansas.

Surviving are the widow; two sons, Wilbur N. Skourup, Jr., and John J. Skourup, both of Burlington; two grandchildren; three sisters, Anna Skourup and Mrs. Marie Wilson, both of Kansas City, Missouri, and Mrs. Agnes Wilmoth of Colony, Kansas. Several nieces also survive.

Quick to see the reason for an act; quick to respond to injustice or unfairness as he saw it; quick to recognize the call to duty, Senator Skourup did not spare his energies or his interests in the pursuit of principle. He came to the state senate in 1947, and served in those busy years following World War II. He had rounded out a successful career in business; his financial interests were varied; he was a leading citizen of his county when he was selected to represent his district in the General Asembly. He had a keen and alert mind, and was one to perceive the long range effects of his actions in legislative matters. Legislation concerning motor vehicles and highway problems were among his primary interests; much of the commendable legislation concerning these topics is now upon the statute books as the result of his untiring activity and intelligent and thoughtful approach to those subjects. His opinions were firm and were defended with vigor; his friendships were strong and lasting, transcending partisan lines in his defense of what was right. His attention and his efforts were always set to the achievement of ends worthy of high and impelling motives. His inherent kindness and gentleness of spirit never failed to temper a situation or a matter otherwise difficult. He enjoyed the exercise of civic responsibility; he did not turn away from a fair and even contest so long as he believed that he was fighting for the principle of right. The Senator was vigorously loyal to our institutions and sought to support and strengthen them in every way.

His friends respected him for his outspoken courage; he served his party and his state to the full measure of his ability. At his death, we are reminded of the words of the poet:

“No man is an island, entire of itself, every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main; if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friends or of thine own were; any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.”

Senator Skourup made substantial contribution to the improvement of his county and his state; the State of Iowa is a better place to live and to worship by reason of his devotion to it.

Therefore, Be It Resolved by the Senate of the Fifty-sixth General Assembly: That in the passing of the Honorable W. N. Skourup, the state has lost an active loyal citizen. The Senate tenders, by this resolution, its sincere sympathy to the surviving members of his family.

Be It Further Resolved: That a copy of this resolution be spread upon the Journal of the Senate, and that the Secretary of the Senate be instructed to forward an enrolled copy to the members of the family of the deceased.





The resolution was unanimously adopted.