Past Commissioners/Board Members

The Iowa Board of Railroad Commissioners, one of the oldest agencies in Iowa state government, had three elected commissioners who were charged with the duty to regulate railroad passenger and freight rates and operations. This oversight of the network that transported Iowans and their products was critical to pioneer farmers and businesses.

In 1911 the Iowa Legislature established the Office of Commerce Counsel within the Railroad Commission. With the growing use of electricity, the Board was authorized to regulate the location of electric transmission lines in Iowa.  The agency began licensing grain warehouses in Iowa in 1921 and was authorized to regulate passenger and freight rates for intrastate motor truck transportation in 1923. Authority to regulate natural gas pipeline construction was granted in the early 1930s. Because of its expanded authority, the agency was renamed the Iowa State Commerce Commission in 1937.

After World War II ended, sentiment grew for centralized regulation of public utilities. By 1953, Iowa was one of only two states that lacked a public utility commission. In 1963 the Iowa Legislature added the regulation of the rates and service of public utility companies to the Commission’s responsibilities. Also in 1963 the commission terms were extended from two years to six years and the positions became appointed rather than elected.

State government reorganization in 1986 renamed the Iowa State Commerce Commission and included the agency in an umbrella regulatory agency, the Department of Commerce. The new name, the Iowa Utilities Board (IUB), reflected the absence of the grain warehouse function that was transferred to the Department of Agriculture. 

Iowa Board of Railroad Commissioners (established 1878)

Name Years Served
James W. McDill 1878-1881 & 1884-1887
Peter A. Dey 1878-1891 & 1892-1895
M.C. Woodruff 1878-1882
A.R. Anderson 1881-1884
James Wilson 1882-1883
Lorenzo S. Coffin 1883-1888
Spencer Smith 1887-1893
Frank T. Campbell 1888-1892
John W. Luke 1891-1896
George W. Perkins 1893-1899
Charles L. Davidson 1895-1898
Edward A. Dawson 1896-1907
David J. Palmer 1898-1915
Welcome Mowry 1899-1902
Ed C. Brown 1902-1905
Nathaniel S. Ketchum 1905-1915
Willard L. Eaton 1907-1911
Clifford Thorne 1911-1917
J.H. Wilson 1915-1916
Jno. A. Guiher 1915-1921
E.D. Chassell 1916-1917
Dwight N. Lewis 1917-1927
Charles Webster 1917-1935
Fred P. Woodruff 1921-1925 & 1927-1935
B.M. Richardson* 1925-1933 & 1939-1951
M.P. Conway* 1933-1941
Geo. A. Huffman* 1935-1938
Harry B. Dunlap* 1935-1939
*Denotes service continued with transition to Iowa State Commerce Commission in 1937  

Iowa State Commerce Commission (established 1937)

Name Years Served
J.J. Lynch 1938-1939
Barr Keshlear 1939-1943
Carl W. Reed 1941-1957
David B. Long 1943-1954
Frank B. Means 1952 & 1963-1971
John M. Ropes 1953-1959
John A. Tallman 1955-1959
Ray H. Thompson 1957-1963
Harold E. Hughes 1959-1963
Bernard J. Martin 1959-1969
Waldo F. Wheeler 1963-1965
Dick A. Witt 1965-1971
Kenneth J. Benda 1969-1971
Howard Bell 1971-1975
Maurice Van Nostrand 1971-1979
Fred H. Moore 1972-1983
Mary F. Holstad 1975-1980
Andrew Varley* 1979-1988
Christine Hansen* 1980-1987
Paul Franzenburg* 1983-1991
*Denotes service continued with transition to Iowa Utilities Board in 1986  

Iowa Utilities Board (established 1986)

Name Years Served
Nancy Shimanek Boyd 1987-1997
Dennis Nagel 1988-1994
Emmit George 1991-1999
Allan T. Thoms 1995-2001
Paula Dierenfeld 1997-1999
Susan Frye 1999-2001
Diane Munns 1999-2007
Mark O. Lambert 2001-2005
Elliott G. Smith 2002-2005
Curtis W. Stamp 2005-2007
John R. Norris 2005-2009
Krista K. Tanner 2007-2011
Darrell Hanson 2007-2013
Robert Berntsen 2009-2011
Swati Dandekar 2011-2013
Elizabeth Jacobs 2011-2017
Sheila Tipton 2013-2015
Nick Wagner 2013-2020
Geri D. Huser Since 2015
Richard W. Lozier, Jr. Since 2017

Printed from the website on October 26, 2020 at 10:07pm.