Bill Tharp knows and respects the people of Muscatine County. Born and raised in West Liberty, he received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Iowa and his law degree from Drake University Law School. He practiced law with firms in Des Moines, Ottumwa, and Muscatine, before establishing a private practice in West Library. During this time, he met with and served the people in these.
Bill learned to appreciate and respect people like those in Muscatine County from his parents, Michael and Patricia Tharp. Michael is a dentist and Patricia was a teacher and reading specialist. They taught Bill to see the value in hard work. Mike paid for his own schooling by working a 40 hour a week factory job while he went to school full time. Pat paid for her own schooling as well, with scholarships and part-time jobs.
Bill gained insight into the problems facing the small farmer from his grandfather, Verland Olsen. Verland moved to Muscatine County in 1950 and operated a farm that he rented north of West Liberty until 1964. At that time, the owner of the land sold it and he was unable to continue. After a great deal of soul-searching, they got a small loan from family and bought the Gambles store in West Liberty.
Bill gained insight into the problems factory workers face, from his own experience and that of his grandfather, Benjamin Tharp. After WWII, Ben worked at Rath Packing Plant in Waterloo until it closed, and he retired. With a family of seven to support, the threat of a strike and the shortage of food and other necessities was ever present. Ben started a small cabinet shop, building cupboards for the new homes that were going up rapidly in Waterloo. So, he worked two jobs to provide security for his family. One shift at Rath’ s and another 8-hour day after he got home. Through this family experience, Bill learned the value of sacrifice to provide for your family.
Bill learned the value of family as he grew as a child and as a young father. His wife Marciana, a special resource teacher in West Liberty is supportive of his profession, as well as his private life. Together they are raising three children; Mary, Ben, Rachel, and a Pablo the family dog.
Bill’s work professionally has prepared him to serve the people of Muscatine County. He has been working as an attorney in Muscatine County for the past 14 years. He knows how the county offices work together and knows many of the personalities that work in them. Bill brings a fresh perspective to the job and he’s ready to work, seeing things with new eyes. Perhaps looking with an eye to better efficiency of resources and people. But he is prepared because he has had direct experience with the county departments as a practicing attorney.
Bill speaks Spanish. His sister, Lara Lozano, is well known in the Latino community. She has been his secretary in addition to many other duties in West Liberty.
With a background that helps give him an understanding of all the people of Muscatine County, farmer, shopkeeper, factory worker, small business owner, and many others, Bill is the right person to serve the people as Muscatine County Attorney.