THE ADMINISTRATION OF GOVERNOR STONE.
Source: Lowry, Robert and McCardle, William H. A History of Mississippi, from the Discovery of the Great River by Hernando DeSoto, Including the Earliest Settlement Made by the French Under Iberville, to the Death of Jefferson Davis [1541-1889]. Jackson, Miss.: R. H. Henry & Co., 1891. Pages 413-414.
John M. Stone, a native of the neighboring State of Tennessee, born in Giles county in the year 1830, but for many years a citizen of Tishomingo county, Mississippi, became the twenty-first Governor of the commonwealth, and the fourth under the Constitution formulated in 1868 and adopted in 1869.
John M. Stone entered the Confederate service as a company commander in the Second Regiment, Mississippi Infantry, and after the resignation of Col. Wm. C. Falkner became the Colonel of that regiment. He served throughout the entire war, and earned the reputation of being a courageous, zealous and patriotic soldier. On more than one occasion he commanded the brigade to which his regiment was attached, in action with the enemy.
At the close of the war Col. Stone was elected by the people to the position of Treasurer of Tishomingo county. In 1875, the year of the great redemption of Mississippi, he was elected by the people of Tishomingo county as their representative in the State Senate. When the Legislature assembled in January, 1876, Senator Stone was elected President pro tempore of the Senate, and after the conviction and removal of Lieutenant-Governor Davis, and the resignation of Governor Ames - under charges of impeachment - succeeded to the chief magistracy of the commonwealth.
Col. Stone became Governor at the termination of a great revolution, after seven years of misrule, outrage and robbery. It was no easy task to bring order out of the chaos which was characteristic of the governments of the southern States during the period of reconstruction. For the most part, the public offices of the State, and a large number of the county offices were filled with men whose only object seemed to be to outrage, oppress and to plunder the people. The Governor, however, was a calm resolute, sensible and honest man, and he was zealously sustained by an exceedingly intelligent, able and patriotic Legislature. Before the united and harmonious co-operation of the legislative and executive branches of the government, all difficulties disappeared as rapidly as mist before the morning sun.
The two years incumbency of Governor Stone was so satisfactory to the people in the peace and order that had fallen upon every county in the State, in the reduction of the ruinous rates of taxation, and in the economy which had been enforced in every department of the government, that Governor Stone was nominated for election to the office of chief magistrate for the full constitutional term of four years. He was elected in November, 1877, and was inducted into office in January, 1878.
How Jno. M. Stone performed the onerous duties imposed upon him, the people of Mississippi know full well. He gave to the State able, learned and honest judges, as well of the inferior courts, as of the supreme tribunal of the last resort. Governor Stone by his judicial appointments elevated the character of the courts of the State to a plane they had not known since the accursed reign of radicalism began.
During the administration of Governor Stone the Legislature established the Agricultural and Mechanical College, near Starkville, and it was immediately put in operation under the able supervision of its President, General Stephen D. Lee, under whose wise management it has attained phenomenal success, and has led to the organization of many similar institutions, particularly in the Southern States of the Union.
Governor Stone, after an interval of eight years, was elected to the chief magistracy of the commonwealth in November, 1889, as the successor of Governor lowry, and was inducted into office in the January following.
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