Henry L. Whitfield
|Henry Lewis Whitfield|
|41st Governor of Mississippi|
January 22, 1924 – March 18, 1927
|Preceded by||Lee M. Russell|
|Succeeded by||Dennis Murphree|
June 20, 1868|
near Brandon, Mississippi
|Died||March 18, 1927
|Spouse(s)||Mary Damper White|
Whitfield was born in Rankin County, Mississippi. He began his teaching career at the age of sixteen. Whitfield obtained his teaching degree in 1895 from the Mississippi College and was appointed to be state superintendent of education by Governor Anselm J. McLaurin in 1898. He was re-elected to the post in 1899 and 1903. Whitfield was appointed President of Industrial Institute and College in 1907. The college experienced growth under his leadership.
Whitfield was elected Governor in 1923, narrowly defeating Theodore G. Bilbo. This was also the first election in which women could vote for the governor.
As Governor, Whitfield recommended various progressive programs such as improving the mental health care system and improving the public schools.
In 1926, Whitfield fell ill. He went to Memphis, Tennessee for treatment and returned to Jackson, Mississippi. While he was able to conduct business, his condition became worse and he died in the Governor's Mansion. He is buried at the Friendship Cemetery in Columbus, Mississippi.
Lee M. Russell
|Governor of Mississippi
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