Runnels was born on December 15, 1796, in Hancock County, Georgia. At an early age he moved with his parents to Mississippi. During the Indian wars he served for a short time in the United States Army. On March 3, 1821, President James Monroe nominated Hiram G. Runnels, of the State of Mississippi, to be Collector of the Customs and Inspector of the Revenue for the District of Pearl river. From 1822 to 1830 he was state auditor of Mississippi. In 1829 he was elected to represent Hinds County in the Mississippi legislature. He was defeated in the race for the office of governor of Mississippi in 1831, was elected governor in 1833, and ran unsuccessfully again in 1835. Runnels's service as president of the Union Bank in 1838 led to a dispute wherein he caned then-Mississippi governor McNutt in the streets of Jackson and dueled with Mississippian editor Volney E. Howard in 1840. In 1841 he again represented Hinds County in the legislature. Runnels moved to Texas in 1842 and became a planter on the Brazos River. He represented Brazoria County in the Convention of 1845. He died in Houston on December 17, 1857, and was buried in Glenwood Cemetery.
Runnels County, Texas was named in his honor.
Runnels was the uncle of Texas Governor Hardin Richard Runnels, and William R. Baker, a Texas State Senator was married to Runnels’ niece, Hester, He is also a distant relative of Virgil Runnels AKA WWE Superstar Dusty Rhodes
|Governor of Mississippi
1833 – 1835
John A. Quitman
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