John Marshall Stone

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For the archaeologist John Stone, see J. F. S. Stone.

John Marshall Stone (April 30, 1830– March 26, 1900) was an American politician from Mississippi who served longer as Governor of that state than anyone else, from 1876 to 1882 and again from 1890 to 1896.


Born in Gibson County, Tennessee, Stone was the son of Asher and Judith Stone, natives of Virginia. He did not attend college since his family was fairly poor, but he studied a great deal and eventually taught school. In 1855, he moved to Tishomingo County, Mississippi, and became a station agent at Iuka when the Memphis and Charleston Railroad opened.

With the outbreak of the American Civil War in 1861, Stone enlisted in the Confederate States Army that April. He commanded Company K of the Second Mississippi Infantry and saw action in Virginia. Stone, who had the rank of colonel, was placed in command of another regiment due to a reorganization in 1862. Colonel Stone was offered a promotion to major general, but he declined since it meant leaving his regiment. He and his unit were captured in early 1865 and held prisoner in Kentucky, Camp Chase, Ohio, and then finally Johnson's Island, Ohio.

At the end of the war, Stone returned to Tishomingo County and was elected mayor and treasurer. In 1869, he won a race to become state senator, winning re-election in 1873. Governor Adelbert Ames resigned in 1876, making Stone, the President Pro Tempore of the Mississippi Senate at that time, the acting governor. He won the Governor's office in his own right, as a Democrat, in the 1877 election, but was defeated for re-election by Robert Lowry in 1881. Stone became Governor again after winning the 1889 election and his term was extended through 1896 by the state constitution of 1890.

He married Mary G. Coman in 1872, and the couple had two natural children that died at a young age. However, they adopted three children of John's brother and raised them as their own.

In 1899, Stone accepted a position as the 2nd President of Mississippi A&M (now Mississippi State University) in Starkville, Mississippi. Stone died in Holly Springs, Mississippi, in 1900, at the age of 69 and is buried at Oak Grove Cemetery in Iuka, Mississippi.[1][2][3][4]


Stone County, Mississippi, was named in his honor, posthumously in 1916. Stone Boulevard at Mississippi State is named in his honor. The John M. Stone Cotton Mill in Starkville MS was formerly named in his honor but the name of that facility was changed when it was purchased by MSU in 1962. The Stone building at MSU was named in his honor and housed the university police department but has since been demolished.[5]


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Political offices
Preceded by
Adelbert Ames
Governor of Mississippi
Succeeded by
Robert Lowry
Preceded by
Robert Lowry
Governor of Mississippi
Succeeded by
Anselm J. McLaurin
Academic offices
Preceded by
General Stephen D. Lee
President of Mississippi State University
Succeeded by
John Crumpton Hardy