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Governor Ridgely Ceylon Powers

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Office Dates:  Nov 30, 1871 - Jan 04, 1874


Born:  Dec 24, 1836

Passed:  Nov 11, 1912

Birth State:  Ohio

Family:  Married Mary J. Wilson

School(s):  University of Michigan, Union College

Military Service:  National Guard

RIDGELY C. POWERS, the twenty-ninth governor of Mississippi, was born in Mecca, Ohio on December 24, 1836. His education was attained at the University of Michigan and at Union College in New York, where he took postgraduate classes in 1862. During the Civil War, he served as a private in Company C of the 25th Ohio Volunteer Infantry, and rose to the rank of colonel by time of his discharge in 1865. After his military service, he moved to Mississippi and settled in Noxubee County, where he ran a cotton plantation. Powers entered a career in public service in 1868, serving as the sheriff of Noxubee County, a position he held until 1869. He also served as the lieutenant governor of Mississippi from 1870 to 1871. On November 30, 1871, Governor James L. Alcorn resigned from office, and Powers, who was the lieutenant governor at the time, assumed the duties of the governorship. During his tenure, racial unrest continued to plague the state; the Mississippi State Grange was chartered; and the state encountered financial difficulties in 1873. Powers left office on January 4, 1874 and retired from political life. He moved to Arizona and later to Los Angeles, California, where he passed away on November 11, 1912.


Sobel, Robert, and John Raimo, eds. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978, Vol. 2, Westport, Conn.; Meckler Books, 1978. 4 vols.

The University of Southern Mississippi--McCain Library and Archives

The Political Graveyard