DENNIS H. MURPHREE, the forty-second and forty-seventh governor to serve Mississippi, was born in Pittsboro, Mississippi on January 6, 1886. His education was limited and attained in the public schools of his native state. As a young boy, he went to work in his father’s newspaper business, and eventually became the owner and editor of the newspaper. Murphree first entered politics as a member of the Mississippi House of Representatives, a position he held from 1911 to 1923. He also served as speaker of the house from 1920 to 1923, and was elected lieutenant governor of Mississippi in 1923, 1931 and 1939. On March 18, 1927 Governor Henry L. Whitfield died in office, and Murphree, who was the lieutenant governor at the time, assumed the duties of the governorship. He served in that capacity until January 17, 1928. Murphree made three unsuccessful bids for a term of his own in the governor’s office. However, he once again succeeded to the governorship, when Governor Paul B. Johnson passed away on December 26, 1943. During his tenure, funding was secured for payment on outstanding bonds; relief aid was provided for flood victims; and state finances were put on the pay-as-you-go system. After leaving office on January 18, 1944, he retired from public service. Governor Dennis H. Murphree passed away on February 9, 1949, and was buried in the Pittsboro Cemetery in Pittsboro, Mississippi.
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.