EDMOND F. NOEL, the thirty-seventh governor of Mississippi, was born near Lexington, Mississippi on March 4, 1856. His education was attained at a high school in Louisville, Kentucky. He later studied law, was admitted to the bar in 1877, and then established his legal career in his hometown of Lexington. Noel first entered politics as a member of the Mississippi House of Representatives, a position he held from 1881 to 1882. He also served as the district attorney of the Fifth Judicial Circuit in 1887, and was a member of the Mississippi State Senate from 1895 to 1903, where he wrote the Mississippi primary election law, as well as the “Noel” amendment, which made all elective offices four-year terms. Noel next secured the Democratic gubernatorial nomination, and was elected governor by a popular vote on August 22, 1907. He was sworn into office on January 21, 1908. During his tenure, a state livestock sanitary board was formed; a child labor law was sanctioned, as well as a pure food law; a teacher’s college was planned at Hattiesburg; an agricultural high school system was created; a state charity hospital at Jackson was established; and a statewide prohibition law was authorized. After completing his term, Noel left office on January 16, 1912. He continued to stay politically active, winning reelection to the Mississippi State Senate, a position he held from 1920 until his death. Governor Edmond F. Noel passed away on July 30, 1927 and was buried in the Odd Fellows Cemetery in Lexington, 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.
Mississippi Historical Society