Edward C. Stokes was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on December 22, 1860. His education was attained at the Friends School in Rhode Island, and at Brown University, where he graduated in 1883. Before entering into politics, he worked in the banking industry, as well as serving as the Millville superintendent of public schools from 1889 to 1898. Stokes first won election to the New Jersey House of Representatives, a position he held from 1891 to 1892. He was a member of the New Jersey State Senate from 1892 to 1901; and served as senate president in 1895. He also served as the vice chairman of the 1900 New Jersey Republican Committee; and was the Chancery Court clerk from 1901 to 1905. Stokes next secured the Republican gubernatorial nomination, and was elected governor by a popular vote on November 8, 1904. During his tenure, an increased railroad tax was sanctioned; and several reform measures were initiated. After leaving the governorship, Stokes made two unsuccessful bids for the U.S. Senate, as well as losing his 1913 gubernatorial campaign. After chairing the 1936 Republican State Convention, Stokes retired from political life. Governor Edward C. Stokes passed away on November 4, 1942, and was buried in the Mount Pleasant Cemetery in Millville, New Jersey.
Sobel, Robert, and John Raimo, eds. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978, Vol. 3, Westport, Conn.; Meckler Books, 1978. 4 vols.