GEORGE STONEMAN was born in Busti, New York, on August 8, 1822. He graduated from West Point in 1846, with high honors. Stoneman served in both the Mexican and Civil Wars before he settling in California. He was appointed to the California Transportation Commission in 1876, and served on the Federal Indian Commission in 1878. Stoneman was elected in 1879 to the Railroad Commission, which served California’s Third District. On January 10, 1883, Stoneman was inaugurated into office as Governor of California. During his tenure, he advocated controlling the rates and limiting the power of the Southern Pacific Railroad; however, he was unsuccessful in his efforts against the railroad-controlled legislature. Stoneman also was a proponent of prison reform, believing prisoners could be rehabilitated through parole. He granted 260 pardons and commuted 146 prison sentences in the last few weeks of his term. Stoneman who was not the Democratic nominee for governor in 1886, left office and retired from public service. In 1891, Governor Stoneman moved to Buffalo, New York, to live with his sister. He died three years later, on September 4, 1894 from a stroke. Governor George Stoneman is buried at Lakewood, New York.
Official Records:California State Archives
Personal Papers: California State Library: California History Section
Image source: California State Library: Governors' Gallery
Sobel, Robert, and John Raimo, eds. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978, Vol. 1, Westport, Conn.; Meckler Books, 1978. 4 vols.