JAMES S. BOYNTON, Georgia’s 36th governor, was born in Henry County, Georgia, on May 7, 1833. He studied law, was admitted to the bar in 1852, and established a legal career in Monticello and Jackson. During the Civil War, he served as a private with the 13th Georgia Infantry, was wounded in the Battle of Atlanta, and achieved the rank of colonel by the end of the war. Boynton entered public service as judge of the Griffin County Court. He also served as mayor of Griffin from 1869 to 1872, and was a member and president of the Georgia Senate from 1880 to 1883. On March 4, 1883, Governor Alexander Stephens died in office, and Boynton, who was president of the senate at the time, assumed the duties of the governorship. A special election was called to determine who would fill the unexpired term of Governor Stephens, and after 17 ballots, the convention, which had been deadlocked, finally chose Henry McDaniel over Boynton. After finishing his gubernatorial tenure on May 10, 1883, Boynton served on the bench of the Superior Court from 1886 to 1893, and was elected to the Georgia House of Representatives in 1896. Governor James S. Boynton died on December 22, 1902, and he is buried at the Oak Hill Cemetery in Griffin.
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.