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Edmond Noel

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Subject: James K. Vardaman, Governors of Mississippi, John William Meece, James Gordon (Mississippi), Mississippi State Senators
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Edmond Noel

Edmond Favor Noel
Gov. Noel in 1909
37th Governor of Mississippi
In office
January 21, 1908 – January 16, 1912
Lieutenant Luther Manship
Preceded by James K. Vardaman
Succeeded by Earl L. Brewer
Personal details
Born (1856-03-04)March 4, 1856
near Lexington, Mississippi
Died July 30, 1927(1927-07-30) (aged 71)
Lexington, Mississippi
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Loula Hoskins (d. 1890)
Alice Tye Neilson (d. 1905)
Profession Lawyer
Religion Baptist

Edmond[1] Favor Noel (March 4, 1856 – July 30, 1927) was an American politician who was the governor of Mississippi from 1908 to 1912. He was an attorney, the son of a planter, and a member of the Democratic Party.


  • Biography 1
  • Marriage and family 2
  • Death and burial 3
  • References 4


Noel was born in Holmes County, Mississippi near the city of Lexington, the third of several children of Leland Noel, a planter from Paynefield, Essex County, Virginia, and Margaret Ann Sanders, daughter of a planter.

Leland Noel and his brother Edmund had moved as young men to Mississippi in 1835 from their home plantation Paynefield in Essex County, Virginia, to develop a property bought by their father in Franklin, Mississippi. They later purchased their own properties in Holmes County and married. Together with a third brother, William L. Noel, they each became major slaveholders, holding more than 150 slaves in total in 1860 before the Civil War as laborers for cultivating their extensive cotton plantations in Holmes County.

Edmond Favor Noel was named after his paternal grandfather Edmund Faver Noel (in one spelling). The immigrant Noel ancestor had arrived in the Virginia Colony in 1680; he was among French Huguenots who had come from London in that period. They had gone to England as Protestant refugees from religious persecution in France.

Noel read the law and passed the bar, joining the Democratic Party. He was first elected to the Mississippi House of Representatives and later as a district attorney. In 1895 he was elected by white Democrats to the Mississippi State Senate. In 1890 the Democratic-dominated legislature had passed a new constitution with provisions that effectively disenfranchised most African Americans, a status enforced until after passage of federal civil rights legislation in 1965.

Noel served in the U.S. Army in the Spanish–American War (1898). During his time in the State Senate, Noel authored Mississippi's primary election law and a constitutional amendment providing for an effective judiciary. Noel was re-elected in 1899. In 1903 he tried to gain the party nomination for governor of Mississippi but was unsuccessful. By that time the effective disenfranchisement of blacks had resulted in a one-party Democratic state; the only competitive races in the state were the Democratic Party primaries; whoever won the primary was sure to win the office.

In 1907, Noel won the Democratic primary and was duly elected as Governor of Mississippi. He achieved numerous progressive reforms, including in education, which was segregated. These reforms included consolidation of the state's rural school districts, the establishment of agricultural high schools for whites, and the founding of a teacher's college for white students in Hattiesburg. Noel's administration also gained passage of laws regulating child labor and establishing statewide prohibition.[2]

After the end of his term, Noel continued to be active in state politics. In 1918, he was unsuccessful in his run for the United States Senate; this was one of the early popular elections of US senators in Mississippi following national ratification and adoption of the 17th Amendment in 1913. He ranked third to Pat Harrison, as they both challenged incumbent populist US Senator James K. Vardaman.

In 1920, Noel was elected again to the Mississippi State Senate, where he served until his death in 1927.

Marriage and family

He married Loula Hoskins in 1890. They had children together, including sons, before her death. Secondly, he married Alice Tye Neilson in 1905.

Death and burial

Noel is buried at Odd Fellows Cemetery in Lexington, Mississippi.


  1. ^ In some sources variant spelling Edmund appears.
  2. ^ "Mississippi Governor Edmond Favor Noel".  
Political offices
Preceded by
James K. Vardaman
Governor of Mississippi
Succeeded by
Earl L. Brewer
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