(submitted by Kyle Roberts)
Hon. John F. Sexton, of Copiah County, was born in Rankin County, Mississippi in June 6, 1844. He was the son of John and Mary E. Sexton. At about the age of twenty-two, Mr. Sexton began life for himself as a planter, and continued this thru his life. His plantation was once one of the largest and best improved in the county and his skill as an agriculturist made it one of the most productive.
In 1867 he was married to Elizabeth Hays, the daughter of Isaiah and Elizabeth Hays of Copiah County. She bore John four children: Willie F., Ollie, Eddie, and Mary E.
John Sexton was a member of numerous societies and secret orders, among which were the Farmers' Alliance of Copiah County, the Industrial Union, Knights of Honor, and Knights of Pythias of Crystal Springs. He and his family were members of the Methodist Episcopal Church and attended the congregation at Crytal Springs.
In December of 1861, at age 17, John enlisted in the Withers Artillery Regiment of Mississippi where he served until the end of the Civil War, participating in a number of hard battles. He was in the seige at Port Hudson, in Johnson's Army in Georgia, and in Hood's Army in Georgia and Tennessee. He was taken prisoner by Union forces at Spanish Fort and kept captive for sixty days. Although he was never seriously wounded, he recieved minor injuries on several occasions.
After the war, he was elected to the Copiah County Board of Supervisors and served as one of the County School Commissioners. In 1888 he was elected to represent Copiah County in the State Legislature. serving as chairman of the Manufacturing Committee. He also served on the Committee of Agriculture, the Committee of Temperance, the Education Committee, and others.
Mr. Sexton was a tall, well-built man with sandy hair. He was known to be well spoken, genial, whole-souled, friendly, and helpful. He was respected and well known throughout the state as a result of his political life as well as his family connections.
John Sexton died on April 9, 1921 and is buried in the Poplar Springs Cemetery in Crystal Springs, Mississippi.