Panola Co Historical & Genealogical

John Kyle: Enough Said

John Kyle: Enough Said

‘Enough Said’

The name is listed among others of Miss Lena Dickins’s Batesville class of 1901. He was 10 years old. Fellow classmates surround his name and he is one of many of differing grade levels in Miss Dickins’s classroom. These include: : Lester Flint, 9; Irby Harmon, 8; Randall
Knox, 11; George Knox, 13 and John Kyle. This document was found in the trunk of Miss Lena Dickins. The notebook was owned by Mrs. John S. Dickins. The class roll was featured in a story in The Panola Story in 1983, Volume 12, Page 1 in a 4 column spread. Ms Dickins lived from 1873 till 1923.

In 1901, this 28 year old teacher influenced one student
who would become a leader in Panola County. Her lessons involved the basic ‘R’s’ to be sure but also included history and state government. Wonder if she could see the gleam in his eye although he was just the tender age of 10?

John William Kyle was born near Batesville, MS, on August 21, 1891. He was the oldest son in a family of eight children born to Albert Sidney Kyle and Mary Frances Heflin Kyle. In his early years, he received his education at Batesville Grammar School and, later, Batesville High School. It was in 1913 he graduated from the University
of Mississippi as an excellent student. He was chosen as a Rhodes Scholar to Pembroke College, Oxford University in England where he studied legal history, English law and Roman law. World War I would breakout while he was at Oxford and he returned to Mississippi to be enlisted in the army. He served at Camp Chaffee at Fort Smith,
Arkansas where a nearly critical illness caused him to be given an honorable medical discharge. He suffered from the weakness created by this illness for the rest of his life which would end fifty years later after an illustrious career of public service. John Kyle served as mayor of the city of Sardis and as Vice-President of Panola County Bank there. He had established a law practice in Sardis where he had gone to live with his aunt, Mrs. J. C. Kyle after his discharge from the United States Army.

He practiced law in the building of his uncle Congressman J. C. Kyle. Later, this building would be called the Kyle-Short Law Office. He served more than thirty years as attorney for the Panola County Board of Supervisors and in 1928, at the ripe age of 37, he was elected to the
Mississippi Senate from Panola County. He served in this office for twenty-two years chairing the Senate Finance Committe for twelve years as well as active in the Education Committee and State Buildings Committee.

So well did he serve that Governor Fielding Wright
appointed him in 1950 as Attorney General. The CLARION-LEDGER is quoted in the article by Mona McCarter Harris which is featured in the History of Panola County book at T145: “This is the story of a man who in 1932 loaned the use of his good name in order tht the financially-
embarrassed State of Mississippi might borrow sufficient money with which to purchase postage stamps to mail out tax statements....As Chariman of the Senate Fiannce Committee, he is one of the most powerful men in the legislature. He uses his powers wisely. Seldom are his
commendations challenged and never his sincerity in proposing what he thinks is best for the State and its people. ...His hobby is reading, mainly history....And he admits with a twinkle in his blue Scotch eyes that he enoys a good football game, particularly if it involves Ole Miss and Mississippi State.” He was 41 years of age in 1932.

He had served only a year or so when Supreme Court Justice, L. A. Smith, Sr., died and Governor Wright appointed Attorney General Kyle to the Mississippi Supreme Court. He was 61. He never married, was a member of United Methodist Church, Delta Kappa Epsilon and
the American Legion’s 40 & 8. He served as a Justice of the Mississippi Supreme Court until his death in 1965 at age 74. He was informed shortly before his passing that John W. Kyle State Park would become the official name of the state park he was instrumental in helping to
form while in the Senate.

SOURCES: The Panola Story, Volume 12, Oct-Dec Issue; Register of MS House & Senate, Dunbar Rowland, Oakland,MS; Panola Co History, Mona McCarter Harris.