Oktibbeha County Coroner Michael Hunt confirmed Saturday the death of former Maben Mayor Jim Harris Johnson.
Hunt said Johnson died of natural causes at his residence in Maben between 5 a.m. and 6 a.m. Saturday. He was 72.
Maben resident Terry Harpole said Johnson took the office in a 1993 special election when Gwen Harpole Bell Perkins resigned as mayor, a few months before her term was set to expire. He was then elected to a full term and remained in office until 1997, Harpole said, and his immediate successor was current Maben Mayor Larry Pruitt.
Harpole said landmarks of Johnson's tenure as mayor included the creation of a walking track around W.O. Bill Shivers Park in Maben and a welcome sign on Highway 15 South reading, "Welcome To Maben, The Home of Governor Tom L. Bailey, and Birthplace of Lt. Governor Amy Tuck." Fiscal conservatism and an open-door policy also characterized Johnson's tenure, he said.
Before becoming mayor, Harpole said, Johnson worked for many years with his father's timber and logging business. He also co-owned B&J Quick Stop with his wife, Betty Johnson.
Visitation for Jim Harris Johnson will be from 5:30-8 p.m. Sunday at Oliver Funeral Home in Eupora. The funeral will be held at 2 p.m. Monday at Oliver, with the burial to follow at Center Grove Baptist Cemetery.