A Civil War Biography

Otho Robards Singleton

Singleton was born 14 October 1814 near Nicholasville, Jessamine County, Kentucky. He graduated from St. Joseph's College in Bardstown, Kentucky then received a law degree from Kentucky's University of Lexington. He was admitted to the bar in 1838 and established a practice in Canton, Mississippi. He served in the Mississippi house of representatives in 1846 and 1847 then in the state senate from 1848 until 1854. He served as a presidential elector in 1852. He was elected as a Democrat from Mississippi's 3rd district to the US House of Representatives in 1852 and served from 3 March 1853 until 3 March 1855. His reelection bid in 1854 failed. He was returned to the US House of Representatives in the election of 1856, this time representing Mississippi's 4th district. He served from 4 March 1857 until 12 January 1861 when the Mississippi delegation to both Houses of Congress withdrew after word reached them that Mississippi had voted to leave the Union three days earlier.

Upon returning to Mississippi Singleton joined a Mississippi military unit as a private. He would not actively serve in the military for long. He served in both the First and Second Confederate Congresses. He was a supporter of a strong central government and believed in the use of force to keep the states in line. He opposed substitutes. After the end of the first session of the Second Congress he became disillusioned with Confederate government and did not take his seat for the second session. Following the war he returned to the practice of law.

In 1874 he was again elected to the US House of Representatives as a Democrat. This time representing Mississippi's 5th district. He served six terms, taking his seat on 4 March 1875 and remaining until 3 March 1887. He chose not to seek reelection in 1886. He died 11 January 1889.

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