Peter J. Otey

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Peter J. Otey
Peter J. Otey.jpeg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Virginia's 6th district
In office
March 4, 1895 – May 4, 1902
Preceded by Paul C. Edmunds
Succeeded by Carter Glass
Personal details
Born (1840-12-22)December 22, 1840
Lynchburg, Virginia
Died May 4, 1902(1902-05-04) (aged 61)
Lynchburg, Virginia
Political party Democratic Party
Alma mater Virginia Military Institute
Occupation businessman
Military service
Allegiance  Confederate States of America
Service/branch  Confederate States Army
Years of service 1861–1865
Rank Confederate States of America Major.png Major
Unit 51st Virginia Infantry
13th Virginia Infantry
Commands 30th Virginia Sharpshooters Battalion
Battles/wars American Civil War

Peter Johnston Otey (December 22, 1840 – May 4, 1902) was a U.S. Representative from Virginia.

Born in Lynchburg, Virginia, Otey attended private schools in Lynchburg, and graduated from the Virginia Military Institute at Lexington in 1859. Otey joined the Confederate States Army in 1861 and served as a major throughout the Civil War.

He started out his professional life as a cashier for the Lynchburg National Bank and was later named the general manager of the Rivermont Land Co.[1] Starting in 1887[2] he organized and built the Lynchburg & Durham Railroad and became president of the company which in 1892 merged with the Norfolk and Western railway. He retired from the railroad on June 21, 1891.[3]

Otey was elected as a Democrat to the Fifty-fourth and to the three succeeding Congresses and served from March 4, 1895, until his death.[4] He served as delegate to the Democratic National Convention in 1896. He died in Lynchburg, Virginia, May 4, 1902 and was interred in the Presbyterian Cemetery.

Early life[edit]

Peter J. Otey was born on December 22, 1840 in Lynchburg, Virginia to Lucy (née Norvell) and John Mathews Otey. He was a nephew of Bishop James Hervey Otey. He attended the Virginia Military Institute, graduating in 1859 with a degree in civil engineering. In the year of his graduation he and his fellow cadets were sent to combat John Brown's raid on Harpers Ferry.[5]

Civil War service[edit]

On the outbreak of the American Civil War he enlisted in the Confederate States Army. He was assigned to the 51st Virginia Infantry in the Army of the Kanawha, with which he fought at Fort Donelson. He was promoted to major of the 13th Virginia Infantry in General Lee's Army of Northern Virginia, with which he fought numerous battles and was injured at the Battle of Newmarket. He was captured at Waynesboro and taken as a prisoner of war to Delaware, where he remained until the end of the war. [5]

Electoral history[edit]

  • 1894; Otey was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives with 47.14% of the vote, defeating Republican J. Hampton Hoge and Independents O.C. Rucker and Frank Smith.
  • 1896; Otey was re-elected with 57% of the vote, defeating NtD (?) DuVal Radford, Republican J. Hampton Hoge, and Populist Joseph Johnston.
  • 1898; Otey was re-elected 66.93% of the vote, defeating Republicans Daniel Butler and Charles A. Heermans and Independents Ira W. Kimmell and D.G. Revere.
  • 1900; Otey was re-elected with 77.54% of the vote, defeating Republican J.B. Stovall, Jr. and Populist A.E. Fairweather.

See also[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^ Railroad Guide: Special Collections, University Libraries, Virginia Tech
  3. ^
  4. ^ United States Congress. "OTEY, Peter Johnston (id: O000126)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. 
  5. ^ a b Memorial addresses on the life and character of Peter J. Otey (late a representative from Virginia), delivered in the House of Representatives and Senate, Fifty-seventh Congress, first session (1902). Retrieved from April 23, 2014.

External links[edit]

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Paul C. Edmunds
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Virginia's 6th congressional district

Succeeded by
Carter Glass