Biography of Dr. William C. Singletary

DR. WILLIAM C. SINGLETARY. Among those who from early manhood have devoted their lives to the cause of suffering humanity, William C. Singletary may be regarded as among the foremost, and in pursuing the noble calling of medicine he has made fame and fortune for himself. He owes his nativity to Bladen County, N. C., born in 1829; a son of Rev. John and Mary Ann (Johnson) Singletary, both natives of the same county and State as their son. In that State they were liberally educated. afterward married, and in 1830 moved to Carter County, Tennessee, where they passed the closing scenes of their lives, the father dying in 1860 and the mother in 1893, the latter about eighty-one years of age. She was a devout member of the Methodist Church. Mr. Singletary was a Methodist minister of considerable prominence for a quarter of a century. He was also a Mason in good standing, and for eight or ten years was circuit clerk of Carter County. He was a man of more than ordinary ability and influence, and was of English origin, his father having been born in that country. The latter was probably a Revolutionary soldier. The mother of our subject was a first cousin of ex-President Andrew Johnson, but nothing is known of her parents. Five children were born to the parents of our subject as follows: William C., subject; Elizabeth, widow of George W. Ryan; Hester A., widow of Rev. Peter W. Emmett; Thomas V., died in Carter County, Tennessee, long before the war; and Ferdinand A., died in Kansas about 1884. He was all through the war, and served as first lieutenant in the Fourth Tennessee Infantry, Federal Army.

Dr. William C. Singletary received a good collegiate education and graduated from Holstine College, Jefferson County, Tennessee When eighteen years of age he began the study of medicine with Dr. Joseph Powell and Dr. G. T. McGee at Elizabethton, Carter County, Tennessee, and subsequently began practicing in Yancey County, N. C. Later he returned to Carter County, Tennessee, and practiced his profession there until 1857, when he came to Independence County, Arkansas, and the next year to what is now Boone County, where he practiced until the war. In 1862 he was forced into the Third Confederate Infantry of Arkansas troops as a private, but was detailed as assistant surgeon until near the close of the war. He then received a furlough and returned to Tennessee, where he remained until cessation of hostilities. After that he practiced there for three years and returned to Boone County, where he has since practiced with his usual success, and is perhaps the oldest physician in the county.

In the year 1880 he graduated from the Medical Department of the Arkansas Industrial University at Little Rock, and afterward devoted his entire time to his profession until a few years ago, 1886, when he located at Elixir Springs for his health. He was a prominent member of the Boone County Medical Society. He owned several farms, about 1,700 acres in all, in Searcy, Marion and Boone Counties, all the fruits of his own efforts. While residing in Elizabethton, Tennessee, he was superintendent of public instruction for two years just after the war. On the 20th of March, 1850, he was married to Miss Mary C. Wilson, a native of Yancey County, N. C., and the daughter of James and Mary Wilson, both natives of Yancey County, N. C., where they still reside. Mrs. Singletary died in September, 1854, in Carter County, Tennessee She was the mother of two children: Elizabeth Jane, wife of B. M. G. O’Bryant, of Carter County, Tennessee; and Thomas V., of Yancey County, N. C. In 1859.

Dr. Singletary married Miss Mary Jane Hicks, a native of Carroll County, Arkansas, and the daughter of Jonathan A. and Susan Hicks, natives of Tennessee and Carroll County, Arkansas, respectively. Mr. and Mrs. Hicks have been residents of Boone County, Arkansas, for many years. To Dr. and Mrs. Singletary was born one daughter, Flora Belle, who is now the wife of William Keener, of Taney County, Missouri. Mrs. Singletary died in 1869, and on 23d of July, 1871, the Doctor married Maria R. Luty, who bore him three daughters: Virginia A., Mary C. and Julia H. Mrs. Maria R. Singletary died January 31, 1885. On the 10th of December, 1886, the Doctor married Mrs. Anna H. Bagley, a native of Kentucky. Dr. Singletary was a Mason, a member of Polar Star Lodge No. 224, Lead Hill, and was a member of the Methodist Church for many years. His wife is an Episcopalian. At one time the Doctor was a Whig in politics, but since the formation of the Republican party he affiliated with the same, although he voted for but one president in his life, Gen. Grant, in 1872. He was well known throughout Boone and adjoining counties, one of its most energetic citizens, and his many friends and acquaintances mourned his death May 2, 1894. He owned a store at Elixir, and his wife is postmistress.


A Reminiscent History of the Ozark Region: comprising a condensed general history, a brief descriptive history of each county, and numerous biographical sketches of prominent citizens of such counties. Chicago: Goodspeed Brothers Publishers. 1894.

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