Otto Ingram


Otto Ingram is a native of Menifee County, where he resides with his wife, Ruby (Williams) Ingram.

Born in 1916, he was raised on a typical, small, mountainous farm. Life was simple-raising tobacco, cattle, and sorghum cane for cash, and vegetables for food. Five days each week were for working, one day for loafing, and one day for church.

He attended a one-room rural school through the sixth grade and then attended the Frenchburg School (a Presbyterian Mission) and graduated from high school.He then attended Morehead State University (then Morehead State Teacher’s College) and graduated with a degree in elementary education.

Mr. Ingram began teaching in a one-room school with 74 pupils at $62.50 per month. This was interrupted by the Armed Services in which he served during World War II. He returned to teaching for a short time, long enough to save for a down payment on a farm.

He began his political career by being elected as Menifee County Judge in 1957 to 1961. After that term, he was elected as a state representative from the then 70th District in 1962 to 1964 for one term. He then returned to farming and his partnership in the Carter-Ingram Ford Company. He was elected again as Menifee County Judge in 1965 and reelected in 1969 to 1972.

Mr. Ingram then served as Deputy Commissioner for Rural Roads from 1971 to 1980 under the governorships of Wendell Ford, Julian Carroll, and John Y. Brown.

He returned to Menifee County in 1980 to form and assist in the operation of a coal company of which he was a partner.

In 1983, he joined the headquarters staff of Lt. Governor Martha Layne Collins for governor. He was appointed Commissioner of Rural and Municipal Aid by Governor Collins in December 1983 and served until his retirement in 1988. Mr. Ingram served under five governors and nine secretaries of transportation.

During his years as a local administrator and state administrator of local roads, Mr. Ingram has exhibited those traits of dedication and leadership needed to help develop and maintain a strong transportation system in Kentucky. His work has resulted in the improvement of the rural secondary roads and county roads. He acquired the respect of county judges and other local government officials because of his perseverance, and his integrity was always visible in his administration.

His service as administrator of Rural Roads Program for Kentucky extended over a period of thirteen years and five months.

Mr. Ingram was a delegate to the 1984 Democratic Presidential Convention. He has been president of the Menifee County Farm Bureau and is now a member of the board of directors. He has been chairman of the board of directors of the Mountain Rural Telephone Company for the past twenty-five years.

He received the Outstanding Governmental Achievement award in 1972 at Morehead State University.

Mr. Ingram lives in Menifee County where he fishes, gardens, and travels. He also is a teacher of his adult Sunday School Class at the First Church of God in Frenchburg and is a member of the Bath/Menifee camp of Gideons International.

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