Transcribed from E.F. Hollibaugh's Biographical history of Cloud County, Kansas biographies of representative citizens. Illustrated with portraits of prominent people, cuts of homes, stock, etc. [n.p., 1903] 919p. illus., ports. 28 cm. Scanned from a copy held by the State Library of Kansas.
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Dr. Collins has proven himself to be a man especially adapted to his profession. He is a native of North Carolina, born in Jonesville, Yadkin county, a division of Surrey county, in 1836. His father was William Collins, of Scotch and English parentage, who settled in Maryland, and subsequently in North Carolina, where he was born in 1789. William Collins was a veteran of the war of 1812. He endured many hardships, and at various times was on the verge of starvation. The soldiers of that day did not fare so well as the gallant "boys in blue" under the present government. He participated in the thickest of the fight in the battle of New Orleans. His company was mustered out at Mobile after two years service. He with seven of his comrades were left there sick and penniless, all suffering more or less from illness. They started on the return trip bound for their respective homes carrying the weaker ones on stretchers. William Collins was one of the three who survived and reached their homes.

Dr. Collins has a relic, a pair of steelyards, in his possession which he values highly, not only for their intrinsic worth, but as the only article he retains of his father's personal property. They were presented to William Collins from the hands of that illustrious soldier and statesman, Andrew Jackson. He gave them to him as a means of defense to slug the darkies with who came up to interfere, and to weigh articles of food - they weighed everything used in the commissary department. William Collins was a farmer by occupation. He died in 1852, at the age of sixty-three years. His father was a Revolutionary soldier. His mother lived to be one hundred and four years old. Dr. Collins mother was born in Stokes county, North Carolina, in 1797, and died in East Tennessee in 1856.

Dr. Collins is one of a family of eight children, only two of whom are living, himself and a sister, Sarah - widow of Hezekiah Jackson, who died in the hospital at Atchison, in 1901, leaving a wife and ten children. He was a farmer living in the vicinity of Simpson. A brother, Dr. Lewis Collins, was one of the most noted and successful practitioners in the country - a better practitioner than financier. His death resulted from being thrown from a spirited horse. He was hurled over an embankment and his neck broken. He died in Logan township, Mitchell county, Kansas, in 1883, leaving a wife and five children. Dr. Lewis Collins brought in a herd of fine Shorthorn cattle in 1875, which was one of, if not the first, herd of Shorthorns in the country.

Dr. Richard Collins, a dentist, who lived on a farm near Simpson and practiced his profession there and in Glasco, died unmarried in April, 1895. The eldest brother, Anderson Collins, was one of the first settlers to locate a claim on Lost creek. He was a prosperous farmer and stockman. He died in 1880, leaving a wife and large family of children. He had gone to Nebraska City on business, and died while there. Mary K., wife of Jesse L. Knight, died in Beloit in 1895, leaving one son and a daughter; Dr. Knight, the dentist of Glasco, is the son.

Dr. James Collins began the study of dentistry early in life, arid when they used practice as well as theory. At the age of seventeen years he went to his mother's family in Ray county, Tennessee, where he followed his profession for ten years in Knoxville, Kingston and various other places. From Tennessee he went to Somerset, Kentucky, where he practiced two years, in the meantime serving the Twenty-second regiment - which was stationed at Somerset - with dentistry. In 1864, he emigrated to Nebraska and settled on a farm in Nemaha county, where he lived until coming to Kansas.

He visited the beautiful Solomon valley while on a buffalo hunting expedition, and while looking over the ground with a view to locating, he inquired if his present farm was for sale, and instructed them to notify him if at any time it should become so. Henry Ashley, the original owner, decided to sell and per agreement, notified Dr. Collins, who bought the land through an agent. There were, practically speaking, no improvements; three acres of breaking and a log cabin, whose low timbers would not admit of an ordinary sized man standing erect. He now owns with his children two hundred and eighty acres of land. In 1881 Dr. Collins bought six Jersey cattle and has raised from them a herd that excels any Jersey stock in the country. He sold seventeen milch cows in one day during the year 1900. He keeps on an average from thirty-five to forty head and has a regular Jersey stock farm.

Dr. Collins is still active in his profession, has a portable office and an extended practice. When the law was passed in Kansas requiring the dentists to undergo a thorough examination he submitted papers which were pronounced as good as any in the state. He holds a first grade diploma, given by the State Dental Board of Examiners of Kansas. Dr. Collins took an active part in the populist movement until their ardor simmered down and left him neutral. He was one of the organizers of school district No. 39, and has been almost continuously a member of the school board. He was married in 1861, to Minerva Nall, a daughter of Thomas and Mary (Rankin) Nall.

Thomas Nall was born and reared in Georgia, whose parents were an old family of southern proclivities. He was a soldier in the war of 1812, and was mustered out at Mobile. Mrs. Collins' paternal grandfather and four of his brothers, served through the seven years of the Revolutionary war, and all lived to relate the thrilling tales of experience. Mrs. Collins' mother was born in Green county, Tennessee. Her maternal grandfather was from England; her maternal grandmother was Scotch. Mrs. Collins was born in Bledsoe county, Tennessee, where her father emigrated from Georgia. She was one of three living children; a brother, James Nall, a retired miner of Josephine, Oregon is eighty-four years old. Until the summer of 1900 she had not seen him since she was three years old. She has a sister, Elizabeth Tollett, who lives in East Tennessee.

Mrs. Collins is the "Good Samaritan," or mother of the community. She has ministered to the needy and done more to alleviate suffering than any one individual in the vicinity of her home. She is kind, a benevolent woman and every worthy person receives recognition from her gentle and bountiful hand. The Collins family consists of six children, who are all useful members of society.

Thomas, a farmer of Lincoln county, whose wife was Susie Rushton, a daughter of Enos Rushton. They are the parents of five children, viz.: Flora, Nellie, Joseph, Enos and Susie. May began teaching, but prefers assisting her mother with the household duties. Jane, who graduated from the Southeastern Business College, of Wichita, Kansas, in 1894, has just entered upon her eighteenth term. She is employed the present year at Fairview. William, stationary engineer at Randall, Jewell county, Kansas, studied and practiced dentistry, but prefers engineering. Lola, who has been a teacher for six years, is a student at the Salina Normal University. Like her sisters she is a successful teacher. James, associated with his father on the farm, is a good-natured, energetic boy, and has a kind word for everyone.