Was born in West Virginia, then Old Virginia, June 24th, 1818. His father was a native of the same state. He was possessed of considerable wealth, which was principally in slave property. He concluded to come west, but before doing so, set all of his slaves, twenty-five in number, free, and sent them across Maryland into Pennsylvania. Two days later he started for the west, landing in Carlyle on the 2d of May, 1829. He died in Clinton county in 1832.
He married Ruth PRATHER, who was born in Allegheny county, Maryland. She survived her husband many years, and died Aug. 18th, 1861. The grandfather of Mr. Collins was a soldier in the Indian wars, and was captured by the Shawnee Indians, and held a captive for four years. His maternal grandfather was also a soldier in the same wars. The mother of the subject of this sketch was a truly remarkable woman, and was possessed of most excellent sense, business tact and good management. After the death of her husband in 1832, she took charge of the entire business, kept the family together, bought land, managed it cultivation, and in time accumulated a large amount of property, which before her death she divided among her children in the most equitable manner possible. She so arranged that after her death her business was settled up at a cost of a few dollars. The property was all vested in her until a short time before her death, Daniel C., nor the other children owning anything until her demise. There were eleven children born to her and Mr. Collins, four of whom are still living. Daniel C. is the fourth in the family. He was in his twelfth year when the family came west, and here has been his home ever since. He practically never left home.
In March, 1861, his share of his mother's property was given to him, and then, for the first time, he became possessed of real estate and personal property. His opportunities for receiving an education were limited, and were received while yet in Virginia, and when he was between the years of six and twelve. On the 17th of March, 1834, his mother bought a quarter section of land in section 28, T. 2, R. 2, where the family remained until the division of property took place. Mr. Collins has been thrice married. The first marriage was with Margaret A. WILLECK, on the 17th of March, 1853. She died July 3d, 1858. She was of German parentage. By this marriage there were four children, two of whom are living, Sally and Maria. Ruth died in infancy; Maggie died May 7th, 1879. On the 27th of November, 1860, he married Phoebe A. AUGUSTUS, a native of Canada. She died March 21st, 1879. There were several children by this union - three living. Their names are: Emma, John J. and Edwin Collins. August 20, 1879, he married Lydia A. POTTS. She was born and raised in the State of Georgia. She died, without issue, September 28, 1880.
The Collins family were members of the Methodist church, Mr. Collins, however, is not a member of any church organization, but is a rather inclined to a liberal belief in religious matters. Politically he was a Whig, voting that ticket up to 1860, when he cast his ballot for John W. Bell. In 1864 he voted the republican ticket, and has been a member of that party to the present. Mr. Collins, in his manners, is a plain-spoken, straightforward man. No one is left in doubt as to his position upon any question in which he has any interest. He is among the old settlers of Clinton county, and is much respected by his large circle of friends and acquaintances.
Source: History of Marion and Clinton Counties, Illinois, 1881, Brink, McDonough & Co., Philadelphia
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