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Below is a family biography included in The Portrait and Biographical Record of Randolph, Jackson, Perry and Monroe Counties, Illinois published by Biographical Publishing Co. in 1894.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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WILLIAM W. COLLIER. This county is the home of quite a number of men who were thrown upon their own resources at an early age, and whose natural aptness and energy were developed and strengthened by contact with the world, resulting in making their lives more than ordinarily successful in worldly prosperity and in winning respect. Among this number is William W. Collier, of Chester, where he is carrying on a splendid trade in the saddlery and harness business.

A native of Wayne County, Mo., our subject was born near Frederickstown, September 12, 1847, and is the son of Miles H. and Mary S. (Short) Collier, natives respectively of Alabama and Tennessee. The father, who in early life was a merchant, later followed farming, and on the outbreak of the Civil War owned a fine estate, which, with the slaves upon it was valued at $40,000. Desiring to leave the state, he sold his property for $400, and moving north, made his home in Carlyle, Clinton County, this state. He embarked in the saddlery business there, and continued to make it his home for many years. He was a very capable man, and died while on a visit to his son in this city. In his death, which occurred in 1882, not only the family, but the community at large sustained a heavy loss. The mother of our subject departed this life in 1886, in St. Louis, Mo., while at the home of her daughter, Mrs. J. H. Donewald.

William W. Collier was the third in order of birth of his parents’ family of nine children, six of whom grew to mature years. He passed his boyhood and youth in this state, and at Carlyle received a good education in the public school. When old enough to choose a life occupation he learned the trade of a saddler from his father, and remained in the above place working at his trade until 1870, the year of his removal to Chester.

May 7, 1870, Mr. Collier launched out in business in this city, opening a store along the river front, and has continued in the harness business up to the present time. He has been more than ordinarily successful in his chosen trade, although he met with severe losses on two occasions. January 9, 1879, his dwelling was burned, and December 24, 1887, his store was destroyed, he thereby losing $4,700.

The lady to whom Mr. Collier was married March 31, 1874, was known prior to her marriage as Miss Angelique E. Smith. She was the daughter of David and Frances Smith, and was born and reared in this city. By her union with our subject she has become the mother of the following six children: Minnie C., Lelia S.; Byron S. and Mamie, deceased; John W. and Elbert.

Mr. Collier believes the principles laid down in the Democratic platform are best adapted to the needs of the nation, and therefore votes a straight ticket. He can always be counted upon to bear a part in every worthy enterprise which is promulgated in the neighborhood, and is particularly interested in the advancement of the cause of education. This is recognized by his fellow-citizens, who have bestowed upon him the office of School Trustee, which he held for two terms. Socially he is a Mason and belongs to Chester Lodge No. 72. Mr. Collier has a neat residence, which is located on the bluff and commands a fine view of the Mississippi River.

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This family biography is one of 679 biographies included in The Portrait and Biographical Record of Randolph, Jackson, Perry and Monroe Counties, Illinois published in 1894.  View the complete description here: The Portrait and Biographical Record of Randolph, Jackson, Perry and Monroe Counties, Illinois

View additional Randolph County, Illinois family biographies here: Randolph County, Illinois Biographies

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