My Genealogy Hound

Below is a family biography from the book, History of Kentucky, Edition 1 by J. H. Battle, W. H. Perrin and G. C. Kniffin and published by F. A. Battey Publishing Company in 1885.  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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JAMES ALFONZO COLLINS, Fulton County, was born November 12, 1836, in Graves County, Ky., and is a son of Jeremiah and Amanda M. (Dupree) Collins, of middle Tennessee. Both the paternal and maternal grandparents came to the Purchase about 1830, and settled near Feliciana, Graves Co., where both families entered land. The parents were married in 1830, and settled on a farm three miles south of Wingo, where the father died in October, 1842, aged thirty-four years. The mother is still living, aged seventy-three years. James A. remained on the farm until he was sixteen years of age, and then began clerking for W. F. Woolridge, at Feliciana, with whom he remained about two years; then was with Thomas J. Taylor about two years; then with G. L. McFall about two years, when he went into business with S. W. Welch. This firm continued in business until the breaking out of the war. Mr. Collins enlisted in September, 1861, in Company A, of the Seventh Kentucky Regiment, Confederate States Army, under Col. Charles Wickliffe, going out as first lieutenant. He was wounded at the battle of Shiloh and was disabled from service for about three months. He re-entered the service and was with Gen. Breckinridge in the Louisiana campaign. He resigned in August, 1862, and returned home to Kentucky. He subsequently raised a company, of which he was elected captain. The company was first independent but was afterward consolidated with Gen. Forrest’s command. The main operations of the troops were in western Kentucky, and Tennessee and northern Mississippi. He surrendered at Memphis in 1865, was paroled and returned home. He first engaged in farming and trading at Trenton, Tenn., one year, and then returned to Graves County; after remaining there a short time he moved to Dukedom, Tenn., where he acted as salesman for one year. In February, 1867, he moved to Fulton, Fulton Co., Ky., where he and his brother, Alonzo D. Collins, bought the first lot ever deeded in Fulton, and upon it built a store-room 20x40 feet. Here the brothers conduct a general store. The first street opened in the town ran past his store, and this he named Lake Street. After five years in this business he sold out, and next engaged in the cotton business in the fall of 1872, with Jesse Whitesell, a wealthy farmer and trader. He built the first cotton gin in the place, upon the ground now occupied by the Fulton Bank. He continued his cotton operations until the fall of 1874, when he re-entered mercantile life, and is still engaged in it. He also established the first tannery in Fulton in 1875, in connection with W. P. Taylor, and they also opened a saddle, harness, boot and shoe factory combined. In about six years this business was abandoned. He also has a farm, about one mile east of Fulton, well stocked with Jersey and fancy cattle, fowls, etc., and a large assortment of small and large fruits in great variety, and owns three store-rooms in the village and about nine residences. Starting with about $300, which he received from his father’s estate when he became of age, he has made life a success. He was married September 1, 1859, in Graves County, to Miss Jennie Taylor, of Dukedom, Graves Co., Ky., and a daughter of William and Rebecca (Roberts) Taylor, natives of Logan County, and Chesterfield County, Va. Mrs. Collins is a member of the Christian Church. Mr. Collins is a member of the Masonic fraternity.

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This family biography is one of 114 biographies included in the Fulton County, Kentucky section of the book, The History of Kentucky, Edition 1 published in 1885 by F. A. Battey Publishing Company.  For the complete description, click here: History of Kentucky, Edition 1

View additional Fulton County, Kentucky family biographies here: Fulton County, Kentucky Biographies

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