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Below is a family biography included in The History of Lawrence County, Missouri published by Goodspeed Publishing Company in 1888.  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 Collins is a son of James L. and Malinda (Gilmore) Collins, and was born in Granger County, Tenn., on the 18th of March, 1847. James L. Collins is a son of John Collins, who was born in Ireland. The latter immigrated to the United States, and soon after settled in Tennessee, where he lived and died a farmer. He died in 1859, at an advanced age. His wife died when the subject of this sketch was but one year old. James L. Collins grew to manhood in Tennessee, and was married there. After his marriage he settled on a farm, which he cultivated for about ten years. He then set out in search of a more profitable and progressive country. He traveled West, and finally settled in Greene County, Mo., in 1857. There he rented land for one year, and at the expiration of that time came to Lawrence County, where he spent the remainder of his life. During the Rebellion he served as a corporal in the Union army, and on returning home was killed by a rebel bushwhacker. Malinda (Gilmore) Collins is also a Tennessean by birth, and was reared in the same section of country as her husband. Her parents settled in Tennessee at an early date. Mrs. Collins is now living on the old homstead in Lawrence County. She is sixty-six years old, and is quite vigorous and active for one of her age. William Collins was about ten years of age when he came with his parents to Missouri. He remained with his parents during his youth, and secured his education in the common schools. In 1866 he married Susan J. West, a daughter of William and Eda West, who were among the first settlers of Missouri. To them have been born nine children, viz.: Dora A., Sarah, Pierce, Etta, Clara, Bert, George, Belle and William. For a few years after his marriage Mr. Collins worked on the farm. He then removed to Lawrenceburgh, and learned the blacksmith’s trade, which he followed for eight or nine years. Having accumulated money enough he then established a grocery store, to which he has added from time to time, as his means would permit, until now he has one of the largest general stores in Lawrenceburgh. Besides his business he owns some property in town, and is an influential citizen of the county. Both he and wife are members of the Missionary Baptist Church. His father and mother had a family of nine children, all of whom are living. They are William, Sarah J. (Mrs. A. J. West, of Lawrence County), Mary C. (Mrs. Sylvester Wolfe, of Springfield, Mo.), Martha C. (wife of Dr. Johnson, of Greene County, Mo.), George (of Greene County), Agnes (wife of Frank Lower, of Greene County, Mo.), Praitia (wife of Hugh Parrett, of Polk County), Sterling (of Lawrence County), and Nancy, who is single and lives with her mother.

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This family biography is one of 272 biographies included in The History of Lawrence County, Missouri published in 1888.  For the complete description, click here: Lawrence County, Missouri History, Genealogy, and Maps

To view additional Lawrence County, Missouri family biographies, click here

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