John H. Collins, who has been a resident of Letts for seventeen years, was born in Muscatine county, Iowa, on
the 13th of October, 1859, and is a son of Harris and Sarah (Denham) Collins. The parents were both natives of
Ohio but were married in Muscatine county, where the father engaged in farming until the Civil war. He enlisted
as a private in 1861 and went to the front with Company A, Eleventh Iowa Infantry. At the battle of Shiloh, on
the 6th of April, 1862, he was wounded and on the 6th of the following May passed away. He had two children: Lola
M., who has never married and lives at Muscatine; and John H., our subject. In 1866 the mother was again married,
her second husband being William Hart, a native of Pennsylvania, by whom she had four children, as follows: Jeannette,
Effie and Stella, twins, and Burton, all of whom are unmarried and living at home. Mr. Hart died in 1881, at the
age of sixty one years, but his wife, who is now seventy six, is living and continues to make her home in Muscatine.
The early life of John H. Collins was spent in his native county, in whose common schools he was educated. At the
age of twenty three years he became identified with the monument business and after following that vocation for
twelve years he came to Letts and went into business for himself. He also has an undertaking establishment, the
only one in the town, which he has been successfully conducting for sixteen years. Mr. Collins has met with success
in his work and in connection with his other enterprises he is also acting as manager and secretary of the Independent
Pearl Button Factory of Letts.
Mr. Collins was united in marriage on the 24th of October, 1883, with Miss Maggie Flanigan, who was born in Illinois
on the 16th of August, 1859. She is of Irish extraction, her parents, Edward and Mary (Smith) Flanigan, having
been natives of the Emerald isle. They were married in New York and subsequently came to the west, locating in
Illinois, where they resided at the time of their death. The mother passed away in 1864, but the father survived
until 1880. Two daughters were born unto them of whom Mrs. Collins is the elder and the only one surviving, Mary
having died at the age of two years. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Collins seven children have been born, as follows: Bert
H., born on the 7th of November, 1884; Edward H., born on the 27th of April, 1887; Lola M., born on the 18th of
August, 1889, who received a musical education, and has been teaching school for four years; John Arden, born on
the 3d of August, 1892; Clifford H., born on the 14th of May, 1894; William Fay, born September 19, 1896; and Kenneth
Earrol, who was born May 13, 1898, and passed away at the age of seven months.
The family attend the Methodist Episcopal church, of which the parents are members. Mr. Collins has attained high
rank in the Masonic fraternity, being affiliated with the Knights Templars of Muscatine and he also belongs to
the Mystic Shrine, being identified with Kauba Temple, Davenport, Iowa. In addition to his connection with this
fraternity he holds membership in the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and the Modern Woodmen of America of Letts.
His political support is given the candidates of the republican party but never having been an aspirant for office
he does not actively participate in public affairs. He is one of the enterprising and successful citizens of the
town and in addition to his various business interests he owns a very pleasant residence, the hospitality of which
is graciously extended to the friends of the family.
History of Louisa County, Iowa
From Its Earliest Settlement to 1912
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co.
Decatur County, IA
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