Biography of Hon. Michael F. Collins
Rensselaer County, NY Biographies





Collins, Hon. Michael F., son of Patrick Collins, a tailor by trade, was born in Troy, September 27, 1854. His father came to Troy from County Limerick, Ireland, in 1848 and died here in 1876. Mr. Collins was educated in the public and high schools, and the Christian Brothers' Academy. He learned the trade of printer on the "Troy Weekly" under A. S. Pease, and later held a case on the "Troy Press" under Palmer & Clark. During the printers' strike of 1877, he and seven others started the "Troy Evening Standard." of which he was city editor. He resigned this position in 1879 and purchased of A. B. Elliott, the "Sunday Trojan," which he changed to the "Troy Observer" and of which he has since been the proprietor. He has made the Observer one of the best and most influential Sunday papers in Eastern New York. Mr. Collins has always been an active Democrat and in 1885 was appointed a civil service examiner by Mayor Fitzgerald and held the office two years. In the fall of 1885 he was elected on the Democratic ticket to the Assembly from the First Troy district over James P. Hooley, the workingmen's candidate, and Samuel Morris, Republican, and was reelected in 1886, serving in both sessions on the committee on commerce and navigation, printing and military affairs. In 1887 he was nominated and elected State Senator for the Rensselaer Washington county district over James H. Manville, Republican, by about 2,800 majority. The district was ordinarily Republican by about 3,500, which was his majority in 1889, when he was reelected over James C. Rogers. in the Senate he served on the committees on state prisons, printing, canals and villages. In 1890 he ran for Congress against John A. Quackenbush and was defeated by about 1,100. The next year he was again nominated for State Senator, but was defeated by John H. Derby by 661 votes. In 1893 he was renominated by the Democrats in the new Rensselaer Columbia district and was again elected to the Senate by 5,876 over Sheppard Tappen. During this term he was a member of the committees on taxation and retrenchment, villages, state prisons and affairs of towns and counties. Mr Collins has been a member and secretary of the Democratic County Committee for several years, is secretary of the Troy Democratic Club and is a member of the Elks and Robert Emmet Association. In 1880 he married Caroline E., daughter of William O'Sullivan of Troy, and they have six children: C. Alice, Francis M., Catherine, J. Edward, Helen and Marie.

From:
Landmarks of Rensselaer County
BY: George Baker Aaderson
Published By: D. Mason & Co. Publishers
Syracuse, NY 1897


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