James P. Collins, an enterprising farmer of the Fifth Civil District of Rhea County, Tenn., was born in Sevier County, the same State, January 6, 1811, a son of Henry and Rebecca (Pierce) Collins. John Collins, grandfather of the subject of this sketch, was a native Virginian, and died in Jefferson County, East. Tenn., when Henry, the father of our subject, was about fourteen years of age. Henry Collins was born in Shenandoah County, Va., in 1783, and died at the residence of his son, our subject, in 1848. In 1797 the Collins family moved to Jefferson County, Tenn. Henry moved to Sevier County, Tenn., and from there to Rhea County, in 1813, and was among the first settlers of the latter county. He was in the war of 1812, was a sergeant three months, and then came back home and took a team and wagon, and was afterward with Gen. Jackson’s army; he was in several battles and numerous skirmishes. He was a Jackson Democrat and a Clay Whig. The mother of our subject was born near Greeneville College, Greene Co., Tenn., in 1783, and died in DeKalb County, Ala., in 1847, while her husband was making that his home. They had ten children, our subject being the only one living. His advantages for an education were poor, but, by improving his time and opportunity, is considered a well-informed man. He lived with his parents until January 13, 1842, when he married Miss Susan H. Darwin, a native of either Jackson or Rhea County, born March 26, 1822, and died July 30, 1866. She was the daughter of James A., and Bethia Darwin, and was a member of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. There were seven children left to mourn her loss: James D., Henry C., William G., Alfred S., Elizabeth B., Millard F., and Thomas C.; all now living. Ann E. died just two days before the death of her mother, and was about four years old at the time. Our subject at the time of his marriage purchased 200 acres of land, and a tan yard of his father; he has since improved and purchased, but has quit the tannery business, after working at it for fifteen years. Just after the war he was appointed by the chancery court to serve as clerk and master of Rhea County, has held the office for six years and since that time has been justice of the peace. In 1836 he was in the Cherokee service, and assisted in removing the Indians from the Hiwassee and Ocoee Purchases. He is a mason and a Republican.
Published by The Goodspeed Publishing Co 1887