Albion Young Collins

12 Mar 1829 - 21 Feb 1909

1st Lieutenant, Co. I

W. O. Yager's 1st Texas Cavalry, CSA





Albion Young Collins was born March 12, 1829 in Rhea County, Tennessee, the son of Elijah William Collins (1797 - 1840) and Jane Murphy (1802 - 1885) and died on February 21, 1909 in Lamar County, Texas.

This picture was featured in the Lamar County Echo, Thursday, August 12, 1976, page 7, shows Albion and his brothers prior to 1895 in Lamar county. Top left to right: John Lewis Collins (Private, Co. I, 1st (Yager's) Texas Cavalry CSA), Dr. J. A. Huff [the identity of Huff has been questioned], and Alfred Clay Collins (Private, Co. I, 1st(Yager's) Texas Cavalry CSA). Bottom left to right Edward Forebern Collins, Lamar County Judge 1858 - 1861, and Albion Young Collins (1st Lt., Co. I, 1st (Yager's) Texas Cavalry CSA).













A BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH OF ALBION YOUNG COLLINS

By Walter B. Massengale & David W. Massengale

Tales From an Adventurer

Our mother was Ellen Dewey Collins Massengale (1898-1961). She was the Granddaughter of Albion Young Collins (1829-1909), an adventurer and gold miner during the California gold rush. She used to sit at AYC's knee listening to him tell of his adventures during those exciting times. I have heard her recount those stories many times. Two of those tales left an indelible impression on both my twin brother and myself.

A. Y. Collins went to the California gold rush two times; once by sea and once by land. During the return trip home by land, he was wearing a pair of fine leather boots. As was his custom, each night he would carefully dress the leather with oil and place them by the campfire overnight. One morning, he awoke to find one of his fine boots missing. Upon examination of the ground around the spot where the boots were left, the tracks of a mountain lion were discovered. The culprit was none other than a wild animal. This theft made his return home rather uncomfortable.

A. Y. Collins' second trip to the gold rush was by sea. After a successful journey, he returned from San Francisco by ship. In those days, it was necessary to make the passage around the South American Cape of Good Hope. On the way, the crew and passengers were stricken with "scurvy". Only seventeen people survived that trip, and Albion Young Collins was one of the survivors. The ship was caught in a calm during the trip in the Pacific. All the food was gone so the meat benches were chopped up and boiled to make nourishment for the passengers and crew. They were desperate and had resorted to drawing straws. (The purpose was not stated but some extreme measure was about to be taken). Just then, a wind came up and the coast of South America was sighted. A. Y. told his nephew, Wallace, "That was the loudest shout I've ever heard!"

It is not known how much gold A. Y. Collins returned with, but a number of pieces were presented to the members of the family. I know of a ring made from the gold with a setting of quartz stone in which a vein of gold was embedded. That ring is still in the family today.

The Soldier

Albion Y. Collins was born in Rhea County, Tennessee, March 12, 1829, but moved when a child to Alabama. When he was seventeen years old the Mexican War broke out, and young as he was, he managed to enlist in Marshall County, Alabama, and was with General Taylor in many important engagements of the long campaign. A. Y. enlisted in Capt. James M. Gee's Company of Alabama Mounted Volunteers on June 2, 1847. He served at Matamoras, Mexico until the end of the war. He returned home to Alabama and soon afterward found his way to California and began mining gold there until 1860. From there, he came to Texas and the following year, he enlisted in Company I of the First Texas Confederate Cavalry and was given the rank of 1stLieutenant and continued to serve until the end of that War.

The Family of Albion Young Collins

Albion Young Collins was one of nine children of the family of Elijah William Collins and Jane Murphy. The family settled in Lamar County, Texas and became one of the most respected families in the County. Albion met and married Ellen Elizabeth Hadden in August of 1866. Ellen's family moved from Doaksville, Indian Territory to Lamar. Her father was Henry Beeson Hadden, a TinSmith at Doaksville. Her mother was Mary Tobin, who came from Ireland. Mary Tobin had immigrated to New York to be with her sister Ellin Tobin who had married a soldier by the name of Devlin. Not long, after Mary had been in New York, her sister's soldier husband was ordered to transfer to Ft. Towsen, in Indian Territory.

Mary wanted to stay in New York to finish her education, which she did. Eventually, Mary's sister prevailed on her to come to Ft. Towsen and Mary agreed. Mary was sent money by her sister by way of a man who was going to New York and promised to bring Mary back with him. All was well until, on the trip by riverboat, the man began to make advances toward Mary that she did not want. She spoke to the Captain of the ship and he promptly threw him off the ship. The Captain looked after Mary and when she finally arrived in Arkansas, she took a stagecoach to Ft. Towsen and found her sister and her husband had been transferred to Louisiana. The Captain at the Fort took care of Mary until they could make contact with her sister. Henry Beeson Hadden met and married Mary Tobin and began a family. The Haddens enjoyed great popularity and a good life in Doaksville until Ft. Towsen was closed. They then moved to Lamar County. Ellen was the eldest of the Hadden children. She was born in Ft. Smith, Arkansas because her mother was concerned about having a child in Doaksville and it was the first born. Albion Young and Ellen Elizabeth were married at a place called Cothran's Store (now Tigertown community), Lamar County on August 16, 1866. Albion and Ellen had six children, Nettie Moore Collins, Henry B. Collins, Walter Bullitt Collins, Minnie Lee Collins, Jefferson Davis Collins and Wade Hampton Collins. The Collins families had all settled in the area of Tigertown, Lamar County. One of Ellen's sisters, Cora B. Hadden married Robert Murphy Collins.

The Family Legacy

Albion Young and Ellen were prominent citizens of Lamar County and helped to improved the lives of all people from Lamar County. The children of A. Y. and Ellen were also well liked and prospered. A. Y. and Ellen left this world with a good legacy for their family and friends. Albion Young died February 21, 1909 and Ellen died January 13, 1933. Both are buried in the Tigertown Cemetery in Lamar County. Nettie Moore Collins who married David White is also buried in Tigertown. Henry B. Collins married Mary Louisa Tucker; both are buried in Tigertown. Likewise, Minnie Lee Collins and her husband, Hugh Amon Cothran are buried there. Jefferson Davis Collins, who married Willie S. Tatum, moved to Boswell, Oklahoma and lived there the rest of their lives. Both, however, are buried in Tigertown. Walter Bullitt Collins married Edith Mae Lyon and moved to Boswell, Oklahoma and entered the clothing business along with his brother Wade Hampton Collins. Wade married Flora Emily Eakin in Hamlin Texas. Both Walter and Wade moved from Boswell, OK to West Texas, Walter to Lamesa, and Wade to Brownfield. Albion and Ellen had twenty-one grandchildren, with countless numbers of additional descendants extending over six generations of descendants.

Epitaph

By an Unknown Friend

"No man has lived among us who scattered more sunshine or removed more thorns from the path of his fellow men. He was jolly, whole souled, bubbled over with kindness and found his greatest delight in serving others. Lacking only a few weeks of 80 years, the old soldier, patriot, Christian gentleman and noble-hearted man laid aside his work on earth, and without a tremor of fear went to reap the joys of a life well spent".

Walter B. Massengale

20371 Via Marwah

Yorba Linda, CA 92886-4524






In this picture the people in the back row who are standing are: (From left to right) Jefferson Davis Collins who married Willie S. Tatum, Henry B. Collins who married Mary Louisa Tucker Wade Hampton Collins who married Flora Emily Eakin, Walter B. Collins who married Edith Mae Lyon, Minnie Lee Collins who married Hugh Amon Cothran.

In the first row left to right:

Nettie Moore Collins who married David M White,

Ellen Elizabeth (Hadden) Collins, wife of A. Y. Collins and Albion Young Collins.








From an unknown newspaper clipping believed to be The Paris Morning News:

FALLEN ASLEEP

"At his home near Cothran's Store, surrounded by members of his family, his relatives and friends, one of earth's noblemen passed away early Sunday morning when Mr. A. Y. Collins breathed his last. One week before he was attacked by la Grippe and, weakened by the weight of years, his life gradually yielded to the great destroyer. Conscious to the last, this jovial nature which had gladdened all with whom he came in contact during his walk among man sustained him during his last hours, and without a struggle he fell asleep with a smile upon his lips.

A. Y. Collins was born in Rhea County, Tennessee, March 12, 1829, but moved when a child to Alabama. When he was seventeen years old the Mexican War broke out, and young as he was, he managed to enlist and was with General Taylor in many important engagements of the long campaign. In the war between the states he followed the flag of his beloved Southland from the beginning until the proud banner was furled at Appromattox. He enlisted in Company I, First Texas Cavalry, of which company he was afterwards made first lieutenant, serving as such throughout the long struggle between the sections. August 16, 1866, he was married to Miss Ellen Hadden. In early life he was a great traveler. He made two trips to California, one overland and one by sea, and was engaged in mining there for several years. He also visited Cuba, Puerto Rico, many of the Central American States and some of the States of South America. He was a great reader, a close student of current events, and one of the most interesting men in conversation it has ever been our lot to know. Fully one thousand people gathered at the family burying ground near his beautiful farm last Sunday afternoon to pay their last respects to the man they knew so well and loved so dearly. The burial was with Masonic Honors.

No man has lived among us who scattered more sunshine or removed more thorns from the path of his fellow men. He was jolly, whole-souled, bubbled over with kindness and found his greatest delight in serving others. Lacking only a few weeks of 80 years, the old soldier, patriot, Christian gentleman and noble-hearted man laid aside his work on earth, and without a tremor of fear went to reap the joys of a life well spent.

His life's companion and six children survive. To these he leaves the priceless heritage of a good name and the influence of a life so true and pure that it will guide and cheer and bless them through the stretch of years."






From an undated-unnamed newspaper obituary clipping from The Paris Scrapbook by Skipper

Steely:

"Death of John and Alf Collins Takes Last of Pioneer Family

Special Correspondence: Petty November 11-- I will go back to 1857, when four brothers, Ed, John [Lewis], [Albion] Young and Alf [Alfred Caly] Collins, came from Alabama and settled in Lamar county in a community now known as the Tigertown neighborhood, when the population of the county numbered a few hundred and its voting strength less than seventy-five, Paris at that time a mere hamlet, without even a hope of its ever growing to its present proportions, the country new and without even a shadow of a great future. Nevertheless, the four hardy and resolute brothers cast their lot with the county and state's destiny, married and raised families, practically out of reach of both church and school advantages. Each of these men were resolute characters, determined and persistent in every undertaking. Each possessed an individuality distinct from the other. Here they procured homes and remained until called by death to regions unknown. Ed Collins, who after some years became county judge and was well and popularly known over the county, died some years ago. Two years ago Young died. Then Uncle John, as he was known, took sick. Alf, who had broken up house keeping because of the loss of his wife and the approach of old age, had moved and was living with his son-in-law J. E. Hud___s, one mile east of Petty, visited Uncle John, came home, saying he never expected to see his brother recover, took his bed, and on the night of November 9 died, and the warmth had left his body, news came that Uncle John, too, had been called to that bourne from whence no traveler has ever returned and from which no sound, not even an echo, has ever been heard. This is the last of the pioneer brothers, but they leave behind a host of children and grandchildren, who should and do feel proud of the noble, plain, honest unostentatious lives of their ancestors. They possessed to my mind, requisites necessary to make noble men. Were it to say they were perfect would be to say what Holy Writ denies. Their lives are well worthy the emulation of all who knows them. Their friends are numbered by their acquaintances. An acquaintance of more than fifty years justifies and demands of me this to their memory. A Friend."

©Ron Brothers and Walter B. and David W. Massengale, All Rights Reserved, 1999.

30 Oct 1999

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