The business interests of Rocklin are entrusted to a board of trustees, one of whom is Mr. Collins, and in the faithful discharge of his duties he manifests a loyal and progressive spirit that is of marked benefit to the community. Mr. Collins was born in Staffordshire, England, on the 5th of September, 1841. His father, James Collins, was born in Ireland and belonged to a wealthy and prominent family who owned large estates there. In England he married Miss Bessie Elizabeth Hughes, who was born on the merrie isle and was of English lineage. By trade the father was a glass cutter and engraver, but his business career was not of long duration as he died in the thirty-fourth year of his age, leaving two sons to the care of the widowed mother. The daughters died when very young. In 1844 Mrs. Collins married John Meyrick, a blacksmith, by whom she had six children: Richard, Martha, William, Samuel, Janey and Lucy. Richard and William are deceased. Mrs. Meyrick passed away in the fifty-eighth year of her age, in the city of York, Yorkshire, England. Mr. Meyrick’s father kept the Royal Oak Inn at Clayhills, near Ludlow, Shropshire.
The subject of this review was educated in England and in his native land learned the blacksmith’s trade. He chose as a companion and helpmate on life’s journey Miss Sarah Hannah Francis, who was born in England and belonged to one of the old families there. A daughter came to bless their home, to whom was given the name of Ann Elizabeth, and with their first-born they crossed the Atlantic to the United States in 1869, settling in Wyoming, where Mr. Collins worked as a blacksmith for the Union Pacific Railroad Company for one year. He then removed with his family to Carlin, Nevada, where he remained for two and a half years, and then came to California, taking up his abode in Sacramento. In the latter part of September, 1876, he arrived in Rocklin, where he has since resided and has been continuously employed as a blacksmith for the Southern Pacific Railroad Company at this place. He is a sturdy, capable and industrious man and an expert mechanic, capable of making anything out of iron. He has ever given the best satisfaction to the company through his excellent service and enjoys the unqualified confidence of those by whom he is employed.
Four children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Collins in California, namely: Fannie, now the wife of Paul Walters; Charles Albert; Arthur and Alma Willard. Mr. Collins has erected a commodious residence in Rocklin and owns six city lots, on which stand his home and outbuildings. The grounds are ornamented with trees, flowers and shrubs of his own planting and the art of the landscape gardener has added much to the attractiveness of the place. He also has a forty-acre farm a short distance from the town, and his possessions are as a monument to his industry and enterprise.
Socially Mr. Collins is connected with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and the Ancient Order of United Workmen, and politically he is a Republican. He was elected one of the trustees of the town in April, 1900, an office which he is filling with credit to himself and satisfaction to his constituents. He is spoken of as a sensible, practical man, ever ready to do his part in promoting the best interests of the town, and he and his family are held in high esteem by their fellow citizens among whom they have so long resided.
Transcribed by Gerald Iaquinta.
© 2010 Gerald Iaquinta.