John Collins, the accommodating and popular postmaster of Horton, was appointed to his present position February 8, 1898, and has since discharged his duties in a manner that has awakened high commendation from the department, owing to his promptness, reliability and unfailing courtesy and energy to increase and build up the office to a higher standard. He is a native of Broome county, New York, his birth having occurred near Binghamton. April 9, 1843. His father, Thomas Collins, is also a native of the Empire state and was a farmer by occupation. He married Miss Rhoda Lewis, and by their union were born nine children, -- five sons and four daughters. Three sons were loyal soldiers of the Union army during the Civil war, namely: Owen, a member of the Seventh Illinois Cavalry; George W., who was a member of the One Hundred and Fifth Illinois Infantry and is now a resident of Graham county, Kansas; and John, of this review. The father died at Canada Corners, west of Geneva, in Kane county, Illinois, when sixty-eight years of age. He was a Republican in his political views and was a citizen of sterling worth. His wife was born in New York, in 1809, and was a daughter of Rev. Lewis, a Methodist circuit rider, and is residing with our subject, aged ninety-one years.
When John Collins was a lad of six years the family left their home in New York and removed to Kane county. Illinois, becoming pioneer settlers of that locality. He acquired his preliminary education in the district schools and later attended school in Elgin, Illinois, and became a student of the Bryant & Stratton's Business College. In 1862, at the president's call for volunteers, he joined the army, enlisting in July as a member of the One Hundred and Twenty-seventh Illinois Infantry. He was assigned to Company I as a sergeant, under the command of Captain F. Raymond and Colonel John Van Arnan. He served for three years, took part in a number of important battles and skirmishes, including the engagements at Chickasaw Bluff, Arkansas Post, siege of Vicksburg, Mission Ridge, siege of Atlanta, Sherman's march to the sea, Bentonville, etc. He was wounded in an engagement near Kenesaw mountain and after three years' faithful service he was mustered out at Camp Fry, Chicago, returning thence to his home in Kane county, Illinois.
Mr. Collins began business in Blackberry, Illinois, as a representative of the McCormick Reaper Company, and in 1873 he went to Council Bluffs, Iowa, as a general agent for that company, remaining in Iowa five years. On the expiration of that period he returned to Illinois and embarked in the grocery and dry-goods business at Batavia, Illinois, whence he came to Brown county, Kansas, in 1889.
Mr. Collins was married, in 1870, at Elgin, lllinois, to Miss Mary E. Chapman. a daughter of Samuel Chapman, of Plato, Illinois. She belonged to one of the best families of that locality and was educated in the Elgin Academy. Mr. Chapman was a lieutenant in the Thirty-sixth Illinois Infantry in the Civil war and one of the prominent citizens of his county. Two children have been born of their marriage: Samuel C., who is now a machinist in the Northwestern Railroad shops in Chicago, and Earl N., the manager for his father's furniture store.
In his political views Mr. Collins is a Republican and keeps well informed on the issues of the day and is therefore able to give an intelligent support to the party of his choice. He is recognized as a leader in its ranks and during the past three years has served as a delegate to the county, congressional, state, etc., conventions. Socially he is connected with the Masonic fraternity, with which he has affiliated since 1865, when he joined the craft in Illinois. He was at one time a member of the Grand Army Post at Batavia, Illinois, and is now a member of Black Eagle Post at Horton, Kansas. He is ever faithful to the duties of citizenship, whether on the tented field or in the walks of private life, and in Brown county he is highly esteemed as a man of sterling worth.