The Collings/Collins Cemetery
The following was written by Captain N. W. Evans and published in the Adams County Record on Thursday August 30, 1906 regarding the Collings Cemetery.
I visited the Old Collings Cemetery just south of town the other day and found it in a neglected condition. This cemetery was named for the first person buried within its confines--James Collings, a soldier of the Revolution, who passed to his reward in 1802. Mr. Collins was the first settler in this section, having laid out a tract of land of four hundred acres on which he built his cabin home, near the site of his burial place, a half mile south of the present limit of West Union. This was in 1795 and this entire section was in forest primeval while wild animals were plentiful and many trails of the Red Man could still be observed.
The nearest neighbors of Mr. Colings were the Mc Clanahan family. Another neighbor was Ephraim Cole, who occupied the present Trotter farm, just east of West Union. The owner of this farm was also a soldier of the Revolutionary War and he is buried in the village cemetery, immediately in front of the grave of Justice Smashea. Mr. Cole rendered valiant services to the continental Army and came very near meeting the same fate of Nathan Hale, the celebrated patriot. He afterward moved to West Union and died in the house now occupied by the aged Jabez Eagle.
The actual site of West Union was taken up by Robert Mc Clanahan, 100 acres. The name Harper, as applied to the early plot of the village was received from George Harper , who took up 100 acres now owned by Salathiel Sparks. Other settlers in the immediate neightborhood were James Collings, Robert Mc Clanahan, Salathiel Sparks, Jr. and General Darlington. The old public well, near the Wood Millinery Store was in that early day, a fine spring, to which the wild deer came in droves to quench their thirst. Robert Mc Clanahan built his cabin here. He is buried at North Liberty.
Now I would like to make a suggestion to the people of West Union and in the columns of the Record. I'm sure they will observe it. I would like to see the cemeteries re-interred in a public burial ground where their graves could be properly kept and I believe the public spirited citizens of this village should take this step because of endured privations and hardships that so many of these people went through. I hope this suggestion maybe taken in a kindly spirit and I trust enought interest may be assured to result in this commendable action being taken.
John, 2 June 1798 - 30 September 1820
George, died 5 January 1862, age 61yr 10mo 5da
James, 19 November 1817 - 19 April 1897
Mary A., daughter of Leonard and Nancy Cole, wife of Reverand E. M. Cole of the Cincinnati Conference, born in West Union 11 June 1824, died Wnchester 18 September 1885
Nancy Ellen, daughter of Ephraim and Mary A. Cole, 27 December 1845 - 28 February 1847, age 2yr 2mo 1da
Leonard Wayne, son of Reverand E. M. & M. A. Cole, born 25 September 1854, no death date, graduated from Berea College, Madison County, Kentucky
Virginia C., daughter of A. & E. Fleming, died 26 March 1853, age 12yr 1da