John W. Collins
John W. Collins Family History
John W. was born in Georgia, the son of Samantha and William T. (Bud) Collins. Litha was the daughter of Frances Elizabeth (Fannie) and Butter Briley. In 1903, John and Litha Collins left Woodburg, Georgia (after selling their crops and furniture) for Texas. The train was robbed in Longview with the Collins family loosing all their money. The family had four children at the time- -Harvey, Ira Lee, Amblus, and Roy, who was a baby. The family arrived broke and disillusioned. The family rented a small house after John went to work at Peter Bridges Mill. They had no furniture and slept on beds of leaves brought in from the yard. Litha Collins cooked on the hearth of the fireplace their daily meals of water, cornbread and syrup. Later, they had three more children, J.C., Fannie Lou and Bill Collins. The family bought a farm four miles west of Grapeland on FM 1272. They eventually built a large house with big rooms on each side with a long hallway between them leading into the kitchen. It had a large front porch. There was a creek to the back of the property for water before they drilled a well. There was a big plum orchard to the left of the house. The family farmed and raised chickens for their eggs. John was a jovial man known for his toe dancing and harmonica playing. He was a good ghost story teller to his grandchildren. The land is now the Blackburn property.