Mr. Collier is a native of
Coxsackie, Green, Co., N. Y., where he was born on the 21st of November,
1820. His ancestors came from Holland, and settled at an early time
in that part of Greene county. His grandfather, Major Collier,
married a Miss Bronk, whose father was a wealthy landholder in that
neighborhood. Philip Collier, his father, was born on the estate in
1795, and married Christina Hallenbeck, by whom he had a family of nine
children, seven daughters and two sons, of whom Casper was the oldest.
He was educated at the academies of Coxsackie and Kinderhook and at Union
College; and entered upon the study of law in the office of John Gaul, Jr.
Esq., at Hudson, N. Y., in the fall of 1840. He completed his law
studies in the office of Messrs. Bushnell & Bliss, in the city of New
York, and was admitted to the bar as an attorney and counselor at law and
solicitor in chancery in January, 1845. The same year he opened a
law office in the city of Hudson, and three years thereafter entered into
co-partnership with Hon. Henry Hogeboom, late justice of the Supreme
Court, continuing in practice with him till 1854. He then
established his office where he is now located, in the city of Hudson, and
afterwards admitted as partner with him his only brother, Isaac N.
Collier, the present surrogate of Columbia county, under the firm-name of
C. P. & I. N. Collier, and has continued in practice here ever since.
Collier is well read in his profession, and has had a large experience in
practice, which may be regarded as more than ordinarily successful.
The business of the firm is excellent, embracing the patronage of some of
the leading monetary institutions of the city and a large and respectable
general clientage. He is a director in the National Hudson River
Bank, and in several other important corporations, and has been for
several years past a trustee of the Hudson Orphan Asylum. He was
nominated on the Democratic ticket for member of Congress in 1872, but was
defeated by Mr. Ketchum, the present member, the Republican majority being
large in the district.
Collier was united in marriage to Miss Mary DuBois, only daughter of Coert
DuBois, Esq., of Columbia county, in 1848, and has three children, two
having died in infancy. Mr. and Mrs. Collier are members of the
First Presbyterian church of Hudson, and eminently worthy the social
respect and confidence universally accorded them.
1875, Mr, Collier was brought forward as one of the prominent candidates
for appointment by Gov. Tilden to fill the vacancy in the bench of the
Supreme Court, caused by the election of Judge Miller to the court of
appeals. The Albany Evening Post said, "The prominent
candidates for the position are still Casper P. Collier, of Hudson, R. W.
Peckham, of Albany, and Counselor Holmes, of Schoharie county; all good
men, all men of character, experience, and ability, fit for this or any
other office. But, as we have said before, location, and not
individual preference, [p. 219] should dispose of this whole question.
Hudson is fairly entitled to a Supreme Court judge. Hudson presents
the name of Casper P. Collier. He is indorsed by all the leading
lawyers in that city, and two-thirds of the leading lawyers in that city,
and two-thirds of the leading lawyers of Columbia, Rensselaer, Greene, and
Ulster counties. He is the second choice of all the leading lawyers
of Albany and Schoharie counties. He would be their first choice
were it not for the fact, that Albany and Schoharie have candidates of
their own." The Troy Daily Times spoke also in terms equally
commendatory of Mr. Collier's appointment, but other considerations
prevailed in the counsels of the governor.