Hon. John F. Collin, the subject of this biographical
notice, was born in Hillsdale, Columbia Co., in a house which stood on the
site of his present residence, on the 30th of April, 1802. Paul Collin
a French Huguenot, married Judith Vallean, and emigrated from France,
settling at Narraganset, Rhode Island, in 1686. He was the original
ancestor of the Collin family in this country. He had a son, John,
born in Rhode Island, who, about 1830, was employed by John Merwin, of
Milford, Conn., to command a vessel called the "Swan," engaged in the West
India trade. Subsequently, while in command of that vessel, he married
Hannah, daughter of John Merwin, the proprietor. He was lost, with his
vessel, at sea in 1746, leaving two sons, John and David Collin, the former
the grandfather of the subject of this biography. He married Sarah
Arnold, and settled in Dutchess Co., N. Y., whence he subsequently removed
to Hillsdale, Columbia Co. His oldest son, Antony Collin, was made a
prisoner in the War of the Revolution, and died on board the prison-ship at
New York, in 1888. John Collin died in 1809, leaving a son, John, and
daughter, Hannah, the former being the father of John Francis Collin.
He (John Collin) was born in Amenia, Dutchess Co, Sept. 19, 1772, and died
in Hillsdale, in December, 1833. He married Ruth Holman Johnson, Oct.
23, 1798, was by occupation a farmer, and reared a family of seven children,
who survived him.
Francis, the second son, was reared on the homestead, and bred to the
occupation of his father. Being of a studious turn of mind, he pursued
his education chiefly [p. 378] at home, adding to the advantage of the common schools
a thorough course of self-culture, embracing the branches usually taught in
academies. He has followed the habits of study thus early begun all
his life, and has a firm conviction of the truth of the adage that a man is
never too old to learn something useful. He is well informed in
classical and general literature, and has an accurate knowledge of history,
especially that relating to his own country.
politics he has always been a Democrat, and has been called to fill several
important positions of responsibility and trust in his town and county.
Besides holding many of the minor town offices, he was a member of the board
of supervisors for many years, a member of the Legislature in 1834, and a
representative in the Twenty-ninth Congress, from 1845 to 1847.
affairs his life has been an active one, being employed in many cases as an
arbitrator and in the settlement of many estates, his sound judgment and
practical knowledge eminently qualifying him for such duties. He is a
man of more than ordinary intellectual capacity, strict integrity and
uprightness of character, and is liberal in the distribution of his means
for the promotion of all worthy objects.
In 1827 he
was married to Miss Pamelia Jane Tullar, of Egremont, Mass., by whom he had
four children, all of whom are living. She died in 1870. In 1871
he married for his second wife Miss Jane Becker, of Hillsdale, and by this
marriage has one child, Frank B. Collin. His eldest son, John F.
Collin is a clergyman, residing at Santa Clara, Cal. The elder
daughter, Pamelia Lorania, married Rev. John Brayden, who resides in
Nashville, Tenn. Frances Amelia married Sylvester Barbour, Esq. an
attorney-at-law, residing in Hartford, Conn.