Biography of Hon. John F. Collin


History of Columbia County, New York

By Captain Franklin Ellis

Published by Everts & Ensign

Philadelphia, PA



Pages  377 & 378


      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.

     John 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.

     In 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.

     In local 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.