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Karns Hoagland Collings

Karns Hoagland Collings

Submitted by: Sheryl McClure.


Taken from: Portrait and Biographical Record of Oklahoma, 1901


KARNS HOAGLAND COLLINGS, who passed to his reward July 14, 1899, is deserving of a place in the pioneer history of the now flourishing and beautiful Oklahoma. He performed his full share in the herculean task of developing its resources, and in spite of many discouragements steadfastly pressed toward the goal which he had set before him an excellent and well improved homestead. He was not long permitted to enjoy the consummation of his energetic toil here, but passed to the heavenly home, mourned by a large circle of sincere friends.
For several generations members of the Collings family have been numbered among the sturdy frontiersmen who have led the way for civilization. John C. Collings, father of the subject of this memoir, accompanied his relatives to Indiana in the early part of this century, and he and his brother Richard were actively engaged in the wars with the Indians, which culminated with the fight at Pigeon Roost. Richard and his entire family, with the exception of one little girl, were massacred by the redskins. John C. Collings and his loved ones passed through some extremely exciting times, and on one occasion the Indians attacked them in their cabin. Mrs. Collings bravely did her share in the conflict, loading the guns until their scanty store of ammunition was exhausted. The husband than threw open the door, and, rushing into the midst of his foes, as a last resort, clubbed them right and left, and, it is said, killed seven.
The birth of Karns Hoagland Collings took place in the cabin which his father had so heroically defended. This humble home was situated in Scott county, and the date of our subject's birth April 5, 1834. Such education as he obtained was gained in the old-fashioned subscription schools of that day, and among his schoolmates was the lady who became his wife in later years. After reaching manhood he engaged in farming on a small scale until the Civil war broke out, when he was among the first to offer his services to his country. He enlisted in the Sixty-sixth Indiana Infantry, and at first was sent to Camp Noble, whence he proceeded to the camp at Indianapolis.
After taking part in a number of important campaigns in the south, Mr. Collings was taken captive by the Confederates, but, fortunately, he and his comrades were exchanged at .the end of thirteen days and returned to Indianapolis and to Camp Noble. Thence so on sent to the front again and was actively engaged in the battles of Mission Ridge, Charleston, Richmond, Cia., and many others of about equal importance. He saw such hard service and suffered so greatly from exposure to inclement weather and from poor and insufficient food that he never fully regained his former fine health. It was not until his country no longer needed him that he returned to his home, at the close of the war. He then bought one hundred acres of land in Scott, his native county, and began improvement and cultivation. In 1883 he removed to Pottawatomie county, Kans., where for ten years he conducted a stock farm. In 1893 he came to Oklahoma territory and purchased the southwestern quarter of section 27. township 16, range 4, Logan county. The land was unimproved, and it was no slight task to prepare it for the raising of fine crops. He built a substantial house and fences and planted a large variety of fruit trees and small fruits, besides making other improvements, which rendered this a model country home.
For a companion and helpmate in life's journey Mr. Collings made a wise choice, his wife being Sarah C., daughter of Ezekial and Eliza (Cunningham) Clark. She was born near Philadelphia, Pa., and comes of a family notable for the number of patriotic soldiers it furnished in the wars of our country. Her paternal grandfather and two of her uncles were heroes of the Revolution, and two of her own brothers were soldiers in the war with Mexico, while three of her brothers took part in the Civil war. One of the brothers was killed in the Mexican war and another laid his life on the altar of the Union. Surviving our subject are two children, Z. H., whose sketch appears elsewhere in this work, and Lizzie Jane, wife of Francis McClellan, of Cedar township.
Father of Zebulon H. Collins

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