Obit: Collier, George (1837 - 1920)

Transcriber: Stan


----Source: Colby Phonograph (Colby, Wis.) 05/06/1920

Collier, George (14 Sep 1837 - 30 Apr 1920)

George Collier, Civil War veteran and one of the oldest and most respected residents of Colby, Wis., died at his home in this city on Friday morning at 8:30 o’clock, April 30, 1920.

The direct cause of his death was gangrene, which became noticeable in his left foot about a year ago. At this time he became troubled with a light soreness in his big toe, which was thought to have resulted form a bruise and of course the usual remedies were applied with the expectation that it would soon disappear within a short time. However, the infection stubbornly refused to yield to treatment and it became apparent that the trouble was of a serious nature. On account of his advanced age it was realized that the possibilities of his recovery from a malady of this kind were very remote, nevertheless everything that medical assistance and careful nursing could do was lavishly used with the hope of a turn for the better. During the past winter he was unable to leave the house and most of the time suffered intense pain, which he bore unflinchingly and without complaint.

Even though he was subjected to such an ordeal he never once lost hope and stoutly maintained that when spring came he would again be able to perform his daily tasks as well as ever.

But for several weeks past it had been realized that his earthly life would soon be over, and the members of his family and host of friends have calmly accepted the sad news of this passing with the comforting thoughts that death has mercifully relived the grand old patriarch of his suffering and that he has gone to inherit the reward of a noble husband and father and a good citizen.

George Collier was born in Orient Aroostook Co., Maine, on Sept. 14, 1837. When a young man he came to Wisconsin and settled at Belmont, Portage Co., and was still making his home there at the outbreak of the Civil War. In Nov. 1861 he answered President Lincoln’s call for volunteers and enlisted at Stevens Point, being mustered into the service of the Union as a private in Co. E. 18th Wis. Inf., under Capt. Wm. Bremmer and Col. James S. Alban to serve three years or during the war. He was assigned to the first brigade, Crooker’s division, 17th army corps, Army of the Tennessee, and was discharged in 1863 at Huntsville, Alabama, on account of re-enlistment. He re-enlisted the same day as sergeant of Co. E 18th Wis. Inf., under Capt. L. N. Carpenter and Col. G. Bouck to serve three more years or during the war. He participated in the battles of Shiloh, Siege of Corinth, Iuka, Chewalla, Jackson, Champion Hill, Siege of Vicksburg, Missionary Ridge and others, and was in the Grand Review at Washington, D. C. May 25, 1865. He was promoted to corporal when mustered into service and to sergeant in Apr. 1862 and to first Lieutenant in 1865. He was taken prisoner at Arlington Heights, Ga., and taken to the rebel prison Milan, Ga., where he spent three months under terrible conditions. He was released from prison by paying a ransom of fifty dollars. Mr. Collier received his honorable discharge from the army on July 15, 165.

After the war he returned to Wisconsin and settled at Waupaca. In Dec. 1873 he was united in marriage to Miss Marie McGlaughlin of New London, Wis., at that place and in 1874 they came to Colby, Wis. and built the residence which has been their home during these past 46 years.

Mr. Collier received his early training as a woodsman in his native state and, like most all other "State of Mainers," was well versed in all the crooks and turns of the vocation which stood him well in hand when he took up this line of work after coming to Wisconsin. During the many years he labored with the "lumberjack" in the great pineries of Northern Wisconsin, he became a great favorite with all these hardy sons of toil. As their foreman in many different logging camps he always ruled in a fair and impartial manner toward all and there are still many among the living who can testify as to his popularity among his fellowmen in those wild and wooly days.

Since the passing of the big woods and sawmills in this section, Mr. Collier has never had occasion to be away from home for any great length of time with few exceptions. He has spent a great deal of his time in late years working on his land situated just inside the southeast city limits. For a number of years he held the office of city marshal and street commissioner of Colby, and it May be said that he performed the duties of the offices with careful judgement and credit to his fine ability.

The community will not soon forget George Collier and the mere mention of his name will arouse pleasant memories of our departed friend, and teach us to understand that he was a great help in making this part of the world a better place in which to live.

Surviving him are a widow, three sons, Charles, of Oakland, Calif., Harry of Berkeley, Calif., Rollo of Detroit, Mich., and a daughter, Mrs. R. B. Johnson of Detroit, Mich., two brothers, David of Wild Rose, Wis. and James living in North Dakota.

The funeral was held from the residence Monday afternoon at 2:30, Rev. J. C. Vance of the M. E. Church officiating, and his remains laid to rest in the Colby Cemetery.

The relatives from abroad who were here to attend the funeral are: Mr. and Mrs. Clarence Collier of Almond, Wis., Thomas Deering of Wild Rose, Mrs. M. Benjamin of Bancroft, Wis., Charles Austin of Missoula, Mont., and R. B. Johnson, Detroit, Mich.

Of the children Mrs. R. B. Johnson was the only one who was present at the funeral, she having been here for several months assisting in nursing her father. Charles and Harry were too far distant to reach here in time and Rollo was unfortunate in arriving one day after the funeral on account of the message sent him being late.



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