WHITESIDE COUNTY BIOGRAPHIES - 1900
PALMER COLLINS, the well-known and popular foreman of the Keystone Manufacturing Company, was born in New London county, Connecticut, April 22, 1840, a son of Captain Amos and Phebe S. (Brown), also natives of Connecticut. His paternal grandfather, John Collins, was born in Rhode Island, but at an early day removed to the Nutmeg state. The maternal grandfather, Joshua Brown, was also a native of Rhode Island and a soldier of the war of 1812. The father was born in New London county, March 5, 1808, and there he continued to make his home throughout life engaged in agricultural pursuits. He held a captain's commission in the state militia. He died in 1885 and his wife passed away in 1888. In their family were four children two sons and two daughters, namely: Phebe E., wife of W. B. Brown, of Rock Falls; Palmer, our subject; Frances, who married Oliver G. Brown, and both died in Connecticut; and Lott K., who lives on the old homestead in that state.
Palmer Collins was reared upon the home farm and educated in the common schools of the locality. On leaving home at the age of fifteen years he commenced working as a farm hand by the month and was thus employed for eight years, after which he engaged in farming on his own account for seven years. In 1873 he came to Rock Falls, Illinois, where for two years he clerked in a store, and later accepted a position in the Fayette dye factory. He next entered the employ of the Keystone Manufacturing Company, and after being with them for seven years he was made foreman, which important position he has now acceptably and creditbly filled for eight years.
In Rock Falls, in October, 1877, Mr. Collins was united in marriage with Mrs. Mary L. Aument, who was born in Connecticut, but was reared and educated in Whiteside county, Illinois. Her father, John Enderton, was a native of Massachusetts, and was one of the pioneers of this county, being first engaged in business in Sterling and later in farming in this county. Prior to his marriage, Mr. Collins purchased a lot and built the house which has since been his home. Fraternally he is a member of the Ancient Order of United Workmen and politically he is independent. He takes quite an active and prominent part in public affairs, and for five years served as alderman of the city to the entire satisfaction of his constituents. His estimable wife is a member of the Congregational church and both are held in high regard by all who know them.