Early Settlers of
Their Descendants...Their Stories...Their Achievements
Lifting the Mists of History on Their Way of Life
By: Ethelene Dyer Jones
A Look at
Thompson Collins, Jr.
The two previous articles have traced early settler Thompson Collins, Sr. (ca 1785- ca 1858) and his wife, Celia Self Collins (ca 1787- Sept. 3, 1880). This article will take a look at the fifth of their ten children, Thompson Collins, Jr., known as Thompie.
Characteristics common to the early
Thompson, Jr. was born in
He married Sarah (known as Sallie)
Ingram in 1839. She was a daughter of
Little and Mary “Polly” Cagle Ingram who migrated from the Pendleton
of South Carolina to the area around
Thompson and Sarah Ingram Collins had
no children. If they did, they died in
infancy. There is no census record of
children born to them. We do not know
the death dates of this couple, as they were interred at the
Thompson Collins, Jr. served for several years as a Justice of the Peace for the Choestoe District. This local magistrate in the nineteenth century had the legal authority to perform marriages, to administer oaths, to hear and settle minor cases of infractions of the law, and to refer more serious cases for trial in a larger court.
A perusal of a very valuable historical resource, “Union County Marriage Records, 1833 -1897” compiled from original court house records by Viola Holden Jones, gives valuable insights into this “marrying” justice of the peace, Thompson Collins, Jr. (although Jr. was not attached to his name then).
The first marriage on record performed
by Justice of the Peace Thompson Collins was on
Thompson, Jr. and Sarah Ingram Collins
settled on some of the acreage owned first by his father, Thompson
whose domain stretched over 22,000 acres.
The bottom land along the
Thompson and Sarah built their house
on a hillside overlooking the
About 1920, my father, Jewel Marion
Dyer (1890-1974) purchased land from his brother, Albert Dyer
moved to White and then to
This was the land owned formerly by Thompson Collins, Jr. It is interesting to see the double relationship here to my parents, Jewel Marion Dyer and Azie Collins Dyer.
Sarah “Sally” Ingram Collins was my father’s great aunt, a sister to his grandmother, Louisa Ingram Dyer who married James Marion Dyer, parents of Bluford Elisha Dyer.
Thompson Collins, Jr. was my
uncle, brother to her grandfather, Francis (known as Frank) Collins,
in turn, a son of the first Thompson Collins and Celia Self Collins. These relationships show how closely
interrelated were the people of Choestoe District,
When I was growing up on the old Thompson Collins, Jr. farm, then owned by my father, we still enjoyed a fall harvest of apples from the trees planted by Thompson Collins, Jr. As did the couple who started the orchard, we, too, dried the apples for winter use and packed the best in barrels for Christmas treats. I was fortunate to own a little over six acres of the old Thompson Collins estate. Recently, I passed the land on to my own children. They know the history of the land, and how generations have viewed it as the land of promise, as sacred to generations as the biblical land “flowing with milk and honey.” Thompson Collins and his son, Thompson, Jr. helped to make it so—long ago.
c2004 by Ethelene Dyer Jones; published December 2, 2004 in The Union Sentinel, Blairsville, GA. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
Jones is a retired educator,
freelance writer, poet, and historian. She may be reached at
phone 478-453-8751; or mail 1708 Cedarwood Road, Milledgeville, GA
Updated September 8, 2008