Early Settlers of
Their Descendants...Their Stories...Their Achievements
Lifting the Mists of History on Their Way of Life
By: Ethelene Dyer Jones
Worthy Grandfather at Christmas
Highlights in the life of Francis Jasper "Bud" Collins
Christmas is a time for family, a time to delight in children and grandchildren, a time to honor parents and grandparents.
I have many wonderful memories of my grandfather, Francis Jasper “Bud” Collins (January 30, 1855-December 17, 1941), although I was only a child when he passed away. Among my pleasant recollections of childhood are those times spent at my grandfather’s house where I always enjoyed going to his country store when someone came and rang the bell for service. Grandpa was always generous with the luscious chocolate drops, orange slices and various stick candies he dispensed in his store. He may have inadvertently made me the “chocoholic” I am with his gift of a chocolate drop each time we went into the store.
The day of his death is indelibly
printed in my memory. Already another
traumatic event, which we’d heard about on radio, had happened ten days
to his death. That was the Japanese
Then on the late afternoon of December
17, I looked out our kitchen window as I heard a car approaching on the
below our house. I recognized my cousin
Clyde Collins’ car. I knew instinctively
that he came as bearer of the news of Grandpa Collins’ death. I was right.
That was the sad message he brought to my mother, Azie Collins
Dyer. Here, so close to Christmas, when
we were practicing Christmas programs both for
It was not until later that I learned
something of the stature and importance of citizen F. J. Collins. He served as
I wish I had listened more to the
stories of his days in politics. He must
have gotten to
Francis Jasper Collins was primarily a farmer. He lived on a 400 acre spread, part of the land on which his grandfather, Thompson Colllins, Sr. settled. Bud Collins owned the first threshing machine in the Choestoe community and pulled it from farm to farm with a team of oxen to thresh his neighbors’ grain. Later he got a power-driven engine for the thresher. He was also a merchant, a cattle trader, and a miller. He made sorghum syrup in the fall, sometimes making in excess of 5,000 gallons. His house was the first on Choestoe wired for electricity from the Delco plant he installed.
My first trip to
Bud Collins was said to be mathematically inclined, figuring out intricate arithmetical problems in his head. Always with a keen business acumen, he was able to acquire a good deal of money for his day. He often loaned money to his neighbors and others, never taking a note for the loan. He contended that a person’s word was his bond; otherwise, a piece of paper would not guarantee repayment of the loans. Following his death, since there was no record of loans, many, no doubt, went unpaid. But others, who were honest, paid what was owed to the estate.
Francis Japer Collins and Georgianne
Hunter (April 5, 1855-October 3, 1924) were married on
(1) Ida Collins married Perry Hood.
(2) Andrew (Andy) Collins married Sarah Alice Davis.
(3) Olza A. Collins married Mary Nix.
(4) Eda S. Colllins died at age four.
(5) India Collins never married.
(6) Esley L. Collins, never married.
(7) Lillie Collins married Herschel A. Dyer.
(8) Sarah Collins (Dec. 21-1891-Jan. 10, 1893)
(9) Francis (Frank) Collins died at age nineteen.
(10)Azie Collins married Jewel Marion Dyer.
(11)William Harve Collins married Northa Maybelle Dyer.
(12)Avery Collins never married.
(13)Ethel Georgianne Collins married John Mervil Clement.
Bud Collins’ nephew, Joe G.
At Christmastime we remember a good legacy, and pleasant contacts with a dear grandparent. It is as though hands and hearts from the past reach over time to touch us and make us who we are today.
May yours be a blessed Christmas.
c2004 by Ethelene Dyer Jones; published December 23, 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