John A. Collier, the gentleman whose biographical sketch is herewith presented, is a representative of one of the earliest pioneer families in Johnson County, his father, Isaac Collier, having located on the present site of Edinburg, before the county was organized. The Colliers were early residents of Greenfield, Ohio, in which town the above named Isaac worked at the blacksmithing trade. He served in the War of 1812 as drum major, and shortly after the close of the struggle came to Indiana. He eventually came to Johnson County and built the first residence in the town of Edinburg, and also claimed the distinction of being the first mechanic of the place, opening a blacksmith shop immediately upon his arrival. He was a splendid mechanic, especially skilled in fine work, such as edged tools, guns, pistols, etc. His wife’s maiden name was Nancy Jones. He married her in Ohio, and raised a family of nine children, only two of whom are still living, to-wit: Isaac D. and the subject of this sketch. He died in the year 1840, at the age of sixty. His wife survived him forty years, dying in 1880, at the ripe old age of ninety. John A. Collier was born in the town of Greenfield, Ohio, on the 25th day of November, 1820. He was raised in Johnson County, Ind., and obtained his first start in life by flat-boating and saw-milling. He subsequently purchased land in Blue River Township, and engaged in farming, which was his occupation until 1883. In that year he turned his attention to the manufacture of brick, a business he still follows. In this enterprise Mr. Collier has been quite successful, the yearly production of his kilns being over 200,000 brick, all of which find ready sale in Edinburg and vicinity. Mr. Collier was married January 1, 1845, to Miss Deborah Ann Bills, daughter of Abraham and Harriet (Johnson) Bills, of New Jersey. The following are the names of Mr. and Mrs. Collier’s children now living: Susan, wife of ––––– Smith; Margie, wife of William Dark; John B.; Harriet B., wife of ––––– Farr, and Isaac.

Transcribed by Cheryl Zufall Parker

Banta, D. D. History of Johnson County, Indiana. Chicago, IL: Brant & Fuller, 1888, page 405.