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William J. Collett


Transcription contributed by Martie Callihan 2 November 2005

The History of Warren County Ohio
Part V. Biographical Sketches
Massie Township
(Chicago, IL: W. H. Beers Co, 1882; reprint, Mt. Vernon, IN: Windmill Publications, 1992)


WILLIAM J. COLLETT, farmer; P.O. Harveysburg; born in Clinton Co., Ohio, June 30, 1838, is a son of Jonathan and Sarah (McKay) Collett, natives of Virginia. The paternal grandfather, Daniel Collett, was born in Maryland, but his father was a native of England, and whose parents emigrated to America when he was but an infant, and his father died on the voyage and was consigned to an ocean burial. This left the mother with the full responsibility of the care of her infant son and were thus thrown into this new country among strangers early in the 17th century. Here this infant son grew to manhood, married and became the father of the above mentioned Daniel Collett, the grandfather of our subject, and from him have descended the numerous families bearing the name of Collett. Daniel married in Virginia, and raised a family of eight children—Moses, Joshua, Isaac, Jonathan, Benjamin, Aaron, Mercy, and Daniel. The family resided in Virginia for many years, till becoming completely

disgusted with the institution of slavery, they determined to try and find a country and a home free from its pernicious effects, and in pursuance of this idea, in 1810, Moses, the eldest son, with his family, emigrated to Ohio and located in Greene County in 1811. Jonathan followed his brother to Ohio and remained here about two years, during which he was pressed into the service in the war of 1812, serving a short time; in 1813, he returned to Virginia, and brought his father and family to Ohio and they located in Clinton County; here the grandfather, Daniel, died about 1836, aged 84 years. He was a man who possessed a mind of high order; was noted for his excellent Christian and moral character, which, in those days of pioneer roughness, was of the greatest importance to mold the character of the people of those early settlements. Joshua, the second son of Daniel, arose to great distinction and held the office of Circuit Judge many years, for full information of which see in general history of the county. Daniel Collett was a soldier in the war of the Revolution, serving through the entire conflict. Jonathan, the father of our subject, was married in Warren County, and located in Clinton County, on a part of the land of the large purchase of 4,000 acres made by his father when they first came to the State, and there he spent his entire life. He died in October, 1865, aged 70 years; his wife died in 1852, aged about 55 years. They had ten children, seven now survive—Ann, now Mrs. McCune; Moses; Benjamin; Martha, now Mrs. Denny; William J.; Robert and Azel. Mr. Collett in his life and character was a facsimile of his father, noted for all those noble principles which made him so useful and beloved, and at his death the loss was mourned by all who knew him, but to love and respect him. Our subject remained with his father till 26 years of age; was married Dec. 7, 1864, to Elizabeth D. Macy, whose ancestral history is contained in. sketch of E. L. and J. G. Macy. By this union they have had three children, all deceased. Mr. Collett after his marriage, bought and located upon the place where he now lives and has since resided ; has a fine farm and a pleasant residence situated half a mile west of Harveysburg; is one of the prominent farmers of Massie Township, and well sustained the good name and character of his noble ancestors; has the entire confidence of his community, and has held many offices; was Township Trustee for twelve years, and has been a Director of the Orphan Asylum and Children's Home at Lebanon, by appointment of the Court since 1875.

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This page created 2 November 2005 and last updated 6 October, 2008
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