From History of Reedsburg and the Upper Baraboo Valley, by Merton Edwin Krug, Publ. February 1929 by the author. Printed by Democrat Printing Company, Madison, Wis., Page 441
Mr. and Mrs. Sanford Collins. For more than forty-five years continuous residents of the city of Reedsburg, the esteemed couple whose name introduces this sketch needs no introduction to the readers of this volume. Prominent in business and civic affairs, Mr. Collins is a leader in the city, and Mrs. Collins, whose admirable nature and understanding sympathy with human life has endeared her to her townspeople, has long been a figure in W. R. C. Red Cross and Salvation Army enterprises, and has frequently held positions of honor in those orders.
Sanford A. Collins, son of Sanford and Caroline (Simmons) Collins, was born March 18, 1860, in the town of Orleans, Jefferson Co, N.Y. His parents were natives of that place. The mother was born. The mother was born Dec. 7, 1842, daughter of Andrew and Lucinda (Garrity) Simmons. The father as born in April 1837, son of Joseph and Mary (Eddy) Collins, and was descended from James Collins, one of three brothers who came from Kent or Essex Co., England, to Massachusetts in 1669.
Daniel Collins, a son or grandson, was born about 1710, and was living in Stonington, Conn., July 7, 1754, when he married Rebecca, widow of Samuel Stanton, which was his second marriage. A son, William, born in Stonington in 1759, was, with his father, a soldier in the Continental Army. William Collins was married in 1782 to Miss Polly Ross (1759-1836), and died in 1850. Their son John, born in 1783, married in 1806, Clara Rhodes (died in 1869) and died in 1866. He had a son of Joseph (1807-1878). Joseph married Mary Eddy (1807-1889), a daughter of Mrs. Myron Field, by a former marriage.
Sanford and Caroline Collins, were married in 1858, and for the next nine years resided on the Collins farm in Jefferson Co., N.Y. During the Civil war he organized a company of cavalry, which he took to Washington, there presenting the horses to the U.S. Government. In 1867, when our subject was seven years of age he came with his parents to Ironton, Sauk Co., Wis., where the father died, Nov. 24, 1874. Later the mother married Thornton Lee Atkins, and died Sept. 24, 1926.
In 1876 our subject went west, into Minnesota, and thence on a survey of the N.W.R., to the Missouri River. Returning in 1879 to Baraboo, Wisconsin, he took up the profession of monumental engraving, which was to be his life's endeavor. On Christmas day, 1883, he came to Reedsburg, and went into the monument business. See index: Collins' Monument Works.
On March 24, 1881, he was married to Miss Alice Thayer, second daughter of George W. and Mary (Burton) Thayer, pioneers of the town of Fairfield, Sauk Co. This lady was a direct descendant of Richard Thayer, who immigrated from England, in 1636, settling at Braintree, Mass, where he married 1651, to Dorothy Pray. They had a son, Richard Thayer (1655-1729) who married Rebecca Nical. Richard and Rebecca had a son John (1688) who married Dependence French in 1715. John's son, Abijah Thayer (1729-1789), married in 1751, Elizabeth Hunt, and had a son Adonijah (1770), who married in 1796, Elizabeth Hemmingway. Russel Thayer, Mrs. Collins' grandfather, was born to Adonijah and Elizabeth Thayer, April 30, 1802; his wife, nee Elizabeth Stebbins, was born in 1800; they were married Oct. 28, 1824. He died in 1883. George W. Thayer was born July 28, 1833, in Northampton, Mass., where he grew to manhood. He came to Fairfield, this county, with his parents at an early date, and was there united in marriage to Mary E. Burton, Jan. 20, 1859. She was born Jan. 24, 1843, in Lincolnshire, Eng., daughter of Thomas (b. March 14, 1814) and Anna (Green) Burton. The family came to Fairfield in 1849, and there were among the pioneer families of the county. Mrs. George Thayer is still living, at a ripe old age, but her husband has been long at rest.
Mr. and Mrs. Collins were the parents of two children: Theodore, born Dec. 25, 1881; he grew to manhood, but was called to an untimely death, Aug. 27, 1922; Caroline Mary, who married, July 29, 1911, Attorney W. S. Wadleigh, of Galesville, Wis. They have one child, John Collins Wadleigh, born July 22, 1912. Mrs. Wadleigh is a member of the D.A.R.
Mr. and Mrs. Collins have an adopted daughter, Eva M., wife of Cornelius Whittney, of Reedsburg.
Return to Sauk County Biographies