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Collins F. Tillotson was a farmer of Maple Township, Ida County, Iowa. He purchased wild prairie land in February, 1874, when he came to Ida County and resided on 417 acres in Section 18. He was born in Onondaga County, New York, December 7, 1846. His father was Sanford P. Tillotson born in Connecticut and was a soldier in the Revolutionary war. His mother was, before her marriage, Miss Nancy Jane Ward. His grandfather, David Tillotson, was a native of Connecticut and served in the war of 1812. Collins was reared in New York and received his education in the common schools and at Monroe Collegiate Institute, Elbridge, New York. He attended Faley Seminary at Fulton, New York. He had a nice frame dwelling on his land, along with a barn, crib building, and hog house with a lean-to. He had cattle sheds, stock scales, windmill, and piping leading to the different yards.
At the age of 24 years, Mr. Tillotson married in Onondaga County, New York to Miss Mary J. Clark. Mary was the daughter of Newton and Phoebe (Sprague) Clark. They had six children: Jessie, Fred, Charley, Francis, Mertie, and Mabel.