GEORGE WASHINGTON COLLINS. This wide-awake man of affairs is engaged in a most important business, for he is an extensive manufacturer and wholesale dealer in yellow pine lumber at Low Wossic, Shannon County, Missouri, and has been for a number of years past. He is a native of White County, N. C., where he was born in 1857, a son of Wilson and Almira (Mills) Collins, who were also natives of the Old North State. The father was a noted politician, and for many years was prominent in public life. He filled the positions of county clerk, collector and circuit clerk of White County, and being a man of more than ordinary ability and intellect he wielded a wide influence in political circles. He was captain of a company in the Confederate Army during the great Civil War, and was killed in 1863 at Pittsburg, Miss. He had led an active, honorable and useful life, and sacrificed himself to the Southern cause, which he deemed just and right. He was one of four sons and two daughters: Moses, who resides in White County, N. C.; William, who lives in Union County, N. C.; Hezekiah, a resident of Texas; Wilson; Elizabeth J., wife of Jordan Faulk; Mary, wife of William Romine, of Arkansas. The father of this family, John Collins, died in the Old North State, where he, without doubt, spent his entire life. He was of Irish origin and was a successful and extensive flour manufacturer. He died about 1890. The maternal grandfather, George Mills, also died in the Old North State. He was of English descent and devoted his attention to tilling the soil. His wife died in North Carolina also, and they reared a large family. Their son, Watt, was a Confederate soldier, and their son, Simeon, was in the Federal Army. George W. Collins is the younger of two sons, William, a prominent merchant of Stoddard County, Missouri, being the other son.
When George W. was about eight years old the family moved to near Little Rock, Arkansas, where the mother died about three years later, after which George W. was sent back to North Carolina, where he educated himself, finishing his scholastic education at Charleston (S. C.) Institute. He then returned to Stoddard County, Missouri, and for some time thereafter was engaged in teaching schools in that and Dunklin Counties, after which he clerked for about two years in Stoddard County. He then followed railroading in New Mexico and Utah for a short time, after which he returned to Missouri, and was in the employ of a lumber company until 1888, and while the Current River was being built he came to Shannon County and located in the woods where Low Wossie now is, before the track was laid to that point. Here he built a saw mill. and when a station was established here he became agent, and as the place increased in size his business also increased, and so rapidly that it became necessary for him to enlarge his plant, which now has a capacity of 25.000 feet per day. He also has a planer which is kept constantly going, for, although he owns 2,000 acres of pine timber land, he has thus far purchased his timber of others. He came to this place with a capital of $400, and his estate is now valued at not less than $12,000, while his extensive plant gives employment to about loo hands. He has been truly the architect of his own fortunes, and he, as well as all his friends, has every reason to be proud of his success. The Democrat party has always received his support, and his first presidential vote was cast for Hancock in 1880. He is a member of Winona Lodge No. 74 of the A. F. & A. M., and of West Plains Chapter No. 101, West Plains Commandery No. 58. He was formerly a member of Mt. Grove Lodge No. 158 of the A. F. A. M. In 1884 he was married in Texas County, Missouri, to Laura, daughter of William and Permclia Ann Light, who came from Kentucky to Texas County, where they still live. Mrs. Collins was born on Blue Grass soil, and is the mother of five interesting children.