Biography of Judge John P. Collier
JUDGE JOHN P. COLLIER. The philosophy of success in life is an interesting study, and affords a lesson from which others can profit. In choosing a pursuit in life, taste, mental gifts, opportunity and disposition to labor, should be considered, as many a young man who has a disposition to become a respectable and useful citizen desires to succeed therein. On the 15th of July, 1842, a boy was born in Warren County, Kentucky, who grew up to sturdy manhood, ambitious to excel and possessing much energy and determination, attributes which are essential to success in any calling. This boy was John P. Collier, now judge of the Probate Court of Christian County, Missouri He is the youngest but one of a family of twelve children, born to Bartley and Elizabeth (Eaton) Collier.
This family came originally from England and settled in some of the New England States at an early day. Bartley Collier was a native of one of the Southern States, and a lifelong farmer. He and his wife both died in Kentucky, the father in 1852, and the mother in 1875. They were Methodists in religious belief, and some members of this family were Republicans and others Democrats in politics. Of their children, our subject was the only one to come to this section. His brother, P. P. Collier, was lieutenant in the Federal Army during the war. He now resides in Audrain County, Missouri.
Judge John P. Collier remained in his native county until the age of nineteen, attending the district school, and when the war was over he finished his education in the high school. In 1861, when but nineteen years of age, the threatening attitude of political affairs occupied his attention, and he became an ardent supporter of the Union cause. Enlisting in Company A, Eleventh Kentucky Volunteer Infantry, he served thirteen months and twenty days and was in the Shiloh battle. At that time he was sick and had been in the hospital, and after that day he was obliged to return to the hospital, where he remained until discharged, October 31, 1862. Returning to his native county, he entered the high school and after leaving that became a teacher, following that profession for a number of years. His sickness while in the army told upon him, and he has never fully recovered his health. Judge Collier was married in Kentucky, to Miss Louanna H. Neville, a native of Barren County, Kentucky, and the daughter of William Neville. After marriage they located on a farm in Kentucky, and our subject tilled the soil until coming to Missouri in October, 1871. They then settled in Moniteau County, Missouri, and made their home there until October, 1872, when they moved to Ozark, where they have since made their home. Shortly afterward, our subject was made deputy sheriff and collector of the county,and has since served as deputy circuit and county clerk, as well as in other positions of trust. From 1877 to 1887 he held the office of school commissioner of this county, in 1886 was elected county treasurer, serving two years, and in 1888 was made justice of the peace, holding that position up to 1890. At that date he was elected probate judge of the county, and holds that position at the present time. In politics he has always affiliated with the Republican party, has been a delegate to conventions and has served on many committees. The entire organization of his brain, and the discipline of his mind, place him in a leading position in society. Gifted and accomplished shrewd and sagacious, he is undoubtedly destined to further prominence and distinction in the political arena. As a judge, he comprehends the law and facts of the case at once, and his analytical powers enable him to develop the points with such clearness and force that his decisions commend themselves alike to the bar and to the people, being always fortified by the law and the facts. He is one of the most prominent men of the county.
Judge Collier is a member of the M. E. Church South and has held office in the church for many years. Socially he is a member of Capt. J. W. Robertson Post No. 377, G. A. R., at Ozark, and for a time held the office of senior vice-commander. Being a teacher in early life, he has always taken an active interest in education, and while in office, as school commissioner of the county, worked hard to build up the schools of the county. To the Judge and wife have been born three children: Leanora R., William N. and Mabel. The former is the wife of R. N. Gray, the druggist, and has two children; William N. is on a ferry boat at Chester, Illinois, and Mabel is still in school.