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William N. Collier, one of the most prominent breeders of thoroughbred Hereford cattle in the United States, makes his home at Fulton and has extensive farm property in Callaway county, on which are found his fine herds. Mr. Collier was born in the Blue Grass state, his birth having occurred near Falmouth, in Pendleton county, Kentucky, February 13, 1876. He is a son of William A. and Oetavia (Wyatt) Collier, both of whom were natives of Kentucky, to which state their parents had removed from Virginia. When William N. Collier was a lad of five years his parents went to Ellis county, Texas, where the father operated a cotton gin. There the son was reared and educated, attending the public schools, and when not busy with his textbooks his time was given to his father in the cotton gin until he reached his twenty-first year, at which period in his life he began riding the range and for twelve years thereafter engaged in punching cattle. During this time, or in 1902, he filed on a homestead, taking up four sections of land in Borden county, Texas, where he began his career as a raiser and breeder of cattle. After filing on his land he purchased a few Texas cattle, which he had on the range for three years. He then purchased his first thoroughbred cattle from A. B. Jones of Big Spring, Texas, who was recognized as one of the leading breeders of thoroughbred Herefords in Texas, Mr. Collier becoming owner of twenty cows and a bull. This constituted the beginning of an extensive business as a breeder that has brought him national reputation.
In November, 1912, he traded his ranch for a farm of five hundred and fifty acres in Callaway county, Missouri, three miles from Fulton, and thereon he has continued the breeding of thoroughbred Herefords, having brought with him one hundred head of his finest cattle to Missouri. To this number he has added some of the best animals to be purchased from the most noted herds of the country and today he is known throughout the United States as one of the foremost breeders, having the finest bulls at the head of his herd. He has one bull, Master Key, for which he refused thirty thousand dollars, nor would he accept fifty thousand dollars for the animal. The Christmas number of the Breeders Gazette in both 1918 and 1919 has given him the best advertisement ever given to a bull. Members of his herd are shipped to all parts of the world and he does not find it necessary to hold any public sales to dispose of his cattle, his reputation having reached that point where breeders come to him to improve their herds. Up to the present time, in breeding, he is intensifying the blood lines of the Beau Donald family. His herd is second to none in the country and he now has one hundred and ninety animals aside from the calves.
On the 19th of November, 1900, Mr. Collier was married to Miss Nannie Turner, of Ballinger, Texas, and they have become parents of a daughter, Katherine F. Mr. Collier is a member of the Christian church and his wife is a member of the Baptist church. His political allegiance is given to the democratic party, but he does not seek nor desire office, his entire time and attention being given to his growing business interests. He is now the vice president of the Fulton Motor Company and has made other commercial investments. He has ever been regarded as a valuable acquisition to the business circles of Callaway county and his labors have been well worth while in the improvement of the grade of stock raised in the state. Following his example, many of the stockmen of Callaway county are breeding up and improving their herds, recognizing through his efforts the value of doing this. Mr. Collier recently made a sale of stock to an Iowa breeder amounting to forty thousand dollars, the latter being much impressed with a view of the Collier herd, saying that there was nothing in Iowa like it. He then bargained for and purchased Mr. Collier’s farm of five hundred and fifty acres and located thereon in the spring of 1920. Mr. Collier, however, has another stock farm near the town, which he is converting into one of the show places of this section of the state, intending to make it one of the finest improved farms in Missouri.