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Lewis Collins
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Birth: Dec. 25, 1797
Fayette County
Kentucky, USA
Death: Jan. 29, 1870

Monday, January 31, 1870
Location: Ohio
Paper: Cincinnati Commercial Tribune

Death of Judge Collins
Lexington, Ky January 30
Judge Lewis Collins, of Maysville, Kentucky, died here at 6 o'clock last night, after a short illness.

He was editor of the Washington (Kentucky) Union, and the Maysville Eagle for thirty five years. He was the author of "Historical Sketches of Kentucky," was Judge of Mason County for four years, and an elder of the Presbyterian Church nearly forty years.

He will be buried at Maysville on Tuesday.
Collins' Historical Sketches of Kentucky
pg 583 and 584
The following biographical sketch of Judge Lewis Collins, the author and compiler of the first edition of this work, in 1847, was written by Henry Waller, Esq., of Chicago
Lewis Collins, third son of Richard Collins, a soldier of the Virginia army of the Revolutionary War, was born on Christmas day, 1797, near Grant's Station, several miles northeast of Bryan's Station, in Fayette County, Ky. Left an orphan when quite a youth, he took his first lessons at practical printing under Joel R. Lyle, of the Paris "Citizen", during the year 1813; and n 1814 accompanied his old friend and teacher, David V. Runnells, to Washington, Mason County, and assisted him first in the publication, and afterwards in the editorial management of the Washington "Union," until the fall of 1820.

on the 1st of November of that year he became proprietor and editor of the Maysville "Eagle," a newspaper founded in 1814 by Richard and Joab Corwine, who sold it in 1817 to Aaron Crookshanks, from whom Mr. Collins purchased in 1820. During the succeeding twenty-seven years, to Nov. 1, 1847, he remained the owner and editor of that paper--conducting it, in conjunction with the book business, with much tact, ability, energy, and judgment. It was not a financial success, but the "Eagle" exerted a wide influence for good over the whole community. It was a pure, truthful, elevated paper, conservative in its political views, and, filled with sound and valuable instruction, adapted to the intellectual, material, and moral wants of the people.

On the 1st of April, 1823, he was married to Mary Eleanor Peers, daughter of Maj. Valentine Peers (an officer of the Virginia army of the Revolution, who was with Gen. Washington at Valley Forge) and a sister of Rev Benjamin O. Peers. She became a true helpmate, a devoted, tender wife and mother; and still survives him (1873), an example and blessing to all around her, one of the noblest sex, a true "mother in Israel."

In the same year he retired from the "Eagle," he edited and published "Collins' Historical Sketches of Kentucky"--a work of rare research, and a most authenic and comprehensive history of the state.

He possessed in a remarkable degree the confidence and the good wishes of all who knew him. The public confidence in his purity and integrity was absolute; and his financial skill and administrative ability were highly valued. Hence, though diffident, modest, and unaspiring, positions of public trust were constantly pressed upon him. He was through many years president of one of the turnpike companies, secretary and treasurer of several others, treasurer of the sinking fund of the county--a very important office--school commissioner of nearly twenty years, and the first presiding judge of the Mason County Court, 1851-54.

Judge Collins was a most genial, engaging, attractive companion; a friend faithful and steadfast, devoted and tender, but above all he was an "Israelite without guile," a meek and humble follower of the Lord Jesus, abounding in the Christian graces--for he was kind, hospitable, gentle, and good, and full of the spirit of charity, long suffering, and patience. He was for 13 years a deacon, and for 35 years an elder in the Presbytarian Church, and often a representative in its various courts--the Session, the Presbytery, the Synod, the General Assembly--trusted, influential, beloved in all. For nearly 50 years he was a teacher and superintendent of the Sabbath school. This was the grand field for the consecrated energies of his life. It was to him, indeed, a labor of love. He had ever in his heart, as exhibited by his works, the precious words of the Saviour--"Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not, for of such is the Kingdom of Heaven."

He died at Lexington, Kentucky, on the 29th day of January, 1870, aged 72 years. The legislature of Kentucky, then in session, unanimously adopted the following resolution in relation to his death, and Gov. Stevenson approved it, March 21, 1870:

Resolved by the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Kentucky--That we have heard with deep regret of the death of Judge Lewis Collins, of Maysville, Kentucky, which has occurred since the meeting of this General Assembly. He was a native Kentuckian, of great purity of character and enlarged public spirit; associated for a half century with the press of the state, which he adorned with his patriotism, his elevated morals, and his enlightened judgment. He was the author of a History of Kentucky, evidencing extended research; and which embodies in a permanent form the history of each county in the state, and the lives of its distinguished citizens; and is an invaluable contribution to the literature and historical knowledge of the state. His name being thus perpetually identified with that of his native state, this General Assembly, from a sense of duty and regard to his memory, expresses this testimonial of its appreciation of his irreproachable character and valued services.


Lewis Collins, journalist and historian, was born in Fayette County, Kentucky, near Bryan's Station on
December 25, 1797. His father, Richard Collins, who had fought in the Revolutionary War, came from Virginia. In 1813 Lewis Collins was orphaned, and he moved to Paris, Kentucky, to learn the printing trade from Joel R. Lyle, editor of the Paris Citizen. Collins went on to publish the Maysville Eagle from November, 1820 to November, 1847. Collins was Mason County school commissioner for nearly twenty years and was a lay leader of the Presbyterian Church. A Whig, he was the first Mason County judge, serving from 1851 to 1854.

Collins, a devotee of Kentucky History, wrote several articles of historical interest that he published in the Maysville Eagle. His major work was the extremely popular Historical Sketches of Kentucky, printed in 1847. He edited this compilation of articles by various contributors, including his brother-in-law, Henry Peers of Maysville. The most comprehensive Kentucky history of its time, the book has often been criticized for its lack of documentation, yet it contains a vast amount of information that would otherwise have been lost. Of particular value is the section "Annals of Kentucky," a daily chronology of major events from 1539 to the time of publication.

On April 1, 1823, Collins married Mary Eleanor Peers, daughter of Maj Valentine Peers, who had been an officer in the Revolutionary War. Among their children was the historian, Richard Henry Collins, who expanded on his father's Historical Sketches. Lewis Collins died in Lexington on Jan 29, 1870, and was buried in Maysville Cemetery. 
Family links: 
  Mary Eleanor Peers Collins (1803 - 1881)*
  Richard Henry Collins (1824 - 1888)*
  Eleanor Orr Collins Blatterman (1826 - 1901)*
  Sarah Jane Collins (1828 - 1828)*
  Susan Peers Collins Coburn (1829 - 1855)*
  Valentine Peers Collins (1838 - 1905)*
  Robert Lewis Collins (1842 - 1843)*
  Maria Coyle Collins Owens (1844 - 1910)*
  Andrew January Collins (1846 - 1848)*
*Calculated relationship
Maysville Cemetery
Mason County
Kentucky, USA
Created by: Carolyn Whitaker
Record added: Sep 22, 2012
Find A Grave Memorial# 97569149
Lewis Collins
Added by: Carolyn Whitaker
Lewis Collins
Added by: Debbie J
Lewis Collins
Added by: Debbie J
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