|Birth: ||Jan. 5, 1819|
|Death: ||Oct. 4, 1898|
Miles Collins was a handsome, black-haired, gray-eyed Scot who had an incredibly rough childhood. Born in 1816, he was only six years old when both parents died. He was sent to live with an uncle in North Carolina, on the Virginia border; and the story goes that he was used as slave labor, being forced to work very hard, and given no shoes to wear.
At the age of twelve he ran away to Norfolk and managed to apprentice himself to a famous architect. By the time he was twenty-one he had become a master builder and had built some famous buildings in Virginia and had also been responsible for having drawn up plans for some of the finer homes.
One day, the story goes, he saw a beautiful girl and it was love at first sight. Her name was Jane Rebecca Babb. Miss Babb was from a wealthy family, her mother being a Lee from the family of the famous Lees of Virginia. Jane's mother, however, died when she was small; and she too knew emotional hardship growing up. It was said that her stepmother was very unkind to her.
Miles managed to meet Jane, but her father was not interested in his daughter being in the company of a man whose family background was beneath her. He forbade her to see the young man again, but apparently her friends did not agree with his decision and so lent their homes as meeting places for the two. In about 1841 two of Jane's sisters and her two brothers, Jack and Tom, conspired to sneak their love-struck sister's clothes out of the house and aided the couple in eloping. Jane's third sister would have revealed the elopement plans to their parents if she had known of them, but everyone managed to keep the information a secret from her. The couple headed to Georgia, using an ox-drawn cart as their mode of transportation.
On the way their first child was born and died in South Carolina. They would lose two more infants before arriving in Hawkinsville, two years after their journey began, where they spent their first year. While living there, Miles was hired to build the first residence in Montezuma, Georgia. At some point during this project, he decided to build his family a nice home a few miles east of Montezuma in Spalding; and they spent the remainder of their lives there.
Miles and Jane had five sons and three daughters. They were John, Tom, Robert, James, George and Mary Lovenia (twins), Anna Elizabeth, and Ella Lee. The youngest daughter, Ella Lee, was born in 1864. Sherman was in Atlanta and everyone expected him to march straight down to Andersonville, 20 miles south of Montezuma, to free the prisoners there. John, the oldest of the couple's children, had been a guard at Andersonville until he contracted tuberculosis and came home to die. (Story from Linelle Lang Radford)
Travelers Rest Baptist Cemetery
Created by: Dawn
Record added: Feb 28, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 48926517
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