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JEFFERSON RUTLEDGE COLLINS, a veterinary surgeon in Sharpsville, was born in Hubbard, Ohio, March 4, 1833, and is a member of a family whose history is indelibly traced on the pages of the history of this section of Mercer county. He is a son of D. D. and Mary Ann (Stafford) Collins, born in Maryland in 1807 and 1813, respectively, and the father died in 1888 and the mother in 1884. Their union was blessed by the birth of eight children, four sons and four daughters, but only five of the number are now living: Ann E., the wife of William Webster; Jefferson R.; Malinda S., wife of W. H. Childes; Mary L., wife of William Wilson ; John C. and David.
D. D. Collins drove from Maryland to Trumbull county, Ohio, in an early period in its history. Locating in Hubbard, that state, in 1830, he clerked for John Kramer during the following ten years, and then coming to West Middlesex, Pennsylvania, opened the first store in the locality, this having been in the year of 1840. He was later elected a justice of the peace, and held that office thirty-five years and more. He was a member of the Baptist church, and in politics was a Jefferson and Jackson Democrat.
The business career of Jefferson R. Collins was begun as a clerk in a store in West Middlesex and later he turned his attention to teaming and contracting in stone, but continued his residence in West Middlesex until his removal to Sharpsville on the 18th of August. 1890. It was as early as 1855 that he became a practicing veterinary surgeon, and he has continued in the business throughout all the succeeding years, and on the 28th of December, 1906, he was appointed a humane officer for Mercer county, taking the oath of office on the 30th of April following. During three years he also served as a constable in West Middlesex, and after coming to this city he was elected to the same office in 1908 and served for another three years. His politics are Democratic.
In 1855 Mr. Collins was married to Austa E. McBurny, who was born in Brookfield, Ohio, a daughter of James and Elizabeth (Thomas) McBurny, pioneers of Lawrence county, Pennsylvania, and of Irish descent. Of their six children three are now living: Austa, the wife of Mr. Collins; Mary, wife of Alfred W. Smith, and Victoria, wife of Robert Milligan, of Idaho. The only child of the union of Mr. and Mrs. Collins is a daughter, Kate E., the wife of W. C. Hadley, of Sharon, Pennsylvania. Mr. Collins has been an attendant and has assisted in the support of the People's church during the past forty years, having attended in both West Middlesex and Sharpsville.