Biography of Collins D. Fuller

For more than thirty years a resident of Colorado, and well pleased with the success he has achieved in the state, Collins D. Fuller, a prosperous ranchman living on a fine ranch of one hundred and sixty acres, of which he cultivates ninety acres, is devoted to the welfare of the state, and has made essential contributions to its growth and development. He is a native of Allegany county, New York, where his life began on October 16, 1845, at the village of Hume, fifty miles from Buffalo, the nearest city of any size. His parents, Milo C. and Dorothy S. (Barnard) Fuller, were natives, respectively, of Vermont and New York state. They located in Iowa in 1852, at Davenport, where the father abandoned his former occupation of shipbuilding, which he had carried on at Buffalo, and became a nurseryman. In time he removed to Platteville, Wisconsin, where he turned his attention to the insurance business, but still retained his interests in Iowa. In 1879 he came to Colorado, and after a residence of two years at Leadville, returned to Iowa, and assisted his son in farming until 1902, when he came back to this state and settled at Carbondale, where he is now living retired from active pursuits. His wife died in 1900. She was a member of the Baptist church, as he has long been. They had four children, Eugenia, a daughter, died in infancy, and Collins, Lizzie and Arthur, of Omaha, Nebraska, are living. Collins was educated at the public schools and at the Platteville (Wisconsin) Academy. While he was pursuing his studies at this institution the Civil war broke out and he joined the Union army as a member of the Seventh Wisconsin Infantry, although at the time he was only sixteen years old. In the memorable contest he saw active and arduous service, facing death on many a hard-fought field and being wounded and taken prisoner at the battle of the Wilderness. He was confined in the notorious Andersonville prison at Richmond, and suffered his share of the hardships of the place. But he escaped after a time and made his way to the Union lines at Wilmington, North Carolina, making his escape on February 22, 1865. After completing his term of service in the war he returned to the academy at Platteville and renewed his studies; and on leaving the institution took a course of business training at Eastman’s Commercial College in Chicago. He then taught school in Wisconsin and northern Illinois in the winter and worked at his trade as a carpenter in the summer until 1873, when he came to Colorado and located at Georgetown, here passing three years in mining and building. The next three years he lived at Lake City and was engaged principally in building. From there he went to Leadville, where, notwithstanding the temptations of the place for a different course, he gave up mining and devoted himself wholly to building. In the craft he did well, but in mining he never accomplished much. In 1885 he secured the ranch on which he now lives by purchasing the improvements from its former owner and settled on it as a permanent residence. To its cultivation and improvement he has given his whole attention ever since, and his success in the enterprise has been steady and very gratifying. He raises large crops of excellent hay, grain, vegetables and fruit, and finds himself prosperous and contented in his occupation. The supply of water for the ranch is abundant, and belongs to the ranchmen under the ditch. He has been a member of the Odd Fellows and the Grand Army of the Republic for a number of years, and has supported the Republican party all of his mature life. His first marriage, which occurred on March 26, 1871, was with Miss Kate Snyder, a native of Illinois. They had one child, their daughter Kate L., now the wife of Harry Gardner, of Carbondale, this state. Her mother died on December 29, 1871, and on June 4, 1876, he was married to Miss Lavina Belcher, a native of Bates county, Missouri. Milo, one of their three children, died in 1879. The other two are Charles H. and Chester L., the former living at Omaha, Nebraska, and the latter remaining at home.

Source: Bowen, A. W. Progressive Men of Western Colorado. Chicago: A. W. Bowen & Co., Publishers. 1905.

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