History of Virginia - Lewis Preston Collins

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Lewis Preston Collins

LEWIS PRESTON COLLINS. One of the most representative men of his profession practicing at the Marion bar is Lewis Preston Collins, and although he belongs to the younger generation, he has proven his ability and resourcefulness upon more than one occasion. He was born at Lynchburg, Virginia, December 25, 1896, a son of Lewis Preston Collins. The Collins family is one of the old and honored ones of Virginia, where it was established by one of the name who came here from Cardiff, Wales. The great-great-grandfather of Mr. Collins of this notice, Samuel Collins, was killed in action at the battle of Brandywine during the American Revolution. He was born in Wales and was the immigrant. James Ball Collins, the grandfather, was born in Nelson County, Virginia, in 1819, and died at Greenville, Virginia, in 1901. During the earlier part of his life he resided in Nelson County, where he was engaged in farming, but later moved to Augusta County, where lie owned and operated a roller flour-mill, and was also engaged in farming. During the war he served in the commissary department of the Confederacy. He married Elizabeth Shields, who was born in Augusta County in 1821, and died at Greenville in 1902.

Lewis Preston Collins, Senior, was born at Greenville, Augusta County, Virginia, in 1862, and died at Marion February 28, 1917. Reared at Greenville, he attended its schools, and subsequently took a commercial course in the Eastman Business College, Poughkeepsie, New York. In young manhood he moved to Lynchburg, and became a traveling salesman for Daniel Miller & Company, wholesale dry goods and notions, and represented that house on the road for a number of years, but subsequently was with C. M. Guggenheimer, who was in the same line. In 1898 he came to Marion, and from then until his death owned and operated one of the leading department stores of this city. He was a democrat. Early uniting with the Baptist Church, he long continued an active supporter. of the church, and was superintendent of the Sunday School for a number of years prior to his demise. High in Masonry, he belonged to Marion Lodge No. 31, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons; Marion Chapter No. 54, Royal Arch Masons; Lynn Commandery No. 9, Knights Templar; and Kaziin Temple, Ancient Arabic Order Nobles of the Mystic Shrine, of Roanoke, Virginia. He married Ella Bolling Moorman, who was born at Lynchburg in 1873, and died at Marion July 14, 1909. Their children were as follows: Harold M. and Lewis Preston. Harold M. Collins was graduated from Washington and Lee University with the degree of Bachelor of Arts, and took up post-graduate work at Columbia University, New York City. During the World war he served in the Second United States Cavalry as a first lieutenant, and was in France for a year, participating in the Meuse-Argonne and Saint Mihiel off ensives. He is now United States consul to Dublin, Ireland. Lewis Preston Collins, Junior, attended the public schools of Marion, and was graduated from the high school course in 1914. Entering Washington and Lee University, he took the regular course and was graduated therefrom in 1919 with the degree of Bachelor of Arts. He is a member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon and Phil Delta Phi, the legal Greek letter fraternity. While in the university he was a member of the Sigma Senior Society, an honorary society, and of Omicron Delta Kappa, a literary society, and of the White Friar Social Club. Mr. Collins was prominent in athletics, making the "Varsity II football and baseball teams, and in -1919 was captain of the baseball team. In the meanwhile, however, Mr. Collins did his duty as a patriotic citizen, and enlisted in May, 1917, and was sent to Allentown, Pennsylvania, for training. On January 9, 1918, he sailed from New York City and landed in England January 21, at Liverpool. For ten days he was at Morn Hill Camp, and then sailed from Southampton to L'Havre, France, where he landed in February. He was in the United States ambulance service with the French army, was attached to the Twelfth French Division, and participated in the second battle of the Somme. Later he was in the Lorraine sector, and participated in the battle of the Aisne. With the French army he was in Flanders, and was at the front from October 13, 1918, until the armistice was signed. From then until May,1919, he was stationed at Dunkirque, France, and in Southwestern Belgium, and was then returned to the United States. After his honorable discharge at Camp Dix, New Jersey, in June, 1919, with the rank of sergeant, he returned to the university and completed his course, as above stated. Following his graduation he entered the legal department of Yale University and took a year Is course, and then returned to Washington and Lee University and took a year Is course in the legal department. He was admitted to the bar in July, 1922, and, establishing himself at Marion, has since carried on a general civil and criminal practice. His offices are in the Bank of Marion Building. He is a democrat. He has served as judge of the Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court of Smyth County, and is president of the Smyth County Chapter of the American Red Cross. A Mason, he belongs to Marion Lodge No. 31, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons. Mr. Collins is not married.

Source: Virginia and Virginians, Vol. VI, p. 278.