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John Collings, a venerable citizen of Ottawa, has been one of her prominent business men for many decades. About eighty years ago his birth took place in the northern part of England, the date of the event being June 11, 1819. His parents were Thomas and Ann (Jobling) Collings, who had six sons and six daughters.

In early manhood John Collings determined to seek his fortune in America, and accordingly he crossed the Atlantic. His chief business in life has been that of a tailor. He came to Ottawa, where he opened a shop and actively engaged in business. A thorough master of his trade, he commanded the best custom of the town, and can lay claim to having made the wedding suits of many of the older merchants and citizens of this section of the county. He attended strictly to his business, and by uniform courtesy, punctuality and fidelity to his word and agreement, won the confidence and regard of his patrons. In the multiplicity of his private interests, however, he never forgot the duties which rested upon him as a citizen of this great republic. He cast his first presidential ballot for Abraham Lincoln, and has ever since been a loyal Republican. At various times he has served as a member of the local school board, and has been a member of the common council. He is a deep student of politics and current events, and is an able speaker and writer on the topics of the times.

In 1854 Mr. Collings married Miss Mary Anne, daughter of James and Lucy (Cox) Fulton. Of the four children born to them, the only son, Henry, died at the age of six months, and Lillian Virginia, a beautiful young lady, died at the age of nineteen years. Two daughters survive, namely: Erminie Rose, wife of Albert Prisler, of Ottawa; and Frances M., who married Farley Swartz, and resides at No. 365 Winchester avenue, Chicago, Illinois. Mr. and Mrs. Prisley have three children, Milton, Myron and Ethel; and Mr. and Mrs. Swartz have a little daughter, Daisy.

Extracted by Norma Hass from Biographical and Genealogical Record of LaSalle County, Illinois published in 1900, volume 1, pages 267-268.

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