William Wesley COLLIER- Aqua Fria- Mariposa County,  1850

William Wesley Collier, a merchant of Tupelo, Jackson County, is a native of Limestone County, Ala., and is a son of Mark M. and Elizabeth (Harris) Collier, born, respectively, in North and South Carolina, and of English and Scotch  descent. The father died in 1840, and the mother in 1864. William Wesley  was born April 12, 1826, and obtained his education in the private schools of his county, and the H. H. Brown school, which at that time had a wide reputation, being conducted by a Methodist preacher, who was employed by the community.

At the age of twenty years Mr. Collier was employed by Dewooddy, Turentine & Higgins, at Athens, Ala.; at the expiration of one year he went to Aberdeen, Miss., where he served three years at the carpenters' trade, with J. W. Ellis. February 3, 1849, he emigrated to California, with the Mississippi Rangers, a joint stock company, which dissolved after three months. Our subject arrived at Los Angeles, July 6, 1849, where until January, 1850, he engaged in the carpenter and joiners' trade. He then went to San Francisco, worked for weeks as journeyman, and then in partnership with R. T. Woody, engaged in mining; three months later Mr. Woody died, and Mr. Collier bought a stock of general merchandise, which he established at Agufrior (sic)  Gold Mines, Mariposa County, Cal. He also built a hotel at the latter place, which he sold in 1851, carrying on his mercantile business there three years; he then took into partnership George Turner, of New York,  and William T. Osburn, of  Georgia. Early in 1853, Mr. Collier went to Stockton to buy goods and supplies for the store, remaining until fall, when he was notified by his partners to return and close out business, as they were not making anything; returning, he found that they had lost money gambling, and squandered the entire resources of the firm. After closing out the business, he went to San Francisco, in October, 1853, where he purchased a ticket for his home in Alabama, arriving there the following December.

In 1854 he located on his mother's farm near Athens, where he lived the following three years. In  January, 1856, he married Martha Walls, also a native of Alabama. Of the eleven children born to them, six are now living, viz.: Albert, a farmer by occupation, now
residing in Breckinridge Township; he married Laura Stanley; William T., married a Miss Higgs of
Mississippi, and has two children; he is also a farmer of Breckinridge Township; J. M., who is engaged in business with his father, and
farming; John M. is living with his father; Catharine, of Arkansas nativity, married Mr. W. C. Patrick, a native of Mississippi, and has one child; and Allen C., who is now a student at Searcy College, Ala. The children have all been liberally educated in the English branches. At the time of his marriage, Mr. Collier owned about 370 acres of land, some 100 acres of which were under
cultivation. He is a Democrat in polities, as are also his sons and son-in-law



Jan 28, 2003