The following sketch is taken from History of Kentucky, Volume 5 by William Elsey Connelley and Ellis Merton Coulter; Judge Charles Kerr, editor. The volume is copyright 1922 by American Historical Society. This sketch is on page 412.
John H. Collings. The energy and business ability of John H. Collings have built up a threshing machine and sawmill business in Bullitt County which compares favorably with the best enterprises of the kind in this part of the state. Mr. Collings has a thorough knowledge of his business, sufficient courage to weather inevitable depressions in trade and sufficient wisdom to realize that only by maintaining a high standard can he hope for uniform and continued success.
Mr. Collings was born on a farm in Bullitt County, Kentucky, April 30, 1862, a son of Benjamin H. and Nancy (Deats) Collings. The Collings family originated in Virginia, whence came the great-grandfather of John H. Collings. This sturdy pioneer from the Old Dominion reached Kentucky before it had been 'granted statehood and took up land in Bullitt County, where he followed farming during the remainder of his life and developed a fertile property and a home for his family. Among his children was Abner Collings, the grandfather of John H. Collings. He was born in Bullitt County, in 1800, and as a youth adopted the vocation of his father, that of planting. During his career he made the most of his opportunities, but was not allowed to reach a full measure of success, as his life was cut short at the age of forty years.
Benjamin H. Collings was born in Bullitt County, near Belmont, in 1837, and acquired a public school education. He was reared as a farmer's son, and when he reached years of maturity took up farming as his regular vocation. Like his father, he did not live long enough to see the fruits of his labor materialize into pronounced success, but his industry had gained him a goodly property even at the age of thirty-five years, when his death occurred in 1872. He was a Baptist in his religious faith and his political allegiance was given to the republican party. Mr. Collings married Nancy Deats, who was born at Belmont, in 1841, a daughter of Richard W. Deats, a son of the original pioneer of Bullitt County. Richard W. Deats was the founder of the station and post office at Deatsville, and for many years was one of the well-known men of his locality. Mrs. Collings died in 1906, at the age of sixty five years, being the mother of five children, of whom four survive, one having died at the age of thirteen years.
John H. Collings was given the advantages of a common school education and was reared on the home farm. As a youth he displayed an interest in machinery and much mechanical ingenuity, and after attaining his majority began operating threshing machines and sawmills. This business he now has followed for more than forty years and has built up an excellent patronage throughout Bullitt County. He is known as a man of integrity and sound reliability, and as one of the very liberal-minded and progressive men of the community who as a citizen and a business man has evinced qualities worthy of admiration and emulation. In the republican party, Mr. Collings has been a leader and a worker for years, and for four years has served as a member of the republican county committee. Fraternally, he is affiliated with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, in which he has numerous friends, while his religious connection is with the Baptist Church.
In 1889 Mr. Collings was united in marriage with Miss May Hays, daughter of James Hays and Rowena (Kineson) Hays, of Bullitt County. Mr. and Mrs. Collings have one son: Ben H., a graduate of the Kentucky State University, and a resident of Hamilton. Ohio, where he is superintendent for the Andrews Asphalt Paving Company. Ben H. Collings married Bessie Hayden, also a graduate of the Kentucky State University.
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