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John A. Collins, a Virginian by birth and an Indiana and Iowa farmer by choice, came to Cass county in the fall of 1863 and spent the following winter in a small shanty, on the southeast quarter of section 24, Brighton township. Later in the year George W. Couch occupied the shanty and the land as his homestead, and Mr. Collins bought the north half of the southeast quarter, and the east half of the northeast quarter of section 36. Upon this land was a small house partially completed, which he finished and to which he subsequently made various additions until he had a large and comfortable residence. Mr. Collins paid $100 down for his original land, which left him $25 upon which to live until he could raise a crop. He owned one poor old team, and the first season was able to break only three acres of land, being obliged to rent land upon which to raise grain. This was but a common instance of the shifts to which the early settlers were put to tide over the first few hard years in a new country, where with scanty means they were wresting a livelihood from the virgin soil. But within fifteen years Mr. Collins had under cultivation 240 acres of fine land and was prosperous, honored and happy.

From "Compendium and History of Cass County, Iowa." Chicago: Henry and Taylor & Co., 1906, pg. 129.

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