1st Generation: Solomon Collins
From the book, “Pioneers of Morgan County (IN)”. Quotes from the book are as follows:
One of our near neighbors in 1832 was Solomon Collins, he was the head of one of nine families of that name who came from Tennessee at the earliest period of our settlement. Several of them lived near the mouths of Sycamore and Highland creeks. “Old Sol,” as he was called, then lived in the river bottom, about three miles north of Martinsville, and was a fair specimen of a backwoods Tennessean. He was no bookworm - knew not a letter or figure in the books - much less was he a dude or a “gentleman of leisure.” He was a good neighbor to good neighbors, but woe to him who undertook to tread upon the toes of “Old Sol.” During the summer of 1831, he, with the help of his family, cultivated a field of corn on the bottom lands. They had worked hard - and a fine crop was the results.
This fine crop had three purposes:
1. Food to eat.
2. Food to feed the livestock.
3. Whiskey to be made.
His whereabouts are uncertain from 1836 until 1858, when he appeared in the Ozark Co Missouri Census. The family stories are spectacular and his whereabouts are still a legend.
2nd Generation: Tipton Collins
Tipton was the first son to be born outside of the great state of Tennessee. He was born to Solomon Collins age 44 and Delila (Nichols) age 42 in Martinsville, Indiana in 1832.
When Tipton was only three years old, the bear tracks were fading away, the herds of deer scattered, the flocks of wild turkeys growing wilder and scarcer, churches and the schoolhouses began to spring up in the woods, and Old Sol’s little copper stills died out, “Old Sol” turned his wistful eyes westward to the “land of promise.” About the year 1836, he gathered up his goods and started for a new country, a country not yet unduly civilized.
Not sure where the Collins clan settled, but, its been a family mystery and many a folklore has been told. We know Tipton was living in Springfield Missouri in 1858 (Old Sol also shows up in MO census reports) when his first child, a son , Lindsay Collins, was born. In 1861 the Civil war breaks out and at age 29 Tipton, his brother Harrison, another brother Spencer, and their father, Old Sol, sign up for the North. Spencer was killed in the battle at Vera Cruz Tiptop, Harrison and Old Sol returned home sometime around 1865 to continue the Collins tradition...
Corn Farmers by day and Whiskey Makers by night!
3rd Generation: Linsay Collins
Linsay was born on October 2, 1858 in Springfield Missouri and married Mary Jane Wilson from Louisville, Kentucky on February 27, 1883 in Dora, Missouri. Right after Linsay’s birth, it was a violent time in American history as the Civil War was raging. Lindsay’s dad, uncles, and grandfather, all fought for the North as Missouri was a Union state for most of the Civil War. As a young toddler, Lindsay was raised by his mother and grandmother. Fortunately for Lindsay, his father, one uncle, and grandfather returned back to Springfield around 1865. Sometime around 1887, Lindsey packed up the family and followed the Old Wire Road and headed to Fort Smith, Arkansas area, and then in 1889 into Kinta Indian Territory in what is now called Collinsville, Oklahoma. Eventually settling in Poteau, Oklahoma, he became a Corn Farmer by day and a Whiskey Maker by night... keeping the Collins Clan tradition alive!
4th Generation: Nellie Collins
Nellie Jane Collins, was born on May 18, 1895 in Kinta, Indian Territory, in what is now called Collinsville, Oklahoma. Nellie’s Dawes Roll card shows her Indian blood to be 1⁄4 Choctaw, however, family stories say it was much more.
Thomas Loggins, Nellie’s husband also has a long history with the great state of Tennessee. Thomas Loggins (Mal Ki) family connects many pages in Tennessee history, from his Cherokee Grandmother to his roots to prominent Tennessee families (Weir, Bean, Russell and Sevier).
Nellie continued the Tennessee whiskey tradition and is the namesake and spirit behind the Nellie Collins Whiskey Brand.
5th Generation: C.J. Loggins
Calvin James Loggins was born on March 18th, 1935 in Wellington, Texas. Calvin, the youngest of eight children of Thomas and Nellie ( Collins) Loggins, was affectionately nicked named CJ by his older brothers and sisters. CJ and his brothers and sisters all developed a working man’s attitude at an early age. This working man’s attitude favored him his entire life.
Family Stories say CJ could pick cotton like a grown man before he went off to kindergarten. Although the family worked hard both day and night the families traditions were taught and passed along by both Thomas and Nellie. Nellie always said, I want my grandchildren and great grand children to know where they came from and who they are. This included the Collins whiskey tradition.
6th Gen: Shawn Loggins
Shawn is the 6th generation whiskey maker from the Collins Clan, started by “Old Sol” Solomon Collins in and around 1858. Raised in Southern California, his father Calvin James Loggins and their mother Betty Ann (King), instilled that same working man’s attitude that they were both raised with by their farming families.
Shawn is in the Adult Beverage Industry for the last 25 years and handles sales and marketing for international wine and spirit brands.
Working Man by day and Master Distillers and Whiskey Blenders by night, keeping the family legacy alive!