Philander Collyer, former county treasurer of Hancock county and a well-known retired farmer of Jackson township, now living at Greenfield, is a native son of this county, having been born on a farm in Brandywine township, December 12, 1854, son of Wellington and Rebecca (Liming) Collyer, both natives of Ohio, the former born on August 6, 1816, and the latter in February, 1821. Both Wellington Collyer and his wife had come to Hancock county in their youth with their respective families and were married here. They settled on a farm in Brandywine township and there spent the remainder of their lives. Wellington Collyer was a Democrat and was prominent in the early councils of that party in this county. He had served as trustee of Brandywine township and in 1868 received his party's nomination for the office of county recorder. He and his wife were active working members of the Christian church. Wellingron Collyer died in 1895, at the age of seventy-nine years, and his widow survived him but two years, her death occurring in 1897, she then being seventy-six years of age. They were the parents of eight children, of whom the subject of this sketch was the fourth in order of birth and all of whom are still living save two.
Philander Collyer was reared on the paternal farm in Brandywine township, receiving his education in the common schools, and remained at home until he was twenty-one years of age, after which he rented a farm in his home neighborhood and engaged in farming on his own account. He married in 1879 and continued living on his rented farm until 1894, in which year he bought a sixty-acre farm in Jackson township, later buying a tract of sixty-two acres adjoining and in 1913 bought another adjoining tract of twenty acres, thus being now the owner of a farm of one hundred and forty-two acres. Mr. Collyer is a Democrat and in the fall of 1908 was elected county treasurer on that party's ticket. He was re-elected in 1910 and thus served two terms in that office. In 1911 he moved from the farm to Greenfield. In which city he now makes his home, and since retiring from the farm has acted as the local representative of the R. L. Dolling Company, of Indianapolis.
On October 15, 1879, Philander Collyer was united in marriage to Cynthia E. Furman, who was born in this county in 1858 and who died in 1907, leaving one daughter, Pearl, who is at home. On March 21, 1911, Mr. Collyer married, secondly, Mrs. Christina (Miller) Fink, who was born in Germany and who came to America with her parents when she was six years old, the family settling in Indiana. Mr. and Mrs. Collyer are members of the Christian church and Mr. Collyer is an office bearer in the same. Mr. Collyer is a Royal Arch Mason and a Knight Templar, a member of the blue lodge, the chapter and the commandery at Greenfield and of the council, Royal and Select Masters, at McCordsville, as well as a member of Murat Temple, Ancient Arabic Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine, at Indianapolis. He is also a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, past noble grand of the lodge of that order at Charlottesville, and is a member of the Greenfield lodge of the Improved Order of Red Men and the Knights of Pythias, in the affairs of all of which organizations he takes a warm interest.
Transcribed from History of Hancock County, Indiana, Its People, Industries and Institutions by George J. Richman, B. L., Federal Publishing Co., Indianapolis, Indiana, 1916. Pages 829-830.
Submitted by Sylvia (Rose) Duda, Laingsburg, MI September 11, 2001.
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