The tree that this chest was made from grew on my father’s, Thomas A. Collins’, farm in Russell County, Kentucky.
This farm was transferred to my brother, Samuel B. Collins sometime in the seventies [1870s]. It furnished shelter and shade for my brothers S. B. and Uriah when we were boys. Uriah and I left there in the early eighties and went to Texas. Sam remained on the old homestead or a part of it.
After I had been away for about thirty six years, Wife [Amanda Jane Perryman] and I went back to visit our old homes, and while there found the old cedar grove nearly all gone. In looking around, I found the trunk of one tree that had been cut about two years but in good condition.
Wife and I conceived the idea of having a chest made of it.
We told Sam our plans and he said, “I am delighted with it and I will haul it to my sawmill and saw the lumber for you”, which he did.
Then we told my sister Susie Antle about it and she said, “My husband, Sampson Antle, who is a carpenter, will make it for you.” When she told him about it, he seemed to be delighted and took great pains with it.
Then my niece became interested – Kate Browning – and said, “I will have my husband Sam Browning to haul it to the station for you.”
After we got home in Texas, we decided to give it to our only daughter, Beulah Emma Williams who was living in New Mexico at that time. Two years later, she came to visit us, at Abilene, Texas. We presented it to her with this little history, hoping it will remain in the family as long as possible.
As you can see from the story, this is truly a Family Chest, as many family members participated in its creation.