A Man After God’s Own Heart

A little while ago I was given a copy of my great great grandfather’s death notice.  It would not have been a typical obituary, as we know it today, where the family provides the information of the deceased and pays for the space in the paper.  Instead, the death notices, as it were in the early part of the past century, were written by the local journalist or newspaper man.  To my understanding ,  that would mean that you could not control the sentiments of the newspaper; instead, you would be at the mercy of the truth or public opinion about the way you lived your life.   That’s what makes this so meaningful to me and I wanted to share my great great grandfather’s write up with you just as it was written all those years ago (emphasis mine)… A man after God’s own heart:

P. B. Collins

P. B. Collins was born June 5th, 1841, and died January 26th, 1927.

He was married three times (twice widowed), and to these unions ten children were born, seven of whom are living,

these, together with his wife, forty-one grandchildren and twenty-two great grand children.

For more than twenty years, he has been almost blind, and for quite awhile entirely without sight.  Altho’ confined to his room for several years,

he never failed to teach and exhort, any who would call on him, from his one book, the Bible.

His father, F. B. Collins, was born in 1799 and owned a family Bible printed in 1828.  This book is still

in the family and many nights has our beloved brother Collins read this old book by the light of a campfire,

when he could not have good light (he was part of Lee’s guard in the war between the states), and to the very last,

he retained much of the valuable knowledge he obtained from it.  His life was one of humble service to his master and a worthy example

to all who knew him.  For many years he has been a faithful member of the Church of Christ.

His desire to have a short Christian service at his burial, and to be put away in a home-made casket, as were many of

his people, was granted, and Mr. Pybus made a beautiful casket, and from the old Bible was read his favorite

passage of scripture (The 23rd Psalm shown in his own writing below) as his body was laid to rest in the Palacios cemetery.

(His favorite passage written by his own hand.)

Humble is an understatement, this man has an incredible story to tell: one of endurance, perseverance, hope, and undying faith.  His story starts out with losing both parents and then his closest relative.  He was a war hero, a widow, a father, a pony express rider, lived through the Texas range wars and carried The Bible with him through it all.   Keeping the words  and quoting them just as if he could read,  I imagine he could see them with his heart.

Guest Post: Jim Collins, Graphic Designer / College Professor / Photographer and Soon To Be Author

This is a guest post written by my newly found cousin, Jim C0llins, who happened to be writing a book about my great great grandfather, Pleasant Bohannon Collins.    Ironically, Jim found me via this blog from a post about Pleasant written for Veteran’s Day.  After a visit at my home Jim wrote a post and sent it to me and here it is…


Pleasant Bohannon Collins was a small man… but only in stature. He grew up in Drew County, Arkansas near Monticello, the son of an Irish farmer. Pleasant lived large with a knack for participating in historic, even legendary events. But by far his greatest accomplishments were his descendants, many of whom quietly carry on his legacy of love and faith and courage.

He married three widowed women, all with children. He accepted and loved and raised those children (8 of them). He loved adopted children… not unlike God himself… and considered them as his own. God also blessed him with 10 children of his own. His quiver was filled with arrows.

He was a Godly man… known during the war for reading his Bible by the light of many campfires and for his faith and courage… cause and effect.

Last week, Pleasant influenced my life again… or was it God through Pleasant?

I am his great grandson. The Irish Lady is his great great granddaughter. We met online through this blog. Readers know this is no ordinary blog. I appreciate the quality of information and her courageous stand for the truth which she often shares. She is one talented, caring and committed Lady.

A few weeks ago, TIL invited me to spend a weekend with her (sight unseen) and to experience Round Top.

I accepted. It was my son’s birthday, so he was to travel over from Fort Hood to join us. That would be the cherry on top for me.

Then as I travelled south on I-35 from Fort Worth, a million thoughts went through my mind, mostly centered on two themes: “Those Bluebonnets are amazing.” And “What am I doing? This is so not the shy country boy I’ve always been.” Yet, for some reason, I would not turn back home.

My decision to complete the trip was richly rewarded. After I arrived and got to know the lady and son Bret a bit, TIL decided the loaded gun could remain in its hiding place. We got to know each other, seated around the breakfast table… full, rich, honest discussions… just like old times. I felt I had known her for years.

I laughed a lot and learned much. Brenham is beautiful in April. It may not be heaven, but I’m sure you can see it from there. Round Top is a lot of fun… even for a man. The Irish Lady is even more impressive in person than in print and her family is close and gracious and talented and interested in helping others. Good people! A credit to the legacy of Pleasant Collins.

My trip home included a stop in Old Troy, where Pleasant met and married my Great Grandmother and where I enjoyed a wonderful meal of amazing ribs, outstanding slaw and savory beans… sent with me by TIL and her husband… 5 star dining, at least… near the bridge crossing Big Elm Creek… recipes from her blog. It was good.

I am sure Pleasant relished the weekend. I do. Thank you, TUB.