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COLLARD, ELIJAH SIMMONS (1778–1846). Elijah Simmons Collard, early settler and government official, was born November 9, 1778, in Augusta County, Virginia, the son of Joseph and Margaret Collard. As a child he moved with his family to Kentucky. On May 2, 1801, in Bullitt County, Kentucky, he married Mary Stark; the couple had eleven children, ten of whom lived to adulthood. Collard served in the War of 1812 as a private in the Upper Louisiana militia and later as a captain in the Missouri militia. A plaque commemorating this service has been placed at his gravesite. The family lived in Kentucky, Missouri, and Arkansas before moving to Texas. Preceded by at least three of his sons, Collard arrived in what would become Montgomery County in 1833 and was given a league south of the site of what is now Willis. There is some question whether he actually lived on this league. He later moved north to what became Walker County. As trouble developed with the Mexican authorities he became a member of the Consultation from Washington Municipality. On January 5, 1836, he became a member of the General Council. When Montgomery County was being organized in 1837, he was one of five commissioners chosen to select a county seat. In 1844 he served as a justice of the peace. When Walker County was established from Montgomery County in July 1846, he was selected county commissioner. He died March 13, 1846, and is buried in Gourd Creek Cemetery near New Waverly in Walker County. A Texas historical marker is at his gravesite.


D'Anne McAdams Crews, ed., Huntsville and Walker County, Texas: A Bicentennial History (Huntsville, Texas: Sam Houston State University, 1976). William Harley Gandy, A History of Montgomery County, Texas (M.A. thesis, University of Houston, 1952). Texas House of Representatives, Biographical Directory of the Texan Conventions and Congresses, 1832–1845 (Austin: Book Exchange, 1941).

Anne M. Rackley

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Anne M. Rackley, "COLLARD, ELIJAH SIMMONS," Handbook of Texas Online (, accessed November 30, 2015. Uploaded on June 12, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.