COLLYER, Robert Staples. b. Keighley, Yorkshire, England, 8 December 1823; d. 1912. Collyer came from a poor family, which moved to Blubberhouses, near Bolton Abbey, (Yorkshire) when he was a baby. His father became a blacksmith. Robert left school at the age of eight, and worked 14-hour days in a linen factory. When he was older and stronger he was apprenticed to a blacksmith, and found work at Ilkley and studied at night. Following the death of his wife and daughter in 1849 he became a Methodist preacher. In 1850 he married again, and emigrated to America, finding work as a blacksmith and hammer-maker at Shoemakersville, a village north of Reading in eastern Pennsylvania . He was active...
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