ODE TO ORA COLLINS - Struck By Lightning In 1906, 'His Precious Life Snuffed'

The Calhoun Chronicle reported that H. Ora Collins, 19, son of Manley S. and Hannah Collins, was struck and instantly killed by lightning in 1906 at the home of Archie Burrows of Pleasant Hill, according to research done by Norma Knotts Shaffer, whose numerous news snippets are published under Moments In Time.

The Newspaper Account

Young Collins and his sister Miss Oda (both of whom are school teachers) left their home at Freed, Sunday morning, Aug. 19th, to attend the Teacher's Institute, at Grantsville.

Sunday night they spent at the home of their cousin Archie Burrows, and Monday morning found them both enrolled in the Institute.

After adjournment Tuesday evening he took his Institute and note books to his sister and told her to take care of them for him.

She tried to persuade him to stay in town for the lecture that night, but he said "No I am going back out to Archie's." She wanted to go with him, but he told her no, she had better stay where she was.

After stopping at Mr. Martin's, where he ate his last supper, he went on out to Mr. Burrows'.

He seemed in the best of spirits all evening following the girls about their work, laughing and chatting all the while.

The family sat up rather late and although a terrible storm was raging without, happy and contented the inmates of that home little thought of the terrible scene they were to witness ere the light of another day.

After putting away his coat and hat he removed his shoes. He then requested the girls to sing. They sang "Guiding Star." He then turned to Mrs. Burrows and said, "Amy you didn't sing, I want to hear you sing."

She sang "When our waiting here is over, Jesus for us will come." and he joined in and helped her sing it.

He got up from his chair and walked over to the couch and sat down beside Miss Eva Burrows.

About five minutes later there came a terrific crash of thunder and lightning which struck the top of the flue, tearing it all to pieces, ripping apart the ceiling, striking the clock and tearing it all to pieces, blew panes of glass out of the windows, throwing all to the floor and tearing every pin out of their clothes, blew out the lamps, and left all in total darkness.

As soon as they began to recover from the shock they began to call each other's name.

All answered but Ora.

He had gone to answer the roll call of Heaven.

Mr. Burrows said, "My God! I am afraid poor little Ora is dead."

Lamps were lit, and what a great change they beheld.

A moment ago he was walking and talking, and the next moment and his spirit has taken its flight and he lay lifeless on the floor.

In a moment, in the twinkle of an eye, his precious life was snuffed out, and his spirit was wafted home to the God who gave it.

How true are the words: "In the midst of life we are in death." And "Be ye also prepared, for in the moment and hour when ye think not I will come again."

Everything that loving hands could do to bring him back to life, was done, but in vain.

The last summons had come and he had obeyed the call.

His sister was sent for at midnight and his father notified.

The next day his remains were brought back to the home which he had left so joyfully but three short days before.

Thursday at noon his remains were laid to rest in the home grave-yard beside his mother and little brother, who had preceded him to the Glory World by a few years.

A large concourse of sorrowing friends were present.

It was announced that his funeral and that of his Grandfather, Hezekiah (after whom he was named) would be preached, at Hoy Chapel the fourth Sunday in September 1906, by Rev. Stead.

He was converted in a protracted meeting held by Rev. Warner, at Hoy Chapel Jan. 16, 1903, which was his sixteenth birthday.

Since that time he has lived a faithful consecrated Christian life, and was an active worker in church and Sunday school, where he will be greatly missed.

For the last two summers he has been secretary N.B.S.S., and when he came and found the superintendent absent, as sometimes happens, he would take charge of the school and carry it on successfully. His last Sunday evening was spent at church on Road Fork.

He was handsome, intellectually strong and possessed of high and noble ambitions. Medicine was his chosen profession and was bending every energy to get through school and reach the goal.