Miles Augustus Collins was born in Albany, New York on September 1, 1832. When he was four years old his family moved to a farm near Blanford, Massachusetts where he was raised. He remained there until 1854 when he moved to Scott County, Iowa where he joined his father as a carpenter. After a year he started farming and started the first cheese factory in the county. He owned several farms and became quite adept at real estate. He moved to his final farm in 1860. On June 15, 1870 he married Amy Wilson, who was a widow. Together they raised six children. He died in his home on June 5, 1908.