Born in Lowell, Massachusetts, on August 7, 1838, Loren W. Collins moved to the Territory of Minnesota at age sixteen with his father and settled near Eden Prairie. He was educated in the public schools and later studied law at the Hastings, Minnesota firm of Smith, Smith & Crosby.
Collins was a Second Lieutenant in the Army during the Civil War and was elevated to the rank of Captain because of gallant service. He resumed his practice of law in St. Cloud, Minnesota in 1866, and the following year was appointed District Judge, Seventh Judicial District.
Collins later served for four terms as Mayor of St. Cloud and for eight years as County Attorney. He was a member of State Legislature (1881-1883), and on November 16, 1887, was appointed Associate Justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court by Governor McGill. Justice Collins resigned from the court on April 1, 1904, to become a candidate for Governor.
He successfully reentered the practice of law at the age of sixty-six and at the time of his death was senior partner of the Minneapolis firm Collins and Eaton. He died at his home in Minneapolis on September 27, 1912.
After Judge Collins retired from Court, he drafted his autobiography, which was later published by his son, under the title The Story of a Minnesotan.
You may read more about Justice Collins in his autobiography, which is available through HathiTrust, in the memorial from volume 119 of Minnesota Reports, and in the book, Testimony: Remembering Minnesota's Supreme Court Justices, which is the source of this brief biography.