Born: 1863 in England
Ruth M. Collins emigrated to the United States in 1892 and arrived in Saranac Lake around 1893. She became the head nurse in the infirmary at the Adirondack Cottage Sanitarium, and was for many years the only nurse there.
Dr. Trudeau wrote about her in his Autobiography: "Our first little Infirmary soon came under the care of Miss Ruth Collins, who presided over it for years, until it became too small for our needs and we moved into the beautiful Childs Memorial. . . . Miss Collins for years presided over the Childs Infirmary, and did devoted and excellent work there for the sick, who all loved her. I learned much of the practical workings of the gospel of unselfishness from her. . . . One morning Miss Collins came into my office and told me she had a favor to ask of me: would I grant it? I said I certainly would if I could. She knew a sick man in the village who had been struggling for three years to regain his health, and now he was failing rapidly; he had not a dollar, he had no friends. Dr. Baldwin had told her he could not live over two or three months. She knew very well I did not like to take hopeless cases at the Infirmary, for it did much to depress others, and such cases could as well be cared for elsewhere. She would put this man in her own room and bed, where he would not come in contact with the other patients, and she would sleep on the lounge in the sitting-room. It would not interfere with her work. I told her to do as she wished, and for three months she slept on the lounge and cared for this poor fellow until he died. When I went upstairs that day I said to my wife, 'I used to think I tried at times to do my share for the consumptive, but certainly I had never thought of getting out of my bed and room and caring for months for a dying man while I slept on a lounge!'"
By 1910 Miss Collins had moved to 96 Park Avenue. By July 1, 1912, she was operating 76 Park Avenue as a private nursing cottage, for eight bedridden patients, continuing until at least 1916 and probably until sometime in 1920, with the help of another nurse, Sally Thompson.