It was in January 1878, there appeared in the Chicago Daily papers an announcement for the purpose of organizing a Soldier’s and Sailor’s colony. This colony would be in Trego County, Kansas. By March of 1878, a locating committee was on their way to Trego County. Stepping off the train at Coyote, a pumping station for the railroad was the committee of Col. Pratt, R.G. Kessler, John W. Burns, and L. LeBron. The group was to locate claims and build a colony house for the other member that would follow. The site selected for the colony house was across from the section house at Coyote.
Later the town site was moved slightly east to the present site of Collyer and named in honor of Rev. Robert Collyer, who was an honorary member of the colony.