Martha Layne Hall was born December 7, 1936, in
 the only child of Everett and Mary (Taylor) Hall.
 When Martha was in the
sixth grade, her family moved to
Shelbyville, Kentucky, and opened the Hall-Taylor Funeral Home.
 Martha was involved in numerous extracurricular activities both in school and at the local
 Her parents were active in local politics, working for the campaigns of several
Democratic candidates, and Hall frequently joined them, stuffing envelopes and delivering pamphlets door-to-door.
Martha attended Shelbyville High School where she was a good student and a cheerleader.
 She frequently competed in beauty pageants and won the title of
Shelby County Tobacco Festival Queen in 1954.
 After high school, Hall enrolled at
Lindenwood College, then an
all-woman college in
Saint Charles, Missouri (It is now a co-ed university).
 After one year at Lindenwood, she transferred to the
University of Kentucky in
 She was active in many clubs, including the
Chi Omega social sorority, the
Baptist Student Union, and the home economics club, and was also the president of her dormitory and vice president of the house presidents council.
In 1957, Hall met Billy Louis Collins while attending a Baptist camp in Shelby County.
 He was a student at
Georgetown College in
Georgetown, Kentucky, about 13 miles from Lexington; he and Hall dated while finishing their degrees.
 Hall earned a Bachelor of Science degree in
Home Economics in 1959.
 Having won the title of
Kentucky Derby Festival Queen earlier that year, she briefly considered a career in modeling.
 Instead, she and Collins married shortly after her graduation.
 While Billy Collins pursued a degree in
dentistry at the
University of Louisville, Martha taught at
Fairdale high schools, both located in
 While living in Louisville, the couple had two children, Steve and Marla.
In 1966, the Collinses moved to
Versailles, Kentucky, where Martha taught at Woodford County Junior High School.
 The couple became active in several civic organizations, including the
Jaycees and Jayceettes and the Young Democratic Couples Club.
 Through the club, they worked on behalf of
Henry Ward's unsuccessful gubernatorial campaign in 1967.