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Below is a family biography included in The Portrait and Biographical Record of Randolph, Jackson, Perry and Monroe Counties, Illinois published by Biographical Publishing Co. in 1894.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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HENRY AUSTIN, one of the enterprising and successful farmers of Kinkaid Township, Jackson County, residing on section 2, has the honor of being a native of this locality, for his birth occurred in Bradley Township, on the 24th of December, 1850. His father, John Austin, was a native of Tennessee, and when a young man came to Illinois, settling in Bradley Township. Throughout life he followed farming, and was very successful in his undertakings. His death occurred in 1872, at the age of fifty-five. His wife, who bore the maiden name of Lucinda Polk, passed away during the early childhood of our subject. Their children were, Thomas, deceased; Mary, deceased wife of Elias Glenn; Ann, wife of Frank McBride; Minerva, deceased wife of William Stanton; Oliver, deceased; Matilda, wife of Willis H. Bilderback; Mahala, widow of Benjamin Bilderback; Sarah, who died in childhood; John, Caroline and George, all deceased; and Jane, widow of Alfred Wiggins. After the death of his first wife, Mr. Austin wedded Susan Creath, and they became the parents of three children, but all died in early life. Mr. Austin was a popular and prominent citizen of this county, and took an active part in politics, supporting the Democracy. Socially, he was connected with the Masonic order.

Henry Austin passed his boyhood quietly upon his father’s farm, and early became familiar with all the duties of agricultural life. When he had attained man’s estate, he began farming for himself on the place where he now lives. It was then a tract of wild land, but with characteristic energy he began its improvement. The farm comprises one hundred and forty-seven acres, much of which is highly cultivated. The fine residence, good barns and other necessary outbuildings all stand as monuments to his thrift and enterprise. He also purchased the old home farm of three hundred and twenty acres in the same township, of which one hundred and sixty acres are under the plow. Much of the remainder is pasture land. This place is also improved with good buildings and a large orchard.

On the 21st of September, 1871, Mr. Austin was united in marriage with Miss Sophronia J. Talbott, daughter of William E. Talbott. Ten children were born to them. Horace G., born September 22, 1872, was married July 31, 1892, to Lavanda Jarrett, and they have one child, Grace. The other children are, Albert, born September 14, 1874; Emma, December 8, 1876; Harry, born September 27, 1878, and died September 29, 1880; Charlie E., born August 10, 1880; Lydia, born October 1, 1882, and died August 30, 1889; Freddie H., born April 20, 1885; George Morris, September 19, 1887; Minnie Beatrice. December 11, 1889; and John Conner, November 11, 1893.

Mr. Austin is a member of the Masonic fraternity of Ava and the Knights of Honor. He has always been a faithful Democrat and is prominent in local politics. He has served as Highway Commissioner, was elected Justice of the Peace, but refused to qualify, and is now holding the office of Collector for the fourth term, discharging his duties with a promptness and fidelity which win him high commendation. Pleasant and genial in manner, he has many friends throughout the community, and the high regard in which he is held is justly merited.

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This family biography is one of 679 biographies included in The Portrait and Biographical Record of Randolph, Jackson, Perry and Monroe Counties, Illinois published in 1894.  View the complete description here: The Portrait and Biographical Record of Randolph, Jackson, Perry and Monroe Counties, Illinois

View additional Jackson County, Illinois family biographies here: Jackson County, Illinois Biographies

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