Portrait and Biographical Record of Effingham,Jasper and Richland Counties Illinois,Containing Biographical Sketches of Prominent andRepresentative Citizens, Governors of the State, and the Presidents of theUnited States.
(Chicago: Chapman Brothers, 1887), p. 195.
Transcribed by Judy Rosella Edwards.


CALVINAUSTIN, the junior member of the well-known firm of Edward Calvin Austin, Thesegentlemen are proprietors of the Effingham Planing Mill Company, and oursubject is a shareholder and director in other local industrial corporations.In fact, he is recognized as one of the leading business men of this place, anenterprising and progressive citizen, who well deserves representation in thehistory of his adopted county.

Mr.Austin is a native of the Buckeye State. He was born on Walnut Hill, inCincinnati. April 10, 1853, and is a son of Seneca and Julia (Burnett) Austin.Further mention is made of his parents in the sketch of EdwardAustin, on another page of this work. In early childhood our subjectaccompanied his parents to his father's farm, which was situated in Kentucky,just across the river from Cincinnati, In February, 1864, the family removed toIllinois, locating in Jasper County, where they spent two years. During thatour subject continued his studies in the schools, after which be came toEffingham with his parents. This was in the spring of 1866. He then became astudent in a private school conducted by the Rev. S. R. Bissell, of this city,where his literary education was completed.

On leavingschool, Mr. Austin learned the cabinet-maker's trade, at which he worked forfour years in Effingham and Mattoon, Ill. He then turned his attentionto learning the watch-maker's and jeweler's trade, at which he was employed fora term of two years. In the summer of 1875 he left Effingham and went to Salem, N. Y., making hishome with his uncle, Calvin P. Austin. The succeeding two years of his lifewere thus spent. From November, 1877, until the spring of 1880, he was engagedin merchandising in Mattoon, Ill.,in company with Frank Kern, and the following year, 1881, he entered therailroad shops of the Indianapolis & St. Louis Railroad Company at Mattoon. He worked oncoach repairing until the 1st of April, 1884, when he again changed hisoccupation. Rejoining his old partner, Frank Kern, he embarked in themanufacture of stocking supporters and continued in that line of business untilJune, 1886, when he removed to Salem, N.Y. There he rejoined his uncle,Calvin P. Austin, with whom he remained until his uncle's death, April 3, 1889.After that, having been appointed administrator, he settled up the estate ofhis relative and then returned to Effingham in October, 1890, since which, timehe has resided in this city. He has become prominently identified with variouslocal enterprises, and the business prosperity of the place is largely due tohim. With his brother Edward he is half owner in the Effingham Planing Mill,which does an annual business of $75,000 and upwards. He is also a stockholder anddirector in the Effingham Manufacturing Company, a large furniture manufactory,the trade of which has constantly increased until they are now doing an annualbusiness of $50,000. He is also a stockholder in the Effingham Milling Company,and a stockholder and director in the Effingham Canning and Wood PackageCompany.

On the15th of September, 1880, Mr. Austin was married in Newton, Ill., the lady ofhis choice being Miss Sarah E. Brooks. She was born in Newton, and is a daughterof John P. and Mary (Barrett) Brooks, who were among the early settlers of thatplace. Her father died in the year 1879, but the mother still resides inNewton, making her home with her son, Charles E. Brooks. Mr. and Mrs. Austinhave a family of four children, two daughters and two sons, Hattie, GordonBurnett, Seneca Brooks and Mary Louise.

Mr. Austinwas one of the original movers in securing a college in Effingham and was oneof the most liberal contributors to the same, while his donations from thebeginning have been alike free and continued. In fact, he and his brotherEdward were so active and liberal in regard to the college that it was named intheir honor and is known as the Austin Collegeand Normal Institute. The educational facilities of Effingham were thusgreatly increased, and its citizens should be very grateful for this excellentaddition to their schools.

Mr. andMrs. Austin are members of the Presbyterian Church, and in politics he is asupporter of the Republican party, but has never been an aspirant for publicoffice. Socially he is a member of Eureka Lodge No. 598, K. of H., at Mattoon,Ill.

Mr. Austinis the owner of forty acres of valuable land adjacent to the city of Effingham. In 1892 heerected an elegant and palatial residence in the eastern part of the town,which is a model of beauty, both in exterior and interior design and finish. Itis estimated to have cost upwards of $30,000 and without exception it is thefinest residence in Effingham County. It has all themodern conveniences of the best city homes and with its tasteful and elegantfurnishings it is wonderfully pleasant and attractive. Mr. Austin is a plain,unassuming man, possessed of good judgment, a courteous and genial manner, andis highly respected for his integrity and upright course in life.

Portrait andBiographical Record of Effingham, Jasper and Richland Counties Illinois,ContainingBiographical Sketches of Prominent and Representative Citizens, Governors ofthe State, and the Presidents of the United States. (Chicago: Chapman Brothers, 1887), p. 302.Transcribed by Judy Rosella Edwards.

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