FRANK G. AUSTIN,
the efficient manager of the Effingham Canning and Wood Package Company, has the honor of being a native of this
city. He was born in Effingham on the 23d of March, 1869, and is a son of Edward and Susan L. (Winter) Austin, a sketch of whom appears elsewhere in
this work. Our subject spent the days of his boyhood and youth in the usual manner of farmer lads upon his father's
farm, and attended the public schools of his native town until December, 1884, when he left home and went to Kentucky,
where he was employed as a farm hand for a time. Afterward he went to Cincinnati, Ohio, where he sought and secured
a position in the Hecla Iron Works. He remained in that employ for a time, and on severing his connection with
the company accepted the charge of transporting a steamer hull for the McNabb Coal Company from Cincinnati to Chattanooga.
The hull was towed down the Ohio and up the Tennessee River, and reached Florence, Ala., on the 14th of June, 1886.
It being impracticable to proceed further at that time, the boat was laid up there and its upper works completed
and it fitted out with machinery as a river steamboat under the direction of Mr. Austin. The boat was named the
"Herbert," and is now plying between Decatur, Ala., and Chattanooga, Tenn.
his work along that line was completed, Mr. Austin was but seventeen years of age. He returned to Cincinnati and
thence to his home, where he arrived on the 9th of September, 1886. Once more entering school, he pursued his studies
until February, 1887, when he went to Florence, Ala., and worked at the carpenter's trade. A few months after reaching
that city he was placed in charge of a gang of carpenters, and served in that capacity until May, 1889, when, his
health being impaired, he returned home. On the 31st of July following he was united in marriage with Miss Emma
L., a daughter of Charles C. and Eliza M. Smith. The lady is a native of Illinois, her birth having occurred in
Fairfield. The union of the young couple was celebrated in Effingham and has been blessed with one child, a daughter,
the fall of 1889 Mr. Austin became interested in the Effingham Canning and Wood Package Company, and assumed charge of the construction
of the company's works. A sketch of this industry is given on another page of this volume. The works were at length
completed and operations were commenced the following summer. The business, under the management of our subject,
has since been conducted with signal success, and the trade has constantly increased until it has assumed extensive
after his return from the South, Mr. Austin purchased a fruit farm of fifty-five acres, lying within the corporation
limits of Effingham, on the northwest corner of which he makes his home. Recently he has sold twenty acres of his
original purchase, and the tract, which has been platted into blocks and lots, is now being rapidly built upon,
thereby increasing the value of the rest of the tract very materially. Mr. Austin has developed good business capacity
and executive ability as a manager, which fact is shown by the perfection of the works under his control and the
success of the enterprise.
Austin is a Republican in politics, and in religious belief he and his wife are Presbyterians, holding membership
with the church of that denomination in Effingham. He is a stockholder in the Effingham Apple Orchard Company, and he has a special liking for good fruit.
His own land is well planted with apple and pear trees and small fruits. Throughout the community in which he resides
Mr. Austin is recognized as one of its prominent business men. He is not only clearheaded and sagacious, but is
enterprising and progressive and in his young life has already won marked success.
and Biographical Record of Effingham, Jasper and Richland Counties Illinois, Containing Biographical Sketches of
Prominent and Representative Citizens, Governors of the State, and the Presidents of the United States. (Chicago:
Chapman Brothers, 1887), p. 448. Transcribed by Judy Rosella Edwards.