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Benton County, IAGenWeb Project
The IAGenWeb Project

History of Benton County, Iowa
The Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago, 1910; Luther B. Hill, Ed.

Pages 465-466

JAMES AUSTIN, who died at his home in Jackson township, June 7, 1899, had been engaged in farming in Benton county since 1866. He was born in County Down, Ireland, October 19, 1832; further mention is made of his parents in connection with the sketch of Samuel and Robert Austin, found elsewhere in this work. James Austin came to America in 1849, preceding the others of his family, and located in Dubuque county, Iowa, where he engaged in farming. He had received a good education in common school, being a school-mate of Hon. William B. Allison, former United States senator from Iowa. Under Abraham Lincoln's administration Mr. Austin served four years as postmaster in Dubuque county. He was a staunch Republican and took an active interest in public affairs. He became a successful farmer and stood high in the estimation of his fellow citizens. He and his wife were members of the Presbyterian church of Vinton, and at one time he belonged to the Knights of Honor. He had joined the church in his boyhood in Ireland, and gave liberally to the support of the faith.

Mr. Austin married, December 31, 1861, in Dubuque county, Iowa, Annie Graham, born September 13, 1838, probably the first white girl child born in Dubuque county. She is a daughter of John and Sarah (Mason) Graham, of Maryland, the father being of Scotch-Irish descent. They were married at St. Louis, where John Graham was for several years engaged in mercantile business; they came to Dubuque county in 1836 and entered land there, securing ultimately some four hundred and ten acres, recognized as the finest farm in that county. There John Graham died just before the Civil war, at the age of sixty-three years; his widow removed to Jones county, Iowa, where she died at the age of seventy-four. Mrs. Austin's brother, John, is now a resident of Eldora, Iowa; one brother, Robert, lives at Dubuque; one sister, Mrs. Mary Steele, now lives in Lawrence, Kansas. Mrs. Steele's husband was formerly a merchant at Vinton, and later engaged in farming near Lawrence, Kansas, where he died.

Mr. Austin and his wife became the parents of five sons and five daughters, namely: Mary, Mrs. Crane, now of Sumner, Iowa; Jennie, Mrs. Sandhouse, of Monticello, Iowa; Anna, Mrs. Sloan, died in 1902, in Bruce township, Benton county, at the age of thirty-six years; Walter J., in the stock business at Anamosa, Iowa; William B. died February 21, 1910, at forty years of age; Robert C., of Everett, Washington, in the planing mill business; Charles A., operating the home farm in Jackson township, married Dot McQuilkin, of LaPorte City, Iowa; Martha E. and Jessie E., unmarried, living at home; and Roy L., in Everett, Washington. Mrs. Austin resides on the home farm.

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