SAMUEL B. AUSTIN, is one of the most practical farmers and stockmen of Benton county. His principal farm consists of one hundred and eighty-six acres in section 18, Taylor township, but he also owns two hundred and fifty-two acres of pasture land in sections 9 and 10. He raises graded stock and usually ships about a hundred head annually.
When he came to Benton county in 1872 his first location was five miles northwest of Vinton, in Jackson township. This place is now a landmark in the county because of its beautiful grove of Norway spruce, said to be the finest woodland of this kind in the entire state. Mr. Austin set out these trees, a thousand of them, over thirty years ago, and the fine grove is a monument to the effort of which any man might be proud. In all departments he is a progressive and thoroughly modern farmer and stockman, believes in well graded stock, and the conduct of farming on business principles. From a modest beginning his industry and able management have brought a good competence, and he is one of the most influential citizens of his vicinity.
He was born in county Down, Ireland, June 1, 1847, and in 1849 came to America with his parents, John and Mary (Brown) Austin. They located west of Dubuque in Dubuque county, where the parents lived till death. They were of the Presbyterian church. The father was a substantial farmer and assisted his children when they began independently. The three children now living are: Samuel B., Robert B., of Jackson township; and Mrs. Martha Burrell, of LaMars, Iowa.
Samuel B. Austin grew up in Dubuque county, receiving a good common-school education. In politics he has always voted Republican. He was formerly affiliated with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. He was baptized and reared in the faith of the Presbyterian church, while his wife is a member of the United Brethren church at Vinton.
He married, in Grundy county, Iowa, Mrs. Nellie Reed. She was born in Jackson township, Benton county, in March, 1856, being a daughter of John and Elizabeth (Brallier) Baum, early settlers of this county, who died when the daughter Nellie, was a child. Their original home was at Johnstown, Pennsylvania, where many relatives still live, and Johnstown was named in honor of a great-grandfather of Mrs. Austin. The family were for the most part of the Dunkard or Mennonite religious faith. Mrs. Austin was reared in Iowa. She has a sister, Mrs. Eva Pavey, who was born in Vinton and now lives in Kansas, and a half-sister, Mrs. David Patterson, also born in Vinton, who lives at Maple Creek, in the Northwest Territory, Canada.
Mr. and Mrs. Austin, having no children of their own, have adopted and reared several orphans and prepared them for useful citizenship. They are: Harry, who now lives in Salt Lake, Utah; John W., at home; Beulah Axie, living in North Dakota; Lillian Ellen, wife of Roy Epperson, of Taylor township. They also reared a boy, Eddie, from infancy to twelve years, and he now lives with Mrs. Austin's sister in Kansas.
Picture of Samuel and Nellie Austin