William S. Austin

Probably no man is better known throughout Butler county as a successful stock dealer and breeder than William S. Austin, who operates the Oak Glen Stock Farm of five hundred and sixty acres on section 10, Madison township. He was born in Washington township, this county, October 15, 1877, and is a son of William Austin, a native of England, who came to America with his father, Henry Austin, in 1846. Henry Austin located with his family near Detroit, Michigan, and five years later moved to Wisconsin, locating in Grant county, where his son William grew to manhood. In 1870 the latter moved to Iowa and located in Washington township, Butler county, where he purchased a tract of raw land, breaking the soil and opening up a new farm. He there married Miss Charlotte Smith, who passed away in Washington township. William Austin, Sr., became a well known farmer and stock breeder and accumulated extensive landed holdings in Madison and Washington townships. After his wife's death he continued on the farm until 1909 and then moved to Cedar Falls and later to Aplington, where he now resides.

William S. Austin, one of a family of five children, of whom two are still living, was reared in Washington township, supplementing a public-school education by two years at Ellsworth College and attendance at the State Normal School at Cedar Falls. Following the completion of his studies he engaged in teaching for two terms in Butler county and after his marriage, which occurred in 1903, he took possession of the Oak Glen Stock Farm, upon which he has since resided. Upon it he has made excellent improvements, erecting a good residence and substantial barns and outbuildings, including a one hundred and twenty ton silo, which was erected in 1911. He has fenced and cross fenced his fields with seven miles of woven wire fencing and has neglected nothing which would add to the appearance or value of his place. Mr. Austin is a well known stock breeder, dealing principally in Aberdeen Angus cattle, Poland China hogs and Angora goats. He has a fine herd of eighty head of cattle with a pure-blooded male, Ex. 111595, of the Trojan Erica family, at the head. Mr. Austin has sold and shipped many pure-blooded animals to other states and does an extensive business, being considered an expert judge of stock values and one of the leading breeders in the state. He makes an annual public sale of Poland China hogs and deals also to some extent in Angora goats and Barred Plymouth Rock chickens. He is one of the promoters of the Butler County Telephone Company and served as president of this association for several years.

On the 22d of March, 1903, in Humboldt county, Mr. Austin was united in marriage to Miss Florence Rigby, who was born and reared in Cedar county, Iowa, and educated at the Mechanicsville high school and the State Normal School, later engaging in teaching in South English and Livermore, Iowa. She was assistant principal at the latter place. Mr. and Mrs. Austin are the parents of four children: S. Ralph, Lewis H., Edwin G., and Charlotte M. The parents are members of the Methodist Episcopal church of Dumont, and Mr. Austin is one of the official board. He has been connected with educational interests of this locality for a number of years, taking an active and prominent part in the advancement of the public-school system. He is a practical and successful farmer and a conservative and able business man, and he has the esteem and confidence of the entire community.