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SAMUEL WILSON AUSTIN


Source: Portrait & Biographical Record of Montgomery, Parke & Fountain counties, Indiana. Chicago: Chapman Brothers, 1893, pp 702-703

Samuel Wilson Austin, an influential financier of Montgomery County and for many years Cashier of the First National Bank of Crawfordsville, was born in Garrard County, Ky., November 21, 1818. He is the son of John B. and Nancy (Van Holt) Austin, natives of Virginia, who settled in Kentucky early in life and thence, in 1828, removed to Indiana, settling two miles west of Crawfordsville. Amid pioneer scenes, bravely enduring the hardships incident to life on the frontier, the father toiled for his family and worked unweariedly for their welfare. He purchased land and engaged in tilling the soil. He also taught school, and in addition to this served as a minister in the Missionary Baptist Church. A devout and pious man, he was admirably qualified for ministerial duties, and his services were in constant requisition in that capacity. While preaching he also aided in the erection of a number of houses of worship. With the early history of this county John B. Austin was closely identified, both in a private and official capacity. He was the first auditor of the county and filled that position for sixteen years, having been first elected in September, 1842. In early life he was a Democrat, later affiliated with the Whigs, and upon the organization of the Republican party, gave his support to its principles, remaining one of its most stanch advocates until the time of his death. He was a man whose influence was always extended on behalf of public-spirited measures and philanthropic projects, and poor and rich alike mourned his loss; when, in 1868, he closed his eyes upon the scenes of earth. His useful existence covered a period of four-score and one years and his was a life of integrity, usefulness and honor, a priceless heritage to his children. He had removed from his farm to Pleasant Hill, and after residing there for five years had returned to Crawfordsville, where his death occurred. In the parental family there were ten children, of whom eight grew to maturity and five still survive, viz.: Samuel W.; Catherine, a widow; Nancy, Mrs. H. P. Ensminger; Harriet, the widow of William Campbell and a resident of Crawfordsville; and Abner, who is an attorney in Thornton. Mary married and died when a young woman; John, deceased, was formerly engaged in the mercantile business in Rensselaer; Martha, Mrs. William Hartman, died at the age of seventy-three. The subject of this sketch, Samuel W., became familiar with farming early in life, and also acquired a thorough knowledge of clerical duties. For a time he was employed in a store at Pleasant Hill. When his father was elected Auditor he became his clerk and also served as his book-keeper for a period of fourteen years. In 1856 Mr. Austin became book-keeper for the large establishment of Campbell, Galey & Harter, filling that position for twelve years, until the 1st of January, 1868. He was offered the position of book-keeper of the First National Bank, and, accepting the place, discharged its duties acceptably for fifteen years, when, in 1883, he was promoted to the office of Cashier. He continued in that position, with the exception of one year, until about 1891, since which time, owing to ill-health, he has lived somewhat retired from active business, though he still retains his connection with the bank. He is conceded to be one of the best bookkeepers in this part of the State, and, having had forty-two years' experience in that line, is thoroughly competent and informed. Politically, Mr. Austin is a stanch adherent of the principles advocated by the Republican party and has cast his ballot at every township election since William H. Harrison became President of the United States. Socially, he is identified with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. He was first married in 1842, his wife being Nancy Beaver, and they became the parents of four children: Archile, Albert, Henry and Frank, all of whom reside in Crawfordsville. Mrs. Nancy Austin passed away in 1860 and our subject was again married, in March, 1862, choosing as his wife Minnie Munns. This lady died November 17, 1865, leaving one child, now Mrs. Minnie McKnight, who lives with her grandmother, Mrs. Munns. The lady who on the 8th of March, 1868, became the wife of Mr. Austin was formerly Matilda Swearingen, the daughter of John and Mary (Armstrong) Swearingen. Her father removed in 1823 from Kentucky to Yountsville, becoming one of the first settlers of this part of the State. He had one son, James G., who still makes his home in Yountsville.


Source: H. W. Beckwith History of Montgomery County, Indiana (Chicago: HH Hill, 1881) p. 215

Samuel W. AUSTIN, bookkeeper, Crawfordsville, a native of Garret Co, KY was b. Nov 18, 1818. His father John B. Austin b. in Va 1787 was one of the early school teachers and a Baptist minister. He early went to Ky, and in Oct 1828, came to Mont. Co Indiana and settled 1 1/2 mi. W. of Crawfordsville. Ill health obliged him to follow light labor. In 1841 he was elected Montgomery Co's first auditor, which office he honorably filled for 14 continuous years. He was a Dem. but whisky or no whisky becoming the issue, and the democracy advocating the former. Mr. Austin left his party and allied himself with the temperance party, which soon after merged into the republican part. He d. Sept 1868. His wife, Nancy Vanhook, was b. in Va 1788 and was also a member of the Baptist church. She died Feb 1852. Samuel W. Austin passed the first 14 years of his life on the farm and then became a merchant's boy and in 1841 was employed in the auditor's office with his father, remaining there until 1854. He then became bookkeeper for Campbell, Galey & Harter, and held the situation 12 years. ON Jan 1, 1868 after having been idle for a time, he accepted the position of bookeeper in the 1st Nat'l Bank of Crawfordsville, which is still his occupation. Although Mr. A. has used the pen almost continually for over 40 years, his nerves are still steady and strong. His knowledge of bookkeeping and commercial forms he has acquired in actual business, never having attended other than the common school, and since his 14th year two terms at the co. seminary in 1836. Mr. A. was first a whig in politics and cast his first vote for Harrison, but with the germination of republicanism he adopted its principles, and will never mix his northern oil with southern water. He sent one son, Archelaus, to the civil war. He has been marr. 3 times, lastly, March 5, 1870 to Matilda daughter of John Swearingen of Crawfordsville. His first family numbered 5 children and his second one child. He is a member of the order of Odd Fellows. The website management appreciates all the contributions provided for use here.

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Data contained within this website may only be used with permission of the submitter, for non-commercial research and educational activities, and for personal genealogical information.

Data contained within this website may only be used with permission of the copyright holder(s), for non-commercial research and educational activities, and for personal genealogical information. © 2014 by Karen Zach, and licensed to the Indiana GenWeb (INGenWeb) Project and the USGenWeb Project. May be used in personal research with a citation.

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05-Nov-2010