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California Genealogy and History Archives

Sonoma County


Granville Thompson Austin

To trace the lineage of the Austin family is to review a portion of the early history of Tennessee, when people of that name became identified with the struggling settlement in the midst of the forest primeval. The paternal grandfather of our subject, David Shelton Austin, was one of the first settlers of Tennessee, going there from Virginia, where he was born. He served all through the seven years of the Revolutionary war. His son, David Austin, served in the war of 1812, the greater part of his life, however, being passed on a farm in Tennessee, where he died. Granville T. Austin is also a native of Tennessee, and was born in Sumner county in 1841, the son of David and Polly A. (Lowry) Austin. Seven sons and three daughters constituted the parental family, as follows: John, William, David B., Albert, Thomas, Joner, Granville T., Louisa, Emily and Anna L. Albert chose as his wife Martha Wilson, and they are the parents of ten children, six sons and four daughters. Thomas and his wife, formerly Fannie Hern have five children, two sons and three daughters. Joner is the father of four children. William married Lucy Davis, by whom he has six children, three sons and three daughters. John, chose as his wife Missouri Jones, and they have three sons and one daughter. Anna L. is deceased. David B. married Mandona Jones and they have three children. Louisa is deceased. Emily, Mrs. Jones, is a resident of Los Angeles.

It was the year in which the Civil war opened that Granville T. Austin came to California in 1861, crossing the plains with ox-teams from Bonham, Tex. Establishing himself as a rancher in Sonoma county, from a modest beginning in the vicinity of Guerneville he has constantly added to his acreage by the purchase of adjoining land until he now owns a fine ranch of three hundred and seventy acres, of which twenty-five acres are in vineyard. Fruit-raising is also a source of income to the owner, the returns from the vineyard and the two hundred fruit trees for the year 1909 amounting to $950. Stock-raising is also carried on to some extent, and ample pasturage is provided from the land not otherwise used. Mr. Austin has always tried to do right in all of his business transactions, and commands the highest esteem of those with whom he is associated. By training as well as from principle he is a Democrat.

Mr. Austin has been one of the upbuilders of Sonoma county and has proven that can be done by energy and close application in developing the land from the wild, tilling the soil, and setting out trees and vines. He was the first in this section to accomplish this, and now many are following in his footsteps.

In Fanning county, Tex., Mr. Austin was married to Miss Elizabeth Basham a native of Louisiana. She died in 1884, having become the mother of four sons and two daughters. John O. married Clara Overfell and they have three sons. William G. married Lydia Wilsey and two sons and two daughters have been born to them. David Lee resides in Honolulu. Charles Harry is married and has a son and a daughter. Anna Lulu is the wife of George Nowlin and with her husband resides in Rionidi, Sonoma county. Jessie is the wife of John Archer, of Santa Rosa.

History of Sonoma County, California
Biographical Sketches of The Leading Men and Women of the County Who Have Been Identified With Its Growth and Development from the Early Days to the Present
History By: Tom Gregory
Historic Record Company, Los Angeles, California (1911)

Transcribed by Peggy Hooper 2011