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Past and Present of the City of Rockford and Winnebago County, IL, C. A. Church.   Chicago:  Clarke Publishing Company, 1905, pp 191-2

C. E. AUSTIN, the present supervisor of Shirland Township and a prosperous farmer actively engaged in operating 350 acres of land, was born upon this farm 23 Feb 1857, his parents being H. S. and Eliza (PACKARD) AUSTIN, who came to Winnebago County [IL] in 1838.   The father was a native of Buckfield [Oxford County], ME, and was of New England ancestry, the family coming originally from England.  His wife was also a native of the same locality and was of English descent.  They arrived in this county on 18 May 1838, settling first in Rockton Township.  They spent the summer there and then removed to the village of Rockton, where Mr. AUSTIN erected a house, after which he followed the shoemakers trade at that place for 5 or 6 years.  On the expiration of that period he took up a claim of 160 acres on sections 17 and 18, half of the farm lying in Rockford and half in Shirland Township.  He improved the claim and continued to carry on general agricultural pursuits up to the time of his death, which occurred in 1892, when he was almost 80 years of age.  He had for several years survived his wife, who died in 1886, when about 70 years of age. In their famiy were five sons and two daughters, of whom one is deceased:  H. S. AUSTIN, Jr., who died in CA, where he was then making his home, in 1879, at the age of 40 years.  Those who still survive are:   A. M., a mining engineer residing in Los Angeles, CA, where he has lived since 1861; S. A., a practicing physician of Los Angeles, CA, for the past 18 years, but who was formerly of Rockford and was on eo fthe founders of the hospital in that city; Mrs. Mary E. EVANS, who is living in Los Angeles, CA; W. W., who is engaged in the real estate business in Rockford; and Mrs. L. N. LEFFINGWELL, whose husband is a farmer of Glidden [Carroll County], IA.

C. E. AUSTIN, the othr member of the family, was reared upon the old homestead farm, where he has spent his entire life.  His education was acquired in the district schools and in Beloit [Rock County], WI, and when not busy with his textbooks he aided in the labors of the fields.  He has added to his farm from time to time until he is now the owner of 335 acres of rich and valuable land in the home place on section 18, Shirland Township, and he also has 80 acres of land in Rockford Township.  He is actively engaged in the cultivation of his fields and has made excellent improvements upon his farm, which is now one of the valuable properties of the locality.  In all that he does he is eminently practical, and his earnest labor has been the resultant factor in his success.

Mr. AUSTIN was married to Nellie F. RICHARDSON, of this county, a daughter of C. B. RICHARDSON, of Rockford.  Four children grace this marriage:  Gray R., 19 years of age; Merton H., 15 years of age; Sewell E., a little [p 192] lad of four summers; and Lillian, who is two years old.  All are yet with their parents.  Politically Mr. AUSTIN is an earnest republican, having given unfaltering support to the party since attaining his majority.  His father served as supervisor of Shirland Township for 15 years during his residence in the county, and Mr. AUSTIN of this review was elected to the same office in 1904, and is now capably serving in that position.  Socially he is connected with the Masonic lodge and chapter at Rockford, and is a member of the Modern Woodmen camp and Royal Neighbors lodge at Shirland, while his religious views are those of the Congregational church.  His entire life having been passed in this locality, his history is well known to his fellow townsmen, and the fact that many of his stanchest friends are those who have known him from his youth to the present is an indication that his has been an honorable career.

IL BIO - Winnebago Co
Past and Present of the City of Rockford and Winnebago County, IL, C. A. Church.   Chicago:  Clarke Publishing Company, 1905, pp 307-8

James H. BABCOCK, who has placed his capital in the safest of all investments, in real estate, and is now an extensive dealer in lands in IL and the Dakotas, is a native son of this state [IL], his birth having occurred in Stephenson County, near Freeport, in 1861.   His parents were E. N. and Harriet (DUNN) BABCOCK, who became early settlers of Stephenson County, where the father engaged in agricultural pursuits and became one of the prosperous farmers of his neighborhood.

In the usual manner of farm lads of teh period James H. BABCOCK spent his boyhood days.   He began his education in the district schools and afterward enjoyed the benefits of instruction in the higher schools of his county.  When his education was completed he turned his attention to farming and stock raising, which he carried on quite extensively, and while still living upon his farm he became interested in real estate operations.  He is seldom at fault in matters of judgment concerning the value of property and is thus enabled to make judcious investments and profitable sales.  In 1901 he removed to Rockford, where he opened a real estate office, and is now devoting his time and means to investing in and selling western lands.  He is now the possessor of large tracts, having a valuable farm of about 1,300 acres in Dakota, which is a grain farm devoted to the raising of wheat, it being situated in the midst of the great wheat and corn belt.  He also owns several farms in MN aggregating 800 acres, which are well stocked with thoroughbred Hereford cattle, many of them being registered.  This farm is conducted largely under his own supervision with the aid of a number of employees.   He is likewise interested in [p 308] valuable land in IA, and his holdings in IL return to him a good income.  He has property in the city of Chicago, three good farms in KA, and also land in WI.

In 1887 Mr. BABCOCK was married to Miss Jennie E. STEELE, of Stephenson County, IL, and they have a son and daughter, Ralph and Marie.  The family home is at No. 1535 East State Street.  Without special educational or financial advantages to aid him in the outset of his career, Mr. BABCOCK has steadily worked his way upward.  The successful men of the day are they who have planned their own advancement and have accomplished it in spite of many obstacles, and with a certainty that could have been attained only through their own efforts.  This class of men has a worthy representative in James H. BABCOCK, who in his active life has ever displayed a weight of character, a native sagacity, a far-seeing judgment, and a fidelity of purpose that commands the respect of all.

Submitted by Cathy Kubly.