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THOMAS H. AUSTIN

 

From the 1887 History of Vernon County, Missouri, p. 615-616:

Thomas H. Austin

(Retired, Nevada)

No history of Vernon county, especially that part which refers more particularly to the town of Nevada, would be complete without mention of the name of Thomas H. Austin, for his connection with its affairs dates back to a period which only a few can remember, when Vernon county was a wilderness and its inhabitants few and far between.  He came originally from East Tennessee, Anderson county, where he was born July 28, 1818, the oldest of eight children, four boys and four girls, which blessed the union of Daniel and Nancy Austin, nee Edwards.  The latter was born in Maryland.  Daniel Austin was a native of Green county, Ky., though he afterwards lived in Alabama, and finally moved to Putnam county, Ind., from whence in 1835 he came to Missouri, settling in what was then Pulaski but is now Miller county.  This was his home until going to Buchanan county, and some five years later, or in 1846, he came to Vernon county, continuing to live here until his death.  He wife also passed away in this county.  Thomas H. Austin was brought up on the old homestead and very naturally acquired a knowledge of agricultural pursuits.  His educational advantages, however, were somewhat limited, owing to the scarcity of schools in that early day.  He accompanied his father on the various moves made by that person, as already enumerated, and finally in 1846 took up his residence in this county, which has since been proud to own him as one of her citizens.  Upon his location here he entered 240 acres of land and 40 acres of this tract were afterwards taken for the site upon which Nevada now stands.  Some little idea can therefore be formed of the part which Mr. Austin has taken in the up-building and growth of Vernon county.  In 1869 he moved to a place on Osage river, known as Belvoir, and for 10 years conducted a ferry across the river at that point.  In 1879 he moved into Nevada, where he has since remained.  He was the first postmaster of the place then called “Haletown,” and for some years filled the position of justice of the peace, also serving as coroner of Bates county for two years.  Though not a political aspirant he was never found wanting in the discharge of the duties of those positions to which he was called.  In April, 1841, Mr. Austin was married to Miss Louisa Blevans, a native of Alabama, and daughter of Stephen A. Blevans.  Seven children which have been born to them are now deceased.  He is a member of the Masonic fraternity, belonging to the Blue Lodge, Chapter and Commandery.  Of late years Mr. Austin has retired from the active duties of every-day life, after a lifetime spent in earnest, sincere toil.  He still owns 100 acres of land adjoining the city and is in the enjoyment of a competency which years of industry have awarded him.  His acquaintance throughout the county is almost unlimited, and those who know him best enjoy the friendship of a man in very sense of the term.  His reserved and unassuming disposition, together with his true worth, have caused him to be placed among the representative citizens of Nevada.

 

 

 

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Vernon Co, MO County Coordinator

Nancy Thompson