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Dickens County Biographies

In Remembrance of

Jay and Audeen Austin
Jay and Audeen Austin
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Jay Austin was born May 26, 1909 three miles west of Dickens. His parents were Charles and Lucinda Brock Austin. They are buried in the Dickens Cemetery. He married me, Audeen Simmons October 8, 1933 in the Justice of the Peace office in downtown Spur during the Depression. Jay worked for farmers earning $20 a month. We had some hard times but always managed. Now we wonder how. We have two daughters, Duffy Jean and Elizabeth Ann, seven grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren. Duffy was born in Nichols Hospital and Ann was born two miles south of Dickens.

My parents were Duff and Viola Conastser Simmons. They moved to Duck Creek community in southeast Dickens County in 1915. We lived on a farm and dairy. They lived there until 1935, moving back to Parker County, where they are buried. Jay´s mother died when he was four, leaving his dad to raise six children, Jay being the fifth. Jay worked with his dad fencing and tanking until his dad died in 1932. Living in tents, they moved from tank to tank. Mules and fresno´s were used to dig tanks. Dogs were always around to keep coyotes and rattlesnakes away. When they weren´t working, he and his younger brother, L.D., played the fiddle and guitar for dances to make spending money. We started farming for ourselves in 1940 and bought a farm in the Dry Lake Community in 1948, where our granddaughter and her husband are raising our great-granddaughter. We now live in Spur, but we have lived in several communities in Dickens County, and it makes no difference where we go, we are always glad to get home. Dickens County can´t be beat for nice people. The fifth of eleven children, I graduated from Spur High School in 1933. Jay attended several schools in the county. Both our daughters attended Spur Schools. We are members of the Church of Christ. We both enjoy sports, especially the Dallas Cowboys. We have always been avid fans of our high school basketball, football, and track teams. Jay pitched on several winning baseball teams. He liked bird and coyote hunting and set traps to catch animals. I enjoy being a mother and homemaker. I belonged to several clubs and now enjoy oil painting. Jay and I lived during the so-called good old days. Those were days when on the farm we had no electricity, telephone, or running water. We hauled water in barrels for house use. In the summer, the windmill tank was used for a bathtub, along with the wash tubs. After we married, Dad gave us a cow and George Austin gave us a few hens. We sold the cream and eggs in town on Saturday, using the money to buy groceries. Everyone had jobs and worked hard at them. During the winter when it snowed, we would go for several weeks seeing no one but each other. We all looked forward to going to Spur, weather permitting on Saturday afternoon and walking the streets or sitting in a car watching people. During the depression we didn´t have a nickel for a coke. But didn´t care, no one else did either. We were lucky to have a car and could buy one gallon of gas. We all learned a great deal about what is important during the "good old days".

------Audeen Austin
Source: Dickens County History...its Land and People © Dickens Historical Commission; Printer: Craftsman Inc. Lubbock, Texas 1986

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Additional Information & Documentation

Austin, Rube Lee Jay
Born: May 26, 1909 in Dickens, TX
Died: Oct 23, 1989 in Crosbyton, Crosby Co., TX
Father: Charlie Austin
Mother: Lucinda Brock
The Texas Spur, Thursday, October 6, 1983, page three
50th Wedding Anniversary
Fifty years ago, Audeen Elizabeth Simmons, Gilpin and Rube Lee Jay Austin, Spur were united in matrimony by Justice of the Peace W.M. Malone in his office in the Cowan Building in downtown Spur. The couples daughters, Ann Hodges, Spur and Duffy Ratheal, Crosbyton, would like to invite you to help celebrate this occasion with a reception from 2 to 3:30 p.m. October 9, 1983 in the Federal Land and Bank Building. Family and friends are welcome to attend.


Jay Austin as a Young Man


Services for Jay Rube Lee Austin, 80, were held at 2 p.m. October 25, 1989 in the Hill Street Church of Christ with Van Cash, Amarillo, officiating.

Burial followed in Spur Memorial Cemetery with Campbell Funeral Home in charge of arrangements.

Austin died October 21, 1989 in the Crosbyton Hospital about 10:50 a.m. following a lengthy illness. Born in Dickens on May 26, 1909, he had resided in Dickens County most of his life.

He married Audeen Simmons on October 8, 1933 in Spur. He was a farmer. He was also a member of the church of Christ.

Survivors include his wife, Audeen Austin, Spur; two daughters, Duffy Wilks, Lubbock and Ann Walker, McAdoo; one brother, L.D. Austin, Eagar AZ; one brother, George preceded him in death in 1986; two sisters, Emma Witt, Crosbyton; Pearl Stovall, Smithtown, NY; seven grandchildren, Vicki Webster, Julie Daughtry, Randy Rathael, Rodney Rathael, Zoe Robertson, Becky Hodges and Kasey Johnson; great-grandchildren, Chris Webster, Jon Webster, Rebecca Webster, Karisa Rathael, CeRee Johnson, Chelsey Johnson, Danika Robertson and Britny Robertson.

Pallbearers were Rodney Rathael, Randy Rathael, Timmy Johnson, Benny Robertson, Jackie Simmons, Dudley Simmons.

©The Texas Spur, October 26, 1989
from the records of Lillian Grace Nay

Services for Audeen Austin, 89, of Spur were held at 11:00 a.m. Friday, March 1, 2002 at the Hill Street Church of Christ with Van Cash and Larry McClenny officiating. Burial was in Spur Memorial Cemetery under the direction of Campbell Funeral Home of Spur.

She died Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2002 in Crosbyton.

Mrs. Austin was born May 6, 1912, in Whitt, Texas to the late Duff and Viola Conatser Simmons. She came to Dickens County on a train with her family in 1915. She married Jay Austin on Oct. 8, 1933, in Spur. He died on Oct. 23, 1989. She was a homemaker and a member of Hill Street Church of Christ.

Survivors include two daughters, Duffy Wilkes of Lubbock and Ann Walker of Crosbyton; three brothers, Harold Simmons of Olney, George Simmons of Cisco and Phil Simmons of Weatherford; seven grandchildren, Vicki Ratheal, Juli Ratheal, Rodney Ratheal, Randy Ratheal, Zoe Robertson, Becky Hodges and Kasey Johnson; 15 great-grandchildren, Danika, Britny, Sydney, CeRee, Chelsey, Candace, Ryan, Karisa, Kailye, Laura, Michael, Christopher, Jonathan, Enoch and Rebecca; two great-great-grandchildren, Kailey and Aidan.

©The Texas Spur, Thursday, March 7, 2002, page nine

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