R. J. Austin
As published in
"The City of Kenosha and Kenosha County Wisconsin: A Record of Settlement, Organization, Progress and Achievement"
by Frank H. Lyman Vol. 2, The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., Chicago, 1916.
R. J. Austin is a well known representative of the shoe trade in Kenosha, where for 16 years he has carried on business, his being recognized as of the most reliable establishments of this kind in the city. He is a native son of Wisconsin, his birth having occurred at Hazel Green, June 9, 1879, his parents being James and Lavinia Austin. The father was a carpenter by trade, but in the later years of his life was engaged in the shoe business.
After completing his public school education by a high school course, R. J. Austin went to Kewanee, Illinois, and started out in the business world as an employee in a shoe store. Subsequently he went to Madison, Wisconsin, where he entered the employ of his brother, A. E. Austin, who is a shoe merchant of the capital city. These experiences brought him wide knowledge of the trade and developed his business enterprise and power. He was ambitious, however, to engage in business on his own account, and carefully saved his earnings until his economy and industry had brought him sufficient capital to enable him to open a store of his own. In August, 1903 he removed to Kenosha, where he believed he might find a profitable field and here established a shoe store. For the past ten years he has remained at his present location at No. 217 Main Street. From the beginning his trade has constantly increased until it has now reached large and profitable proportions. His business policy commends him to the support of the public, and he has many patrons who have continued to trade with him through the years.
On the 12th of November 1904 R. J. Austin was married to Miss Eva Robinson, of Madison, Wisconsin. They are members of the Congregational church, and their lives are in accord with its teachings. In fact they upheld all those interests and activities which benefit the community and uplift the individual, and in the social circles of the city they are widely and popularly known. R. J. Austin maintains an independent political course, voting for the man rather than the party. He belongs to the Elks lodge, but is most prominent in the Masonic fraternity, being identified with Kenosha lodge, No. 47, Free & Accepted Masons; Kenosha Chapter, No. 3, Royal Arch Masons, of which he is past high priest; Kenosha Council, Royal & Select Masons; and Kenosha Commandery No. 30, Knights Templar, of which he is past eminent commander. His life exemplifies the benevolent spirit of the craft which is based upon the recognition of the brotherhood of mankind, and which inculcates the spirit of helpfulness and charity among its members. Those who know him esteem him as a man of personal worth, and in business circles he commands the respect of colleagues and contemporaries.
Typed by: Michelle Laycock