Rev. John Mather Austin, the son of Benjamin F. and Jerusha Matther Austin, on the side of his mother, Jerusha, descended from the family celebrated in early colonial times, of which Cotton Mather is best known to history. He was born in Redfield, Oswego Co., N. Y., Sept. 26, 1805, and died in Auburn, NY Dec. 20, 1880. The parents of Mr. Austin moved to Watertown while he was an infant, and there he spent his first fifteen years and obtained such learning only as is common to all in the public schools. At the age of fifteen, he began to learn the art of printing, and he spent many subsequent years working at his trade in Albany, Buffalo, Lewiston, and Troy. He joined the Universalist Society in Troy while he was engaged in the office of the Gospel Anchor in 1830. His strong religious tendencies being here stimulated to activity by his new associations, he studied for the ministry, preached his first sermon in Albany on Feb. 5, 1832, and was fellowshipped by the Hudson River Association, Sept. 12, 1832. His first pastorate was in Montpelier, Vt., and he was ordained by the Vermont Convention, Jan. 17, 1833. From Montpelier he went to Peabody (then South Danvers), Mass., and was installed pastor of the church there April 9, 1835. After a nine years' pastorate in Peabody, he accepted a call from the parish in Auburn, N. Y., and settled there in 1844. In 1851, he resigned his pastorate at Auburn to accept the editorship of the Christian Ambassador, then published at Auburn. Soon after the Republican party obtained control of the government, in 1861, William H. Seward, Secretary of State during the administration of President Lincoln, and a fast friend of Mr. Austin, tendered him the Consulship of the West Indies, which was declined. Afterwards the Consulship of the Prince Edward Islands was tendered him and refused, and finally, in 1863, a commission was sent him, signed by Secretary of War Stanton, by which he was appointed Paymaster in the Army with the rank of Major. Mr. Austin was reluctant to relinquish his religious labors, but after much persuasion, accepted this appointment and entered upon the discharge of his duties, remaining in the service until 1866, when he was mustered out. After leaving the army, Mr. Austin resumed his labors in the ministry, preaching occasionally until 1875, when the disease began to develop which ultimately caused his death. During a quarter of a century, Mr. Austin was perhaps the most prominent preacher in Central New York. He was well known through the country, and had at some time been heard in nearly every village from Auburn to Lake Erie. He was a profound theologian, and a preacher and debater of great power. One of the grandest successes of his life, was in a theological discussion at Genoa with Rev. Mr. Holmes, a Methodist preacher. It was so ably conducted on the part of Mr. Austin, that it was said many who heard him were converted to his views. He was a man of undaunted courage, with a cheerful disposition, faith and hope that never faltered, and a deep emotional nature; these qualities, combined with his logical arguments, made him very effective and often irresistible as a preacher. Secretary Seward, at one time, began a life of John Quincy Adams, which was neglected, and finally abandoned for want of leisure, and, at the request of Mr. Seward, Mr. Austin undertook and finished the work. Besides this, he was the author of several books of merit; among them "Voice to the Young," "Austin on the Attributes," "Golden Steps for the Young" and "Voice to the Married." He was of a social, affectionate nature which endeared him to a large circle of acquaintances, and, with his probity and honor, won the esteem of the entire community in which he dwelt. He was a kind husband and father, and leaves a wife (Amelia), three daughters and one son.