|Birth: ||Nov. 21, 1818|
|Death: ||Nov. 26, 1892|
SAMUEL WILSON AUSTIN, an influential financier of Montgomery County and for many years Cashier of the First National Bank of Crawfordsville, was born in Garrard County, Ky., November 21, 1818. He is the son of John B. and Nancy (Van Holt) Austin, natives of Virginia, who settled in Kentucky early in life and thence, in 1828, removed to Indiana, settling two miles west of Crawfordsville. Amid pioneer scenes, bravely enduring the hardships incident to life on the frontier, the father toiled for his family and worked unweariedly for their welfare. He purchased land and engaged in tilling the soil. He also taught school, and in addition to this served as a minister in the Missionary Baptist Church. A devout and pious man, he was admirably qualified for ministerial duties, and his services were in constant requisition in that capacity. While preaching he also aided in the erection of a number of houses of worship.
With the early history of this county John B. Austin was closely identified, both in a private and official capacity. He was the first auditor of the county and filled that position for sixteen years, having been first elected in September, 1842. In early life he was a Democrat, later affiliated with the Whigs, and upon the organization of the Republican party, gave his support to its principles, remaining one of its most stanch advocates until the time of his death. He was a man whose influence was always extended on behalf of public-spirited measures and philanthropic projects, and poor and rich alike mourned his loss; when, in 1868, he closed his eyes upon the scenes of earth. His useful existence covered a period of four-score and one years and his was a life of integrity, usefulness and honor, a priceless heritage to his children. He had removed from his farm to Pleasant Hill, and after residing there for five years had returned to Crawfordsville, where his death occurred.
In the parental family there were ten children, of whom eight grew to maturity and five still survive, viz.: Samuel W.; Catherine, a widow; Nancy, Mrs. H. P. Ensminger; Harriet, the widow of William Campbell and a resident of Crawfordsville; and Abner, who is an attorney in Thornton. Mary married and died when a young woman; John, deceased, was formerly engaged in the mercantile business in Rensselaer; Martha, Mrs. William Hartman, died at the age of seventy-three. The subject of this sketch, Samuel W., became familiar with farming early in life, and also acquired a thorough knowledge of clerical duties. For a time he was employed in a store at Pleasant Hill. When his father was elected Auditor he became his clerk and also served as his book-keeper for a period of fourteen years.
In 1856 Mr. Austin became book-keeper for the large establishment of Campbell, Galey & Harter, filling that position for twelve years, until the 1st of January, 1868. He was offered the position of book-keeper of the First National Bank, and, accepting the place, discharged its duties acceptably for fifteen years, when, in 1883, he was promoted to the office of Cashier. He continued in that position, with the exception of one year, until about 1891, since which time, owing to ill-health, he has lived somewhat retired from active business, though he still retains his connection with the bank. He is conceded to be one of the best bookkeepers in this part of the State, and, having had forty-two years' experience in that line, is thoroughly competent and informed.
Politically, Mr. Austin is a stanch adherent of the principles advocated by the Republican party and has cast his ballot at every township election since William H. Harrison became President of the United States. Socially, he is identified with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. He was first married in 1842, his wife being Nancy Beaver, and they became the parents of four children: Archile, Albert, Henry and Frank, all of whom reside in Crawfordsville. Mrs. Nancy Austin passed away in 1860 and our subject was again married, in March, 1862, choosing as his wife Minnie Munns. This lady died November 17, 1865, leaving one child, now Mrs. Minnie McKnight, who lives with her grandmother, Mrs. Munns. The lady who on the 8th of March, 1868, became the wife of Mr. Austin was formerly Matilda Swearingen, the daughter of John and Mary (Armstrong) Swearingen. Her father removed in 1823 from Kentucky to Yountsville, becoming one of the first settlers of this part of the State. He had one son, James G., who still makes his home in Yountsville.
John B. Austin (1782 - 1868)
Nancy VanHook Austin (1788 - 1852)
Nancy B. Bever Austin (1822 - 1860)
Minnie Munns Austin (1836 - 1865)
Matilda Swearingen Austin (1825 - 1902)
Oak Hill Cemetery
Created by: R & Kim Hancock
Record added: Jan 02, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 46250515