Pictorial and Genealogical Record
of
Greene County, Missouri

Together with Bibliographies of Prominent Men of Other Portions of the State, Both Living and Dead


LEMUEL B. AUSTIN. In the midst of the failures which occur on the sea of life, it is a real pleasure to chronicle the life of a man whose efforts have been crowned with success, and whose career has been as honorable in every particular as has that of L. B. Austin. A large class of the farmers and stockraisers of Greene County, Mo., are doing magnificent work in their line, and they deserve the utmost credit for the admirable way in which they have surmounted the many difficulties that have strewn their pathway. Mr. Austin's walk through life has been one of strict integrity, usefulness and success, and the fortune which he has accumulated enables him to enjoy to the fullest extent the true comforts of a home that is made beautiful by the sweet spirit of kindliness, mutual regard and appreciation among the members of the family. He was born in Greene County, Mo., November 14, 1836, a son of Greene and Nancy (Freeman) Austin, and grandson of Samuel Austin, who was a North Carolinian by birth and a soldier in the war of the Revolution for a short time, being discharged from the service on account of sickness. In 1835 he followed his son, Greene, to Greene County, Mo., and here took up some land, a portion of which is now in the possession of L. B. Austin. He followed farming throughout life, in which occupation he was successful and became wealthy. and during his residence here, up to the time of his death in 1854, he became well known and gained many friends. He was a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and in politics was a Whig, to the principles of which he clung all his life. He reared a family of eight children, three of whom are now living. All of the family came to Missouri except two children who remained in North Carolina. Their names were Anna, Mary, John, Greene, Jennie, Catherine, Sarah and Samuel. Greene Austin was born in the Old North State in 1805, and there he was brought up, receiving the advantages of the common schools, which were by no means the best, in his youth. He followed in his father's footsteps, and became a farmer and stockraiser, and in 1834, a number of years after his marriage in North Carolina, he came to Missouri and took up land in Greene County, upon which the Pickwick addition to the city of Springfield is now located. This tract, comprising 160 acres, he tilled for six years, then traded for a farm about three miles east of Springfield, which is now owned by his son, L. B. Austin. There he followed general farming until about 1880, when he retired from active business life, dying in 1885. He was always a Democrat, politically, and at all times took a deep interest in all movements for the improvement of his section, and was an earnest and active worker in the Methodist Episcopal Church, of which he was a member. His wife was a daughter of William and Mary (Collins) Freeman, who were North Carolinians, the former having been a soldier in the war of the Revolution. He reared a family of seven children, as follows: Redrick, Michael, John, Lawrence, Lemuel, James, Nancy, Fannie and Rachel. The parents of these children came to Greene County, Mo., about 1834, and here Mr. Freeman died in 1838 and his widow in 1845. They were also members of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Mr. Freeman was a Whig, politically, and being a pioneer became well known throughout Greene County. The most of their children came to Greene County, but the family also became represented in Indiana and in the Old North State. Mr. Freeman was a soldier in the war of the Revolution, and for services rendered during that time he was given a land grant in Missouri. L. B. Austin was left motherless in 1874, he and five other children surviving her: Mary, wife of William Robertson, died after rearing a family of seven or eight children who now live in Springfield; Louisa, who married Martin Beshears, died after becoming the mother of seven children, all of whom are now grown; Wesley is living in Benton County, Ark., is a man of family, an extensive farmer and stock dealer, and although reared in Greene County, has been a resident of Benton County since 1867; Bettie married Robert Adams, of Greene County, and died in 1859, leaving two small children, who are also dead; Lemuel B., the subject of this sketch, and Sallie, who married Job Rose, and died in 1859, leaving two children, one of whom died. Mr. and Mrs. Austin were among the very first settlers of southwest Missouri, where they were classed among its very finest citizens. In Greene County their name was a synonym for all that was kind, generous and hospitable, and their friends were, as a natural consequence, legion. L. B. Austin was born just on the outskirts of Springfield, and in the schools of that place he obtained his knowledge of the "world of books." He started in active business life at about the time of the opening of the Civil War. After the war he resumed farming, and that occupation and stockraising and trading have occupied his time and attention up to the present time. His estate comprises 462 acres of fine farming land, well improved, and much of his attention is given to raising and dealing in cattle. He is much interested in the breeding of Shorthorn cattle, and has some magnificent animals on his place. In politics he has always been a Democrat, and nearly always has been a delegate to county conventions, being active in the political affairs of his section. He is a Mason of many years' standing, and is a member of Solomon Lodge. He was married in 1863 to Miss Louisa J. Mitchell, a native of Greene County, born January 11, 1845 a daughter of George W. and Mary (Freeman) Mitchell, who became residents of this county about 1842, coming from the Blue Grass State, and dying here in 1860 and 1852, respectively. They were the parents of four children- Louisa J., Josie, Hosea and George, all of whom are dead except Josie, who lives in Illinois. Mr. Mitchell was a Democrat of pronounced type, was prominent in local political affairs, and held the office of justice of the peace and was recorder in the land office at Springfield for some time. He was a farmer by occupation, and he and his wife were members of the Presbyterian Church. Mrs. Austin, their daughter, was born and reared in Greene County, and after bearing her husband seven children, died on April 1, 1888. She was a life-long member of the Christian Church, was earnest in her labors for the welfare of humanity, and was a kind and considerate wife and mother. Their eldest son, Charles G., was born December 6, 1863, and died January 11, 1888. He was married to Miss Lulu Hubble, but died before their son, Charles H., was born. The second child, Mary E., was born March 17, 1864, and became the wife of Charles Tuthill, a prominent farmer of Campbell Township, by whom she has three children: Lemuel R., Lulu and Seth. Anna L. was born July 11, 1870; Victoria was born December 25, 1872; Albert M. was born September 4, 1875, and Blanche L., who was born July 3, 1880. Mr. Austin and his family are highly respected in the community in which they reside.

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