m. 11 Jun 1843
Facts and Events
History of Perry L. Austin and Family by Perry L. Austin 1918
Ancestry and Childhood
My grand father John Austin was born July 15, 1789 and raised in Vermont and also my Grandmother Lucy French was born November 28, 1786 and they were married there August 5, 1805. They emigrated to western New York about a year after they were married. They went there with an ox team; they located in the town of East Hamburgh, twelve miles south of Buffalo. Grandfather built a little log house and moved in before he had the outside door on, and he had to go to Buffalo, so he left Grandmother, with a little baby girl in bed and his rifle at the head of the bed and a blanket up to the door. She saw the blanket move, so she took the rifle and fired, she re-loaded the rifle but heard no more noise. Grandfather got home just before dark and there lay a large black bear. He called to Lucy and she was all right. So he rolled the bear out of the way and went in and after a while he went out and dressed the bear so they had meat and a nice robe. The baby’s name was Eliza, she was born July 15 1807. The next child born was a girl Culista, born June 22, 1809. The next was my father Harmon. He was born August 6, 1811. The next was James, born Nov. 1, 1818. Next was Ira, He was born July 11, 1819, Next Phidelia, she was born Oct. 8, 1821. Next Harriet was born April 8, 1825 and the next, Sophia, born June 8, the year 1828. Grandmother Austin died when she was Seventy-four years old in 1854. Grandfather Austin died when he was eighty-six years old in 1866. I was in the Army, was home on a furlough a short time before his death which was at the time of President Abraham Lincoln’s re-election. Grandfather Austin was totally blind for six years and bedridden for two years before he died. Their oldest daughter married Bltis(?sp) Colvin, the second married Joseph Putney, the third married Syrous Mills and the fourth Perry Parks. The fifth married James Hull. My father married Jane Wilson. She lived about a year and died. Then nearly two years later, my father Harmon Austin married Elvira Parks, my mother. Perry L. Austin, their oldest child was born June 17, 1844. I have three brothers, Lafayette C. Austin, born May 16, 1847, then Herman Delose, born August 5, 1853, then Cassius P. born Dec. 28, 1855. And I had one sister Emma Jane Austin, June 8, 1862. Jane R. Austin died March 10, 1842, Harmon Austin's first wife. They were married March 16,1841. He then married Elvira Parks June 11, 1843. My father Harmon Austin died when he was sixty-two years old on Nov. 16, 1873. My mother Elvira Austin died when she was eighty three years old in 1906.. Grandfather James Parks was born in Mass., and so was Grandmother Polly Brown, her maiden name. After they were married they emigrated to Western N.Y. and settled in the town of West Hamburg on what is now called the copper road. They built a log house and began life there. Grandmother Parks was second cousin to Commodore Perry and was proud of it. They had six children, their oldest, Sarah Parks, married Philander Rathbone, the next, Perry Parks, who married my father’s sister, Harriet Austin. The next, my mother Elvira Parks then next was Elizabeth Parks, she married Frank Oaks. Next was Parley Parks who married Josephine Fish. The next was Julia Parks and she married Truman Clough. I began going to school at the age of three. My aunt Julia Parks was my teacher. I was raised on a farm adjoining my Grandfather Austin’s farm and he had a saw mill, water powered. So when there was water I used the mill apart of the night and went to school. I was 12 years old when I united with the Baptist Church at White Corners in May 1856. I was baptized in the eighteenth mile creek near Watervalley. Buffalo was our market. I have sold beach and maple wood for one dollar and a half per cord and potatoes for 10 cents per bu. and strawberries for three cents a quart. Oh those were great times, lots of wild fruit and nuts. It was a common thing to see wagon loads of butternuts, walnuts and hickory nuts and bushels of chestnuts and beechnuts and such husking bees and rearing bees and oh the cider and doughnuts. We used to make all the maple sugar and syrup we wanted to use the year around. Talk about buckwheat cakes and Johnnycake! We used to have those. Those were the happy days and the fourth of July was a day long to be remembered. Patriotism, the country was full of it then. The Presidential campaign of Abraham Lincoln, it was not long before the country was full of “Wide Awakes” and I joined them and went out in the torchlight processions. Those were lively days.
Then the war broke out, I enlisted three times before father would give his consent. I enlisted at a war meeting in the old Methodist church at White Corners the third time so he concluded to let me go. I served two years and eleven months and fourteen days. I met President Lincoln, in Washington D.C. and had the honor of shaking his hand, in Camp Relief he called me the second rail-splitter. I was not in my uniform yet, I was in my every day clothes that I wore on the farm and was the tallest man in my company. It was M Co. Scott's, 900, Cavalry. Went on the first raid the second day after I got into camp. It rained all the time we were out which was two days, so I was pretty well initiated by the time I got back to Camp Relief. Was at our head quarters for nineteen months, then we got orders to New Orleans. We had another trip along Cape Hatteras, got to New Orleans the fourth of July, sixty-four. Stayed there three days then we went up the Mississippi River, doing patrol and scouting throughout Louisiana, went up Red River with Gen. Banks, came back to Baton Range, stayed there three months, went on the Pascagoula raid from there we started out with six days rations, was gone thirty days, foraged our living till we met the transport and at Key West we got aboard of the transport and went back to Baton Range. Then we went to Vicksburg and nearly froze to death. It was zero weather. We went from there to Memphis Tennessee from there to Germantown Tenn. We did patrolling and scouting duty there till the close of the war. Had a good many battles with the Bushwhackers while there. We were mustered out of the service at Memphis Tennessee. Came home by way of Chicago, Ill. Got our Discharge at Buffalo N.Y. June 18, 1865. Got home in time to celebrate my birthday June 19, 1865.
After the War
After a few days at home I made a visiting tour, then got back to the work I had done before the war. I was married Sept. 27, 1866 to my wife Arabell L. Stoddard. Father Austin helped me get a farm and I began housekeeping on the 8th of December 1866. We sold our farm April 12, 1869 to my brother Lafayette and I took a trip west looking for land. On the way back home I stopped at Buroy Junction and hired out on a farm owned by Henry Knox for six months. I hired out to my wife’s uncle T.C. Estie, at Waukegan Illinois and run the Ed Dennis farm for him till he sold the farm to Judge McAllister in 1873. I worked for the Judge till he sold the farm in 1876, and then I moved to town and began working at my trade as a carpenter and joiner for the Porter Brothers. I bought a lot in the Ladds and George Additions to Waukegan and built our home on it, where we spent many happy hours and went through some severe trials… We had two fine boys, when we started there. The oldest was. Willis S. Austin who was born in East Hamburg, N.Y July 18, 1868, and Grover B. Austin who was born in East Hamburg July 17, 1873. We lost him there with typhoid fever Nov. 22, 1882. We lost another baby boy here, Freddie Austin. He was born Nov. 17, 1880. He died Nov. 19, 1880. Charlie Austin was born Jan. 20, 1877 and the youngest was Jessie E. Austin, born May 25, 1888. I lost my darling wife June 13, 1900. Her maiden name was Arabell L. Stoddard and she was born April 28, 1848. Her death was caused by blood poisoning. I commenced as a builder and contractor with my son Willis S. Austin who had been in with Henry Crosby in 1884, went on the retired list in 1908. Was elected President of the contractors association in 1902, served six years. I was elected deacon of the first Baptist church of Waukegan Illinois in 1914. I served as commander of the Waukegan Post G.A.R. 374, in 1904 and again in 1919. Served as noble grand of the Waukegan Lodge I.O.O.F. 795 in 1913. I was a member of the Rebecca’s and Honor Member of the W.R.C. and the Daughter of the G.A.R. and a Son of Veterans and have taken great pleasure in lodge work and great comfort in church work. Took part in the Dedication of Service Flag at the high school and Swedish church and the order of the Ben Hurs and the First Baptist Church in April 1918. This was first written by Perry L. Austin in May 1918.