Person:Charles Austin (11)

Charles Perry Austin
m. 27 Sep 1866
  1. Willis S Austin1868 - 1954
  2. Grove B Austin1873 - 1882
  3. Charles Perry Austin1877 - 1951
  4. Freddie Austin1880 - 1880
  5. Jessie Elvira Austin1882 - 1943
  • HCharles Perry Austin1877 - 1951
  • WMabel Gray1872 - 1936
m. 4 Sep 1906
  1. Rev. Joseph Perry Austin1908 - 1991
  2. Philip Leslie Austin1910 - 2004
Facts and Events
Name Charles Perry Austin
Gender Male
Birth? 20 Jan 1877 Waukegan, Lake, Illinois, United States
Marriage 4 Sep 1906 to Mabel Gray
Death? 25 Oct 1951 Waukegan, Lake, Illinois, United States
Burial? Gurnee, Lake, Illinois, United StatesWarren Cemetery

Charlie was born in 1877 in Waukegan, Il. When he was 6 years old, he was stricken with polio which left him crippled for life. Once when he was a young man, he was walking along Belvidere Rd, he ran into the strreet to stop a runaway horse pulling a carriage with a young woman with long Auburn hair. He did not know her at the time, but she was Mabel Gray, who he would meet again several years later and eventually marry in 1906. They had a farm on Grand Ave. along the Yeoman Creek across from what is now Yeoman Park. Charlie worked in Chicago as an Architectural Draftsman for Holabird and Roche, one of the famed Chicago School firms.

About 1924, Charlie moved his two sons, Perry, Philip and wife Mabel to Three Oaks Michigan where they operated a truck farm for several years. They would load vegetables into their Model T Ford pickup and drive into Union Pier on Lake Michigan to sell. For safety, Charlie had wired a bell to ring whenever he stepped on the brake. The boys would crouch down in the bed of the truck to avoid being seen, because every time Charlie stepped on the brake, the bell would ring and everybody would turn and stare.

Perry had been held back in school because of illness so both he and Phil were in the same class, graduating in 1927 from Three Oaks High School as Valadictorian and Salutatorian, respectively. About that time Charlie sold the farm and he and Mabel moved back to Waukegan where he bought a house and invested in rental property. Soon came the depression and the banks closed, first taking his savings and then foreclosing on his property when he could not make the payments. He lost about $50,000, a goodly sum at the time.

In 1936, Charlie and Mabel travelled to Michigan on a weekend trip with his sister, Jessie and her husband, Clarence Brunicon. While they were returning they were in an auto accident and Mabel was killed instantly.

During the depression Charlie made do with whatever work he could find, he painted signs for the city, worked as a carpenter, a trade he had learned from his father and older brother Willis, who were carpenters and general contractors in Waukegan. In the 1940's Charlie found work as a research assistant at the Northwestern University observatory in Evanston. After he retired he bought a five acre farm in Winthrop Harbor, built a small house where he lived until his death in 1951.

  1.   Austin Families Association of America.