Biography of Lyman W. Austin

Entering the Union army near the close of the Civil war as a member of Company F, First Iowa Cavalry, at the age of seventeen, and acquiring in that service, perhaps, a love of variety in scene and associations and adventure in life, and thereafter trying his hand at various occupations in a number of different places, but chiefly at farming. Lyman W. Austin worked gradually from his early home in the Mississippi valley to his present location in the mountains of Colorado, where he is not permanently and comfortably established on a good ranch of one hundred and seventy-five acres two and one-half miles north of Rifle, Garfield county. He was born on January 3, 1848, in Pike county, Ohio, and when he was four years old moved with his parents, Walter and Sarah (Kittles) Austin, natives of Maryland, to Iowa. The father was a successful farmer and an active Republican with an earnest interest in local affairs. Both he and his wife were Methodists. He died in 1866 and she is also dead. They had a family of nine children, four of whom are living: Isabelle, wife of William Nash, of Craig, Missouri; Martha; Josephine, wife of James Tyler; and Lyman W. The last named received a slender common-school education, and early in 1864, at the age of seventeen, enlisted in defense of the Union in the great Civil war whose end was then visibly approaching. He served two years, being mustered out in the spring of 1866. After the war he returned to his Iowa home and engaged in farming, continuing his operations in that state until 1871, when he moved to Holt county, Missouri. There he followed the same pursuit six years, then changed his residence to Ness county, Kansas, where he remained and farmed until 1890. At that time he came to Colorado and in 1899 purchased the ranch on which he now lives, which comprises one hundred and seventy-five acres, one hundred and twenty of which can be cultivated, the place having a good water right and plenty of water for sufficient irrigation. Here he raises good crops of hay, grain and potatoes and carries on a thriving stock industry. He belongs to the Woodmen of the World and the Grand Army of the Republic in fraternal circles and is a firm and serviceable Republican in politics. On March 21, 1867, he was married to Miss Mary E. Sitler, a native of Ohio and daughter of Peter and Anna M. (Bowers) Sitler, the father born in Pennsylvania and the mother in Maryland. Early in their married life they moved to Iowa where the father carried on blacksmithing extensively and profitably. Both were Methodists and in political faith the father was a Republican. Their family numbered nine children, one of whom, then Mrs. A. Powers, is deceased. The other eight are living: Martha, wife of James Adams, at Washington, Iowa; Clark, at the same place; Mrs. Austin, near Rifle, this state; Dilla; Peter, at Oskaloosa, Iowa; Patience, wife of Clark Brown, at Wellman, that state; Collet, also at Wellman, Iowa; and Charles at Oskaloosa. Their mother died on October 26, 1883, and their father is also deceased. Mr. and Mrs. Austin have had six children. One died in infancy, and Charles, James, Dilla, Bertha (Mrs. Martin Roy, of Rifle) and Susan are living. Mr. Austin has been very active in promoting the progress and welfare of his community and ranks among its most useful and respected citizens.

Source: Bowen, A. W. Progressive Men of Western Colorado. Chicago: A. W. Bowen & Co., Publishers. 1905.

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