Austin, Belfield Kirtley: Seventh Generation in America
The following data is extracted from The ABC Family Chronicles.
Belfield Austin continued living in Henry County, Missouri where on 28 October 1883 he married Gertrude Wilma Rhodus. While in Missouri they had five children: two of which died by 1890 of cholera. During the summer of 1898 the family moved to Shelby County, Illinois where Henry, Belfield's brother, was already living with his wife near Lakewood, Illinois. In November of that same year, Belfield and Gertrude had another son Herbert. Unfortunately on 29 Feb. 1899, "Mrs. Belfield Austin died at her home northeast of town (Lakewood)... and the remains were interred in the Harmon Cemetery Sunday. She leaves a husband and four children."
Belfield was left with children to care for, the youngest being a small baby. On November 6, 1899 C. A. Kellar assumed guardianship of the baby Herbert and moved to Colorado: Belfield K. Austin remained at his home near Lakewood until his death in 1943. His estate was administered by his son Gilbert. A public sale was held in May/June 1944 to sell two tracts of land and 1 tract of oil and mineral rights to satisfy the state of Illinois claims against the estate. The land was a five acre tract near Lakewood and five lots in Cowden.
Belfield's obituary read:
''Hatfield K. Austin, son of John and Louisa Austin, was born near Madison, Virginia, August 10, 1856 and died August 15, 1943.
He was united in marriage to Gertrude Wilma Rhodus. To this union six children were born, namely: Mrs. Grace Spracklin, of Champaign; Gilbert Austin, Tower Hill; Clarence Austin in defense work, location not exactly known; Hubert Austin, Nebraska; and George and Henry, both preceding their father in death.
Mr. Austin was a good neighbor in the community in which he lived and a man with outstanding character who had faith in his neighborhood.
Besides the children, he leaves 13 grandchildren and 8 great-grandchildren and one sister Mrs. Ed. Bowman, Lakewood, and a host of other relatives and friends.
Funeral services were held Tuesday at 2:00 pm at the Lockart Funeral Home, Rev. Harmon Etter of Pana officiating. Music was furnished by Mr. and Mrs. Otis Carter, Rev. Silas Wakefield and Mrs. Brumitt, accompanied by Ms. Verna Wakefield.
Pallbearers were: George Bauer, Henry Horseman, Dan Plowman, Leverett Russell, John Duckett and A. W. Moore."
Burial was in Harmon Cemetery.
Grace Belle Austin Spracklin Records
1918 Prairie Farmers' Directory of Shelby County, I11.
Shelby Co. Leader, 29 Feb. 1899
1899 Shelby Co., Ill. Probate Records
1943 Shelby Co., Ill. Probate Records
helbyville Daily Union, 23 August 1943 S
Source: The ABC Family Chronicles