HERBERT WARREN AUSTIN.
The name of Herbert W. Austin is one familiar to the citizens of Sonoma county, not alone through his long and
able service as county supervisor, but also through his accomplishments as a rancher, owning and maintaining one
of the finest ranches in the township of Santa Rosa. Many generations of the Austin family had lived and died in
Canada, and the first to venture from family traditions and establish the name on California soil was James Austin,
the father of our subject, who with his family came to the west in 1868. A detailed account of the life of James
Austin will be found elsewhere in this volume.
The third child in the family of James and Anna (Peasley) Austin was Herbert W. Austin, who was born August 2,
1854, in the province of Quebec, Canada, where he was well educated in the public schools, and after coming to
California with his parents in 1868, completed his scholastic training in the Pacific Methodist College in Santa
Rosa. With the close of his college days he returned to the family homestead and remained with his parents until
establishing home ties of his own. His firt independent efforts as a rancher were on a portion of the old homestead
which he rented from his father, and here on a large scale he engaged in stock raising, dairying and fruit growing.
Subsequently he purchased a part of the interest of the other heirs in the home property, and now owns six hundred
acres of excellent land, a part of which is under cultivation, while the remainder is used for pasturage and stock
raising. By unfailing industry he has brought the property up to a high point of excellence, and there are few
if any more attractive or more desirable ranches in the county.
Mr. Austin's marriage, September 22, 1880, united him with Miss Julia C. Maison, a native of San Francisco, where
she was also educated. Three children were born of this marriage, as follows: Louis C., who is in the employ of
Miller, Sloss & Scott, of San Francisco, and who since 1910 has been assistant manager of their Los Angeles
branch; Ethel V. and Mervyn M. Politically Mr. Austin is a stanch Republican, and it was on the ticket of this
party that he was elected to the office of county supervisor from the third district in 1896. At the close of his
first term he was reelected to the position in 1900, and again in 1904 and in 1908 he was made his own successor.
For the past seven years he has served as chairman of the board of supervisors, and in the meantime the present
fine court house has been built by the board. This building is conceded to be one of the finest structures for
the purpose in the United States, and it is said that it is the best building for the money in the world. The complete
cost of the building and furnishings was $520,000. Ever since the destruction of the old court house in the earthquake
of 1906 Mr. Austin has worked indefatigably for the construction of a new building, and he therefore takes special
pride in the accomplishments of the board in the present fine court house. As an indication of Mr. Austin's popularity
as man, citizen and office holder, it may be said that he is the only man who was ever reelected supervisor in
the third supervisorial district in the history of Sonoma county. He has represented the third district for the
past fifteen years and is now in his fourth term. Fraternally he holds membership with the Elks and the Red Men.
Personally he is a man of many noble qualities, fairness and honesty being basic characteristics, and he is honored
and respected by all who are privileged to know him.
History of Sonoma County, California
With a Biographical Review
History by Tom Gregory
Historic Record Company
Los Angeles, California 1911
Sonoma County, CA
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