Biography of Austin Day
Orleans County, NY Biographies





Austin Day was born in Connecticut in the year 1790, being one of a family of thirteen children. His parents were Oliver Day and Diadema Beebe, embodying a marked progressive spirit they were not content with the offerings of their native State, they formed a colony with nine other families and started to better their condition. In the year of 1800 the colony moved to Bennington county, Vt., where Austin Day received his education, and after teaching for a time married Mary Chapman of Holland county, Conn., sister of the celebrated Doctor Chapman of Long Island, she also being a teacher. Mr. Day's father was a thrifty farmer, and Austin, inheriting the sterling qualities of his forefathers, became bent upon penetrating the western wilds; at twenty five years of age with their accumulations and stout hearts, with covered wagons and stock they began their long trip to the "Genesee country." In the summer of 1815 they bought their first farm in the town of Murray, and then began pioneer life in earnest within the confines of the dense forest. That section began to fill up rapidly. Being a man of energy and capability, he became at once a leading spirit in the work of the development of the resources of the country, establishing of schools, and the bettering of the conditions of the less fortunate emigrants. With a kind heart, sympathetic nature and open hand, he dispensed to the struggling ones material assistance and with the growth of the section grew his prominence. In 1826 the Erie Canal was completed, and from private life he was called to the superintendency of the canal, and during his office he developed (as much of the stone work at important points was rebuilt by him) into a contractor of note, as he displayed marked courage by making a canal contract along the Susquehanna River, which required three years to complete, proving a profitable undertaking, thus enabling him to materially increase his ownership of land in this county. He was elected sheriff, served one term, accepting the appointment of a judgship, serving in that capacity for five yerrs. In 1850 he retired from public life, devoting his time thereafter to the management of his farms, which consisted of about five hundred acres in the town of Murray. His motto was, "Owe no man anything." His life was one of sterling integrity united with a kind and sympathetic nature and of perfect morals, and well may it be said of him, "The world is better for his having lived in it." He gave to his wife the credit justly her due, as through her wise council and executive ability they were enabled to leave to their children a competency. His wife died in the year 1858. at the age of seventy six and he followed in 1874, aged eighty four, both being members of the Presbyterian Church. Their family consisted of Mary A. Buell of Holly, N. Y., deceased; Catharine M. Parsons of Albion, N.Y.; Ferdinand A. Day of Albion, N. Y.; Corydon Day who died in 1835, fifteen years of age.

From:
Landmarks of Orleans County, New York
Edited by: Hon. Isaac C. Signor
Assisted by: H. P. Smith and others
D. Mason & Co., Publishers
Syracuse, N. Y. 1894


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