Sunday, March 20, 2011

Backward Glance - Austin Sawyer Avery

picture of Austin taken in 1916
The son of James Christopher and Ruth (Coleman) Avery, Austin Sawyer Avery was born in Ohio on November 11, 1841, the third of four sons born to the couple. James' death date is uncertain, but in 1850, the family was living in Bath Township, Summit County, Ohio. 

In 1860, Austin and his brother Edwin were enumerated with their uncle, Joseph Coleman, in Nemaha County, Kansas. This particular census has obvious mistakes, so it is difficult to tell who is really who, but it looks like their mother and a man named Rust Willis were also enumerated with this family. Rust would be Austin's stepfather; but by 1865, Austin's mother was a widow living in Nemaha with Edwin's family.

On May 25, 1869, Austin married his first cousin, Esther Luella Coleman, in Rochester, New York. They moved to Kansas. They had two children, Judson  A. and Ethel. Austin and Esther were divorced on May 22, 1876. The children stayed with Austin.

Austin married Julia Jeannett "Nettie" Osborn in about 1879 in Kansas. They lived at the homestead pictured here, near Woodston, Kansas. They had four children: Emma Ruth, Russell Hugh, Byron Humphrey and Iva May. Nettie died from tuberculosis on January 1, 1905. 

On November 30, 1925, Austin died in Woodston, Rooks County, Kansas. He and Nettie are both buried at the Woodston Cemetery.


  1. Joleen, It just kills me that the house has gone to rack and ruin after all the work Austin and "Nettie" put into it. Darn! I wish I could move in and fix it. I love the front screened in porch.

    1. Thanks for stopping by. I've been away for quite a while, so just saw your comments. Are you familiar with the Avery house? Are you related to Austin and Nettie?