CWRU Links

AUSTIN, SAMUEL

AUSTIN, SAMUEL (16 June 1850-23 May 1936), founder of the AUSTIN COMPANY, world-wide builder of factories and public buildings, was born in the village of Orton, Waterville in England, the son of Thomas and Mary Austin. An apprentice carpenter and joiner in England, he came Cleveland in 1872 where he practiced his trade, becoming an independent carpenter-contractor in 1878 and establishing a shop at Broadway and Gallup Streets (4401 Broadway) about 1883. By the turn of the century, Austin was building manufacturing plants across northern Ohio and as far away as Chicago, including plants for CLEVELAND WORSTED MILLS and CANFIELD OIL COMPANY. When his son, WILBERT J. AUSTIN joined him in 1901, they formed a stock company, and 3 years later incorporated as The Samuel Austin & Son Company with capital of $25,000, joining construction expertise with his son's engineering background. In 1913, the company constructed its general headquarters at Euclid Ave. and Noble Rd., and the firm officially became the AUSTIN CO. on 11 Apr. 1916. Samuel Austin was president of the company from 1878 to 1924 when he became Chairman of the Board, a position he held until he died.

In 1874, he married Sarah Gynn. They had a son WILBERT J. AUSTIN, and four daughters, Mrs. William Manchester, Mrs. Lillian Ferguson, Mrs. John Shimmon and Mrs. Herbert Whiting. Two years after Sarah's death on 3 June 1933, Samuel married Louise Allen. Austin died at his residence in Willoughby and was buried at LAKE VIEW CEMETERY.


Shirk, Charles A. The Austin Company: A Century of Results, WRHS.

Greif, Martin. The New Industrial Landscape (1978).