While our physical offices are closed until further notice in accordance with Austin's COVID-19 "stay home-work safe" order, the Handbook of Texas will remain available at no-cost for you, your fellow history enthusiasts, and all Texas students currently mandated to study from home. If you have the capacity to help us maintain our online Texas history resources during these uncertain times, please consider making a 100% tax-deductible contribution today. Thank you for your support of TSHA and Texas history. Donate Today »


Aragorn Storm Miller

AUSTIN, JOHN OVERTON (1818–1910). John Overton Austin, farmer and state representative, was born in Louisa, Virginia, in 1818, the son of David Shelton and Polly (Lowrey) Austin. Prior to 1848 Austin emigrated from Virginia to Missouri. Here, in Lafayette, Austin married Missouri Jones on March 23, 1848. This couple had three sons and one daughter. Austin immigrated with his family to Texas in 1851. By 1860 Austin had settled in Fannin County and established himself as a farmer. At this time he was among the more prosperous members of the community, boasting $5,200 in personal and real estate property. After his first wife died in February of 1860, Austin married Minerva Jane Bassham in Fannin County on August 15, 1860. In 1870 Austin won election as representative, running as a Conservative Republican, for Fannin County to the Twelfth Texas Legislature. Austin died in Bonham, Fannin County, in 1910.


Austin—Affiliated Families (http://www.vanleerplus.org/austin.htm), accessed June 7, 2007. Floy C. Hodge, A History of Fannin County (Hereford, Texas: Pioneer, 1966). IGI Individual Record, "John Overton Austin" (http://www.familysearch.org/), accessed June 7, 2007. Patricia A. Newhouse, Fannin County, Texas, Federal Population Census, 1860 (Honey Grove, Texas: Patricia A. Newhouse, 1980).

Image Use Disclaimer

All copyrighted materials included within the Handbook of Texas Online are in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 related to Copyright and “Fair Use” for Non-Profit educational institutions, which permits the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA), to utilize copyrighted materials to further scholarship, education, and inform the public. The TSHA makes every effort to conform to the principles of fair use and to comply with copyright law.

For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml

If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.


The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Handbook of Texas Online, Aragorn Storm Miller, "AUSTIN, JOHN OVERTON," accessed May 26, 2020, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fau26.

Uploaded on June 9, 2010. Modified on October 23, 2014. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
visit the mytsha forums to participate

View these posts and more when you register your free MyTSHA account.

Call for Papers: Texas Center for Working-Class Studies Events, Symposia, and Workshops
Hi all! You may be interested in this call for papers I received from the Texas Center for Working-Class Studies at Collin College...

Katy Jennings' Ride Scholarly Research Request
I'm doing research on Catherine Jennings Lockwood, specifically the incident known as "Katy Jennings' Ride." Her father was Gordon C. Jennings, the oldest man to die at the Alamo...

Texas Constitution of 1836 Co-Author- Elisha Pease? Ask a Historian
The TSHA profile of Elisha Marshall Pease states that he wrote part of the Texas Constitution although he was only a 24 year-old assistant secretary (not elected). I cannot find any other mention of this authorship work by Pease in other credible research about the credited Constution authors...