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March 21, 2016 / Joanne Yeck

Buckingham Notables: The Austin Family, Part IV


Buckingham County, North River – Photo by Joanne L. Yeck

For Sale: Estate of Archibald Austin

Advertisements for the sale of plantations in Buckingham County frequently offer interesting details about life in the 19th century. This advertisement, which ran in the Richmond newspapers, in the spring and summer of 1843, was for the estate of Archibald Austin. It is striking that his widow, born Grace Richardson Booker, is referred to as Mrs. Grace Austin, rather than Mrs. Archibald Austin. (Grace was a Booker of the Booker Gold Mine.) Additionally, it reveals that, by mid-century, many of the oldest cultivated lands in Buckingham County may have been worn out and, that progressive planters, like the Austins, were already revitalizing their tracts by planting clover and plaster. This advertisement ran in Richmond’s The Whig:


THE undersigned will sell the Tract of LAND, of which the late Archibald Austin, dec’d, died, possessed, and upon which his widow, Mrs. Grace Austin now resides, in the county of Buckingham, containing about 966 acres. This land is located about 8 miles from the Court-house, 7 miles from the landing at Hardwiksville (Wingina) on the James and Kanawha River Canal, seven or 8 miles from an excellent Manufacturing Mill, and 1 ½ miles from the Slate River Academy. The north fork of Slate River and Austin’s Creek run entirely through this tract, affording 127 ½ acres of excellent bottom land; eighty-five acres of which on north river, are now in fine condition to produce Tobacco, Wheat and Corn. The flat land on Austin’s Creek is sufficiently fertile to produce grain of every kind without any aid whatever, and with judicious cultivation might be made rich enough to produce Tobacco of a very fine quality. All the cleared high land was originally a very superior quality, and is susceptible of a very high degree of improvement as is very apparent from the fact, that some 40 or 50 acres of the oldest and most worn parts of the tract, have, within the last few years been converted by the use of Clover and Plaster alone into rich and productive Tobacco lots. Between three and four hundred acres of the high land is now in original growth, one hundred acres of which is first rate Tobacco land. There is on the tract a great abundance of excellent plant land. The improvements are an excellent two story Dwelling House, entirely new, large and commodious, having two rooms and a passage above and below stairs, and a wing; a new Stable, Granary, Threshing Machine, two framed Tobacco Barns, all built of the very best materials, and all out-houses necessary for so large and establishment, in excellent repair. This land is well watered and situated in a healthy, agreeable, intelligent and moral neighborhood. A more particular description is unnecessary, as it is presumed all persons wishing to purchase will view the land and judge it for themselves.

The undersigned will also sell another Tract of Land adjoining the above, containing between 12 and 1300 acres. There are several Creeks running through this tract affording some three or four hundred acres of land, of very fine quality, which produces good crops of Grain, Grass and Tobacco. The Tobacco raised on this land at all times commands the highest prices, much the largest portion of this land is yet in original growth, heavily timbered with Pine, Oak and Chesnut (sic). As all the persons interested in the above tracts of land are desirous to remove to Missouri, the undersigned will sell them upon the most liberal and accommodating terms. – The lands will be shewn to persons wishing to see them by Thomas Austin, or either of his brothers living on them, or Dr. James M. Austin, who resides at Buckingham Court-house.

GRACE AUSTIN, Executrix and



Executors of A. Austin, deceased.

The Enquirer will copy.


The move to Missouri was either postponed or never happened. In 1850, Grace Austin still resided in Buckingham County with her son, Thomas, and her daughters, Frances and Grace. Dr. James M. Austin lived at Buckingham Court House.

Land tax records indicate that some or all of the land was transferred to the children and/or husbands of the Austin family, including the Wrights and Twymans.

Click here for more about Slate River Academy.

Was the Manufacturing Mill mentioned Fallsburg Mills? Click here to learn more about that property:

For Sale: Fallsburg Mills

Fallsburg Mills: Part II

Coming Next: Slate River Lands for Sale!

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