Stephen F. Austin

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Stephen Fuller Austin (November 3, 1793 – December 27, 1836), known as the Father of Texas, led the second and ultimately successful colonization of the region by bringing 300 families from the United States. The capital of Texas, Austin in Travis County, Austin County, Austin Bayou, Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, Austin College in Sherman, as well as a number of K-12 schools are named in his honor.


Early years

Stephen F. Austin was born in the mining regions of southwestern Virginia (Wythe County), in what is now known as Austinville, some 195 miles (314 km) west of Richmond, Virginia.[1] He was the second child of Moses Austin and Mary Brown Austin, the first, Eliza Austin, having lived only one month. On June 8, 1798, when he was four years old, his family moved 40 miles west of the Mississippi River to the lead mining region in present-day Missouri. His father Moses Austin received a Sitio[2] from the Spanish government for the mining site of Mine á Breton, established by French colonists.

When Austin was eleven years old, his family sent him to be educated at Bacon Academy in Colchester, Connecticut and then at Transylvania University in Lexington, Kentucky, from which he graduated in 1810.[3] After graduating, Austin began studying to be a lawyer; at age twenty-one he served in the legislature of the Missouri Territory. As a member of the territorial legislature, he was "influential in obtaining a charter for the struggling Bank of St. Louis."[4]

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