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.