Ada Jenks Austin

Main St. Cemetery Marker: C12

Ada Jenks Austin was one of the many children listed on old cemetery records buried in the Main Street Cemetery.  She was only about 9 years old when she died. She was the daughter of Thomas Austin (1835-1892) and Julia Ann Kenyon Austin (1835-unknown).

The Austin Family came from Massachusetts to Downers Grove in 1864. Burgess Austin (1809-1888), the father of Thomas, bought several hundred acres of land here. With his wife  Lucinda Jenks Austin (1810-1895)  they raised a family of 4 children. Son Thomas married Julia Kenyon n 1858 in Downers Grove.  Julia was the daughter of Oliver Perry Kenyon and Mary Ann Hardenbergh Kenyon. Her parents moved from their farm in York Township to Downers Grove in 1871 and bought the old Baptist Parsonage at 5427 Main Street where Julia’s sister Helen would live until she died in 1937.

Thomas and Julia had a family of 5 children.  When Thomas died in 1892 records show all his children had died before he did. He was also listed as a widow by 1880 so Julia may have died before that. The children we know about are Charles L., Ada J., and Cora H. Records only show Ada buried in Main Street Cemetery but the other Austin children may also be buried here, also.  The burial place of Thomas and Julia is also unknown.

Burgess Austin and Thomas’s brother Daniel were buried in the Thurston Cemetery in Oak Brook. This cemetery was located west of highway Illinois 83 and south of I-88 on land owned by pioneer David Thurston (1808-1875) and used for a cemetery until 1903. In 1960 the cemetery was removed and over the years some 30 unidentified graves were moved to Butler Cemetery and Bronswood Cemetery. The rest of Ada’s family may be in one of the unidentified graves.

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