Born in Ohio in 1849, Austin England lived most of his adult life near Newman, Douglas Co., Ill. England owned a farm four miles north of the town, but his interests lay primarily in business. He was a partner in a seed and feed store, worked as a broomcorn broker, and with partner Harlan Six operated a livestock shipping firm. England also owned and rented out farm land in several states, especially in the area near Norborne, Mo. He died in 1923.
The England Papers consist primarily of incoming business correspondence. Among his correspondents are James E. Craig, of the Trevett-Mattis Banking Co. of Champaign, Ill., and his brother George, a Tuscola, Ill., real estate broker. There are also several letters from England's Missouri tenants. Topics discussed include insurance matters, legal cases, and the livestock business. The collection also includes six business ledgers for the period, 1909-20.
Virginia Biddle Thode of Tuscola, Ill., England's great-granddaughter, donated these items to the Survey between 1981 and 1994.