The following notes
are from letters Ralp Hausrath wrote to my sister Dawn Marie Austin abt.
Ira Austin was born in 1879 and died in 1928. I was about 10 when Ira died
and id not know him very well though I did visit at his house on Schmeelk
Place, Copiague now and then. I remember him as a rather chubby, friendly
man who worked as a carpenter and as one who headed a large family.
I knew that his mother, Sarah, and my grandfather, Stephen, had been divorced
when he was but a boy, but I did not know much about his upbringing. As
a young man, I Ira had done as many of the Austin men before him had done---he
had joined the Life Saving Service. However, he was the only one of the
family I know of who had been in service on Long Island's North Shore.
His station had been at Eaton's Neck, a finger of land that juts out into
the Long Island Sound near Northport. Though the sound was a somewhat protected
body of water between Connecticut and Long Island and was not subject to
the heavy seas that so often pounded the South Shore beaches, it was very
heavily traveled because of steamers and other traffic going from the Port
of New York to the many New England ports and could become the locale of
many shipping mishaps when the nor'easters rolled in.
I have been told that it was while on duty on the North Shore, Ira met
his future wife, Lucinda Cheshire. Known to me years later as "Aunt Lucy,
" she became the amiable mother of a large household. The five children
of Ira and Lucy were, Viola, Myrtle, Walter, Stephen, and Florence. By
the time I, (Ralph Hausrath), was in high school, Viola, Myrtle, and Walter
had already married and left the parental home on Schmeelk Place, Copiague.
I think Stephen moved out also about this time leaving only Florence still
at home. For a time, I know Stepehn lived in a cottage down on Howell creek
near the end of Austin Place where I lived. I think he had married and
had a wife living there with him, but I am not sure. Ira had died by this
time and Lucy and Florence were still at Schmeelk Place. I do not know
much more of the happenings there until after World War II when I heard
Florence ahd married and that Lucy had moved into a smaller house on the
Schmeelk Place property were she was then living with an Edward Schmitz.
Florence married a man name Stine, I believe , and they lived in the big
house that had once belonged to her parents.
Research notes from Diana
and Dawn Austin:
Ira Chichester Austin is listed as being 1 year old on the 1880 Federal
Census. He is living with his Father and Mother, Stephen and Sarah, (Chichester
was her maiden name), Austin. His father's occupation is laborer. They
lived next to Abraham and Margaret Austin, Stephen's parents. On the other
side lived a cousin, Thomas Austin and his wife Melissa. Ira is listed
in the 1900 Federal Census, taken June 14, 1900, in his Father, Stephen's
household. They lived in Babylon Town, Suffolk County, New York. Ira is
now married. His wife, Lucinda, is listed in the household as daughter-n-law.
The Sarah listed as wife to Stephen is Sarah Ann Turner, Ira's stepmother.
His Father divorced Sarah Chichester in 1886. His half sister Ethel Mae
is also listed, along with Walter, his brother, and Alexander Henry, a
boarder. Ira and his Dad are both in the United States Life Saving Service
now. Also found on the 1900 Federal Census, taken June 04, 1900 is Ira
and Lucinda Austin living int the Village of Northport, Town of Huntington,
New York. His occupation is United States Life Saving Service. Probably
when he was to be stationed at Eaton's Neck, where his son Walter was born.
1910 Federal Census lists Ira, Lucinda and their children living in Huntington
Town, Suffolk Co., New York. Ira's occupation still listed as United States
Life Saving Service. The 1920 Federal Census is the last to find Ira listed.
He died in 1929 due to complications from pneumonia. In 1920 he and his
wife live in Copiague, Babylon Twn., Suffolk Co., New York. Three of his
five children are still living at home. His occupation is now listed as
carpenter. In the 1930 Federal Census Lucinda is listed as a widow. She
lives on Schmeelk Place in Copiague, Babylon Twn., Suffolk Co., New York.
Station Eatons Neck, New
Location: On Eatons Point,
at Eatons Neck Light, east side entrance to
Huntington Bay; 40-57' 10"N
x 73-24' 00"W
Date of Conveyence 1875
Station Built: 1849
Fate: Still in operation
Station Type: 1849-Type;
rebuilt as an 1875-Type in 1876
Eatons Neck (#94) Not a lot is known about this station, one of the first,
believed to have been built
on a site on the "eastside entrance to Huntington Bay, Long Island Sound"
in 1849. However, a notation is made that the station was "open for services
on November 15, 1876; it may have been rebuilt.
In 1937, the station was again listed as an active station and it remained
so until the beginning of World War II; it was still so listed in 1945.
It is still in operation as an active Coast Guard station.
The first known keeper is Darius Ruland, who was appointed at the age of
49 on September 14, 1876, and who left on November 10, 1893 because he
He was followed by Henry E. Ketcham, who was appointed on November 14,
1893, and served until retiring with thirty years’ service August 10, 1915.
Then came William S. Terry (February 11, 1916, until November 2, 1922,
when he retired with thirty years' service), George S. Weyant (reassigned
from Jones Beach station November 2, 1922, then reassigned to Amagansett
station June 2, 1924).
The station was listed as "discontinued as an active unit" from 1922 forward
and no keeper was assigned after George S. Weyant departed until C. E.
Conklin arrived on August 26, 1929 from his assignment as Assistant to
the Fourth District Commander. Even though the station was carried as discontinued,
he remained until his reassignment to the Rockaway Point station on June
26, 1933. Next, Chief Petty Officer W. Leach was reassigned from the Lone
Hill station in 1935, followed by Chief Petty Officer G. E. Anderson in
Ira Chichester Austin, Surfman:
More About Ira Chichester
Burial: 1929, Amityville
Cemetery, Amityville, Suffolk Co., LI, Ny.
Census 1: 1880, Babylon,
Suffolk Co., LI, New York.
Census 2: 1900, Huntington
Twn., Suffolk Co., New York.
Census 3: 1910, Huntington
Twn., Suffolk Co., New York.
Census 4: 1920, Babylon,
Suffolk Co., LI, New York.
Occupation: United States
Life Saving Service, Carpenter and Fisherman