Henry and Thomas Austin, and perhaps other members of the family, were in business together by January 1876 at the very latest. A butchering business under the name “Austin & Bros.” appears in the D&B Directories from 1876 to 1878. Henry and Thomas, upon the retirement of their brother John, formed an official partnership in December 1880, and “opened out a general grocery store” in Jarvis & McDougall’s old stand, Cunningham Block.” The meat business was to be “carried on as usual” [CP 3 December 1880; 10 Dec 1880; 3]. The brothers operated a shop on the main street, and a slaughter house in an eight acre field south of Princess Street about which there were several complaints in the early 1880s. Business was good enough by 1883 that a 15×30 foot addition was put up on the back of their store [FFG 24 Nov 1883; 2]. By 1886, the brothers were dealing and selling cattle in the area and as far away as Toronto. The Gazette announced that Henry and Thomas (grocers and butchers) had dissolved their partnership in March 1889, that Henry Austin would continue to operate the old stand, and Thomas would “shortly commence in the same line in the store lately occupied by Daniel Duggan” [FFG 15 March 1889; 4].
24 Variant spelling: Austen. Variant entries: Austin & Austin; Austin and Brothers, and Austin Bros.
25 I have not seen a D&B directory for 1879. Henry Austin’s business appeared under his own name in 1880, until the partnership with Thomas was announced.