Austonio, on State Highway 21 fourteen miles southwest of Crockett in western Houston County, was established before 1900 and named Pearville.
In 1930 the community sponsored a contest to choose a new name. The winning entry came from Ruth Tucker, who suggested the name Austonio, a combination of Austin and San Antonio.
A consolidated school serving Austonio, Ash, Mapleton, and Creek opened in 1931, and a post office was established the following year. The community prospered in the years just before World War II, and in 1940 it reached a peak at a population of 150 and four stores. After 1945, however, the town began to decline.
The school was consolidated with the Lovelady school in 1964, and the post office was discontinued in 1971. Most of the businesses had closed by the late 1980s. In 1990 Austonio had a population of thirty-seven, which remained the same in 2000.
BIBLIOGRAPHY: Armistead Albert Aldrich, The History of Houston County, Texas (San Antonio: Naylor, 1943). Houston County Historical Commission, History of Houston County, Texas, 1687-1979 (Tulsa, Oklahoma: Heritage, 1979). Houston County Cemeteries (Crockett, Texas: Houston County Historical Commission, 1977; 3d ed. 1987).
Eliza H. Bishop
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