Edgar Austin was born in Whitby in 1888 to a family of farmers. He attended school in Whitby and graduated from the School of Practical Science in 1909. Austin was first introduced to the mining industry in the summer of 1909 when he went to work at the Garson Mine as a mucker, a driller's helper, and a powder monkey. After spending a year working in Beaumont, Texas in an engineering office, Austin went back to school and obtained a Bachelor of Science degree.
After graduation, Edgar Austin returned to the north, settling in Copper Cliff then in Coniston in 1911. When the Mond Nickel Company relocated its smelter to the community from Victoria Mine, Austin got work as an Assistant Smelter Superintendent. In 1919, Austin was promoted to Smelter Superintendent and with the retirement of W.A. McDonnell in 1937, Edgar was put in charge of the entire plant - a position he held until his retirement on October 31, 1946.
Edgar Austin served as the Reeve of Neelon-Garson Township for two years and was the Mayor of Coniston from 1934 (when the town was incorporated) until 1946.
Edgar Taylor Austin is credited with designing the town of Coniston long before any buildings were had been constructed. As a young surveyor, Austin plotted the location for the Coniston Smelter and planned out the streets in the community.
Edgar and his wife Alice had one daughter, Betty, who later married Jim Davey and moved to Sudbury. The couple had three children: Bruce, Edgar, and Austin.
Material compiled from The Coniston Story II.