A bronze plaque, set in stone, is located on the lawn on the east side of the front entrance of Wilmington Public Library. It reads:
He heard sermons in stones, he read books in the running brooks and saw the good in everything
Memoria in Aeterna
Dr. George M. Austin
Physician Geologist Thinker
The bronze plaque was dedicated at the Wilmington Public Library on June 15, 1941, to the memory of the late Dr. George M. Austin, Wilmington physician, who gained wide recognition in the scientific world as a geologist and archaeologist. The plaque was made from a picture taken of Dr. Austin while he was examining a fossil by Dr. Kelley Hale. Charles Butterworth, a classmate of Dr. Austin at Wilmington High School, modeled the picture in clay and made a plaster cast which was later cast in bronze by Amos Massolini, professor of sculpture at Antioch College. The bronze plaque was placed on a large granite boulder found in a ravine on the Little Miami River, near the old powder mill.
Dr. Austin was born August 23, 1856, in Vernon Township. He graduated from Wilmington High School in 1880, studied medicine at Ohio Medical College in Cincinnati, graduating in 1883. After graduation, Dr. Austin began the practice of medicine in Wilmington, which he continued until his death in 1930.
Besides being a local physician, a few of Dr. Austin’s many accomplishments were: authored several monographs on scientific mounds within the limits of Clinton County; discovered geological fossil species in the limestone deposits of this area; and located the site of water wells supplying the city of Wilmington, at a time when the city was threatened with a serious water shortage.
When looking at the plaque and remembering Dr. Austin, consider this statement made by Dr. Robert Conrad, speaker at the plaque dedication:
“May it be an inspiration to all of us to look about us, and looking, to see, and seeing, to think.”
Excerpted from: “Bronze Plaque is Unveiled at Public Library.” Clinton County Democrat, June 19, 1941, p. 1.