Charles Cummings


There is no one in Allamakee county who has more truly earned the title of self-made man than Charles Cummings, a prosperous farmer owning one hundred and seventy-four acres in Franklin township and a carpenter by trade, which occupation he followed in earlier years for some time with gratifying success. He was born at Forest City, Iowa, May 1, 1879, and is a son of Thomas and Alice (Van Horn) Cummings, the father of a native of Ireland, where he was born in County Meath, September 10, 1832, and the mother of Johnstown, Pennsylvania, where her birth occurred March 21, 1848. Both have passed away, the father's death occurring November 1, 1905, and that of the mother June 17, 1911. The father in early life followed the occupation of a sailor on the Great Lakes and on the Mississippi river. He had come to this country with his father when a boy of but ten years of age, their first location being New Jersey. Later they came to Allamakee county, where Thomas Cummings subsequently married and became a landholder. Still later he went to western Minnesota, there engaging successfully in farming for twenty years, at the end of which period he returned to Franklin township in 1889. Here he settled upon a farm upon which he continued until his death, the mother also remaining there until she passed away. The father was ever interested in the welfare of his locality and prominent and influential with his fellow citizens, although he never aspired to public office.

Charles Cummings was the sixth of a family of seven children. He attended school at Walnut Grove in Monona township, Clayton county, and remained with his mother until 1903, when he moved to Monona, having previously learned the carpenter's trade. He worked at that occupation there for three years and then rented his mother's farm for seven years. In 19?? he bought the farm upon which he now resides. It comprises one hundred and seventy-four acres of fertile land, devoted to general farming and stock-raising. His buildings are kept in good repair and his land brings him rich harvests. He is modern and progressive and follows the latest methods, having installed up-to-date machinery and equipment upon his place. Mr. Cummings is also a stockholder in the Farmers Cooperative Creamery at Monona and in the Farmers Commission Company of that place, both of which organizations were founded in order to facilitate a more profitable disposal of farm products.

On March 26, 1903, Mr. Cummings was married to Miss Exa White, a native of Farmersburg, Clayton county, where she was born July 27, 1879, a daughter of Edward and Martha (Gast) White. The father was born in New Jersey, December 28, 1843, and died August 9, 1891, and the mother was a native of Indiana, her day of birth being August 2, 1841, and her death occurring April 30, 1913. The father came with his parents to Iowa, where they made settlement near Farmersburg, In Clayton county. There he grew to manhood, learning the carpenter's trade ,which he followed all his life. He died in that vicinity and the mother subsequently moved to Monona, where she made her home until her demise. Mrs. Cummings was the sixth in their family of seven children. Mr. and Mrs. Cummings have become the parents of two children: Evelyn Maxine, born May 15, 1904; and Thomas Edward, born February 7, 1906.

Politically Mr. Cummings is a democrat, taking an intelligent interest in all matters that affect the government. He has never aspired to official honors, however, preferring to give his support to worthy public measures as a private citizen. He is a member of the Modern Brotherhood of America but has no other fraternal associations. Such prosperity as has come to him is well merited, as it is but the outcome of intelligently applied efforts and what he has achieved is not only a source of satisfaction to him, but as part of the agricultural development which has taken place in Allamakee county, is a factor in the growth and progress that makes up this rich district in the middle west.

-source: Past & Present of Allamakee County; by Ellery M. Hancock; S. J. Clarke Pub. Co.; 1913
-transcribed by Cathy Joynt-Labath

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