History of Taylor County, Iowa: from the earliest historic times to 1910 by  Frank E. Crosson. Chicago, The S.J. Clarke Publishing Co. 1910
(transcribed by Linda Kestner: lfkestner3@msn.com)
Page 681
Leonard Cummings, one of the few remaining veterans of the Civil war, is now living in honorable retirement in a comfortable home in Blockton, but he was formerly identified with the farming interests of Gay township and still owns one hundred and twenty acres of land there, which is being operated by his son.  Mr. Cummings, of this review, was born in Jefferson county, New York, (page 682), August 15, 1842, a son of Alanson B. and Sophronia (Packard) Cummings, who were likewise born in the Empire State, the former in Oneida county.  The father was a cooper by trade and followed that pursuit throughout his active business career, and he also engaged in farming in the east.
Leonard Cummings was accorded good common school advantages and worked with his father on the farm during the period of his boyhood and youth.  He was but twenty years of age, when his patriotic spirit being aroused by the event of the Civil war, he offered his services to the government, enlisting as a member of Company E, Ninety-fourth New York Volunteer Infantry, in February, 1862.  His company became a part of the Army of the Potomac and being ordered south.  Mr. Cummings participated with his regiment in some of the most important battles fought on southern fields.  He was in the second battle of Bull Run, South Mountain and Antietam, where he was slightly wounded.  Later he participated in the battle at Fredericksburg, where he was severely wounded in the right hip and arm by a shell.  This wound incapacitating him for further service on the field, he was sent to the Harwood hospital at Washington, D. C. but was later transferred to St. Mary's hospital in Rochester, New York.  He was honorably discharged on the 23d of February, 1865.  Returning home after he was released from the hospital he was unable to do any manual labor for three years.  Later, as his strength returned, he worked with his father in the cooper shop.  At length, in 1869, he journeyed westward to Woodhull, Illinois, where he followed the cooper's trade for twenty years.  In the meantime having learned favorable reports concerning farming interests in the west, accordingly, in 1889, he came to Taylor county and purchased a farm of one hundred and twenty acres in Gay township. Taking up his abode thereon, he at once set himself to the task of improving the place.  He built to and remodeled the house, built fences, erected outbuildings and in due course of time had his fields under a high state of cultivation, from which he annually gathered good crops.  He farmed that place for nineteen years and at the end of that time, feeling that his capital was sufficient to enable him to take more comfort out of life, in 1908 he purchased a nice residence in Blockton and there took up his abode.  He rents his land to his son and is now living retired, deriving from his farm a rental that provides him with a good living.
It was prior to his enlistment in the Civil war that Mr. Cummings was first married.  He was but nineteen years of age when in 1861 he wedded Miss Mary Jane Kelley, who was a native of New York.  There is one son of that marriage, Leonard, Jr. who now resides in Oklahoma.  He lost his wife ere his removal to the west and it was while living in Illinois, in 1872, that he was married again, his second union being with Emily Elnora Johnson, a native of Mercer county, that state.  There is one son born of that marriage, Alanson B., who is married and conducts the home farm.  He has one child Ary Elton Cummings.
Mr. Cummings has always given stanch support to the republican party but he has never been an aspirant for public office, for he is of rather a retiring nature.  He is a member of the G. A. R. post at Woodhull, Ilinois.  He has seen the county developed into one of the rich agricultural centers of southwestern Iowa and has borne his full share in bringing this work about.  He has led a busy, useful and active life, and although he came to the west with no capital (page 683) he has through his energy, determination and perseverance accumulated a good farming property from which he now derives a good income, so that he can spend his declining years in comfort and ease.