Biography - John Logan Cummins

JOHN LOGAN CUMMINS is an intelligent, wide-awake farmer, and a native of Johnson County, who is carrying on his occupation on the old homestead on section 36, Grantsburg Township, where he was born, and which is now his property. His father was Samuel A. Cummins, who was born and roared in Kentucky. He left his native State in the vigor of early manhood, ambitious to enjoy the advantages offered by the cheap lands and rich virgin soil of the more newly settled State of Illinois. He was accompanied by others, and the little company purchased a flat-boat, in which they placed their earthly possessions, and pushing from the shore, commenced their momentous journey, propelling their craft with poles. A man on each side of the boat at the bow would put one end of his pole in the bottom of the river, and holding the other against his shoulder, would then walk to the stern of the boat, pushing as he went, and in that manner the adventurers literally pushed themselves into a new country, arriving at their destination some time in 1845. They found southern Illinois an unreclaimed wilderness, with only a few scattered settlements, with scarcely any schools or churches or other signs of advancing civilization.
Mr. Cummins first selected a site near the present town of Temple Hill, Pope County, and building a cabin of logs, commenced the life of a pioneer, suffering from the privations and sacrifices incidental to establishing a foothold in a frontier settlement. Three years later he came to Johnson County and chose a fairly good tract of land for his future home. He worked with characteristic energy to transform it into a farm, and in due time had it in an excellent condition. He erected a set of very good buildings, which were unfortunately destroyed by fire, and he replaced them as he was able, and the same buildings are occupied by his son, of whom we write. Among other improvements he planted an orchard of seven acres, which has since yielded fruit to bless his memory. He was obliged to destroy much fine timber when he was clearing his land, deadening the trees, and then burning them to get them out of the way. He met with more than ordinary success in his undertakings, and was one of the solid men of the county, accumulating a handsome property, and at one time owning over seven hundred acres of land. He was a self-educated man, acquiring a good practical knowledge of things without much assistance from the schools, and was able to attend to business transactions with good judgment and dispatch. He was one of the most useful and energetic of the pioneers who settled in this county, and the great changes that he witnessed in its development from a wilderness to a well-improved country were partly brought about by his untiring industry. He died April 28, 1883, and three years later, in the month of January, the brave partner of his labors and of his joys and sorrows followed him to his last resting-place among the dead. The following are the twelve children born unto them: Washington, who died in childhood; Virginia, who died in Johnson County; Sophia, wife of James Helm, of Samoth, Massac County; Peter A., a farmer at Reevesville; Harriet A., who is living with her brother on the old home place; Cornelia, living at Reevesville; Deborah A., wife of John Kelton, of Paducah, Ky.; Arminta, wife of Richard Boyles, of Samoth; John Logan; Martha and Mary, twins, who died in infancy; and Idora, wife of Robert Knuckolls, of Metropolis.
The subject of this sketch is the ninth child of the family, and the pleasant old homestead where he was born is still his dwelling-place. His education was conducted in the public schools, and the farm afforded him an ample training ground to become proficient in all branches of agriculture. He assisted his father, remaining an inmate of the parental household until death removed his father and mother, and he administered upon the estate, subsequently purchasing the homestead of fifty-six acres, and has always lived upon it. It is well tilled, is supplied with all the necessary buildings and apparatus for conducting farming successfully, and is a valuable piece of property.
After his mother's death, which occurred January 22, 1885, our subject was married to Miss Sarah Grifith, who was from Pope County, where her people now live. Their cheerful, cozy home is gladdened by the presence of the three children that have hallowed their union, and whom they have named Ora, Idora Bell and Lucy Ann. Mr. and Mrs. Cummins are exemplary members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and earnest workers in the Sunday-school, and are held in true respect and confidence by the entire community, where they are so well known.

Extracted 23 Apr 2016 from 1893 Biographical Review of Johnson, Massac, Pope, and Hardin Counties, Illinois, pages 232-233.

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