Cornelius B. Cummings (deceased), merchant, Pekin. Ill., was born in St. Lawrence County. N. Y., in December, 1832, being the son of James P. and Clarissa (Wilson) Cummings. His father was a native of Vermont and of English ancestry, the founders of the American branch of the family having come to this country over two hundred years ago. James P. was originally a merchant in St. Lawrence County, N. Y., and subsequently became a large land-holder. He was a Democrat in politics, and died in 1879, in his eightieth year. His widow, who was a native of New York State, died in Chicago, March 17. 1895.
Cornelius B. Cummings was educated in the public schools at Canton. N. Y., and at the age of twenty years went to Palatka, Fla., where he was engaged in mercantile pursuits for two years. He then returned to New York State, but later removed to Lawrence, Mich., where he had charge of several sawmills belonging to a Chicago firm. In 1859 he located at Pekin, Ill., and there established himself as a merchant in partnership with his brother. C. R. Cummings, the firm taking the name of C.
B. Cummings & Company. Two years later his brother sold out his interest, G. R. Cobleigh becoming a member of the firm. The business was continued under the old firm name for nearly a quarter of a century, and the firm continuously maintained a high standing among the business concerns throughout the State.
In 1881 C. B. Cummings retired from active business, giving his attention to his real estate and other interests until his death, which occurred at Pekin, May 20, 1904. No man maintained a higher reputation in Tazewell County for business sagacity and integrity than Mr. Cummings, and he never failed to manifest his interest in the growth of his city by participating in any enterprise calculated to promote its prosperity. At the time of his death he was the owner of a large amount of valuable real estate, besides being proprietor of extensive commercial interests. He was a member of the Masonic Fraternity, and a Democrat in politics. During his residence at Pekin for twenty years he was a member of the Board of Supervisors, serving on the Finance Committee of that body.
Mr. Cummings was married, in 1859, to Harriet A. Cummings, who was born in the State of New York, the daughter of P. and Amelia Cummings. The children born to them were:
Harriet Eugenia, wife of John A. May, Chicago, and Emma L., widow of Frank Lowery.
Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois and History of Tazewell County - page 992
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