Joseph W. Cummings

Judge Joseph W. Cummings was a well-known attorney of Toledo, a senior partner in the firm of Cummings and Lott, and a police and probate judge of Toledo. He was born near Mansfield, Richmond County, Ohio in 1839. When he was eight years old his parents moved to Indiana. The son of Robert and Mary Cummings, he attended Ontario Academy and Michigan University where he studied law, graduating with high honors. In 1862 he was admitted to the bar in La Grange County, Indiana.

At the outbreak of hostilities in 1861, Cummings enlisted in an Indiana company, but the company was not used due to a lack of weapons. He later enlisted for 30 days to help in the defense of Washington when it was attacked by General Early and General Breckenridge. Between 1863 and 1865 Joseph Cummings acted as the prosecuting attorney for five counties in northwest Indiana. He later moved to Toledo and became police judge from 1869 to 1873.

Cummings tried his hand at local politics and in 1880 ran as a candidate for mayor. He was defeated in the elections that year. In 1885 he was elected probate judge, successfully standing for reelection.

Cummings married Fannie S. Smith of Green Springs, Ohio and the couple had two children. His son was Robert S. Cummings. Cummings suffered from a chronic liver complaint and on 18 December, 1899, after a nine week illness, Judge Cummings died. He is buried in Section W1/2 11: Lot 13.[Toledo, It's Resources and Their Development: A Souvenir of the Toledo Bee, (Toledo: Toledo Bee, 1890). p. 63, and "Memorial of Judge Cummings," Maumee Valley Pioneer Association Addresses, Memorials and Sketches, (Toledo: Vrooman, Anderson and Bateman, 1900). p. 55.]

Robert S. Cummings

Robert S. Cummings was born in Toledo in 1880. He was the son of Judge Joseph Cummings and a nephew of John Cummings who was a Toledo banker and businessman. Robert attended Toledo public schools and the old Central High School before graduating from the University of Michigan. He was a Toledo tennis champion at one time but was better known for his work in the world of advertising.

Robert spent 25 years as president of the Martin V. Kelley Advertising Company which was, at that time, the largest in the country. When that company dissolved he went into the advertising field on his own. Robert served as vice-president of the Sterling Beeson Advertising Company, and spent most of his life in the advertising business. During World War One he was also active in the Liberty Loans campaigns in Toledo.

Robert was married to Zora Sollberg Cummings and had two children, Robert S., Jr. and Carolyn L. He was a member of many of the social and civic organizations in Toledo, these included the Toledo Club and the Chamber of Commerce. Ill health eventually forced him to resign from all except the Toledo Country Club.

On September 30, 1938, Robert S. Cummings was found in his bedroom by a maid. He had a pistol at his side and a bullet wound to his temple. His suicide at the age of 58 was blamed on the financial crisis that the country was experiencing at the time. He had suffered a nervous breakdown prior to 1929 and never fully recovered. After spending time in Europe, Robert had returned to find the country in the midst of a depression and banks closing down. His distress was aggravated by the second depression that occured in late 1937.(Toledo Biography Scrapbook, Local History Collection, Toledo/Lucas County Public Library. See also Toledo Blade, 30 September 1938. He is buried in Woodlawn Cemetery in Section 12E, Lot 13.)

William Cummings

William Cummings, born in 1818, was actively involved in the civic and social affairs of Toledo and Lucas County.

In 1867 he was present at a meeting that took place at the residence of Dr. S. H. Bergan that proposed the establishment of a Protestant orphans home in Toledo. The meeting subsequently selected 14 women as managers and eight men as advisors. William was one of the eight advisors chosen.Clark Waggoner, ed., [History of the City of Toledo and Lucas County, Ohio, (New York and Toledo: Monsell & Company Publishers, 1888), p. 832.]

In 1875 the New York and Chicago route of the "fast mail trains" was inaugurated. The new system was the concept of Colonel George S. Bangs, General Superintendent of the U.S. Railroad Service. The first train, consisting of four mail cars and two sleepers, left New York at 4:15 a.m. September 16, 1875. The train carried 30 tons of mail and 50 invited guests of the railroad. During the journey from New York to Toledo the train made stops at Albany, Buffalo, and Cleveland. At 10:47 p.m., after 18 hours and 25 minutes, the train arrived in Toledo. William witnessed the historic event as a member of the Toledo delegation.

In 1875, William was elected treasurer of Lucas County. He held the position of County Officer between 1876 and 1878. From 1881 to 1887 William was a member of the Toledo Produce Exchange which worked to help businesses in Toledo. He was also at one time president of the Northern National Bank.

William Cummings died on 13 December 1898 at the age of 79 years. (Ibid., p. 425). He is buried in Lot 13, Section 12 at Woodlawn Cemetery.


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