CUMMINGS, John Bowman, one of the oldest and most respected residents of Macomb, Ill., a leading merchant and banker at various times and places, and lastly, before his retirement, connected with the Macomb Pottery Company, was born in Cecil County, Md., January 17, 1824, a son of James and Rachel (Hall) Cummings, also natives of that State and county. James Cummings, his paternal grandfather, was of Scotch nativity. The maternal grandfather was named Isaac Hall.
In boyhood, John B. Cummings attended public school and at the age of thirteen years (in 1837) went to Ohio and thence to Pennsylvania. He was engaged in mercantile pursuits until 1851, when he came to Macomb. A year later he went to Mississippi, where he remained four years, returning then to Macomb in 1858, and there engaging in the mercantile line. In 1864 he went to Bushnell, where he conducted the Farmers' National Bank for twenty-five years. He then moved to Chicago, where he was engaged in the coal business, was employed as bookkeeper for the Sterling Cycle Company, and was also associated with the firm of E. A. Cummings & Company, of Chicago, in the real estate business. In 1894 he was made manager of the Chicago branch of the Macomb Pottery Company, continuing thus until its Chicago office was closed. In 1903 he returned to Macomb, where he and his wite now reside at No. 629 North Randolph Street.
The first wife of Mr. Cummings was Adeline W. Pierson, whom he married April 4, 1847, in Butler County, Pa. Six children were the offspring of this union, namely: Clarence P., Leonidas B., James E., Charles C., Eva (Mrs. C. W. Dickerson), of Baltimore. Md., and Minnie, deceased The mother of this family died in November, 1862. The oldest son, Clarence P., is in the banking business in Montevista, Rio Grande County, Colo., while the youngest son, Charles C., is County Treasurer of that county. James E. is in the music business at Fort Worth, Texas, and Leonidas a printer in Bushnell, Ill. The first corpse buried in Oakwood Cemetery was that of Mr. and Mrs. Cummings' first child. On April 19, 1864, Mr. Cummings was married to his second wife, Mary E. Chambers, who was born in 1830 in Lexington, Ky., where she attended the public and parochial schools. One child, William C., resulted from this union. The present wife's parents, William and Elizabeth (Nourse) Chambers, were natives of Kentucky, while her grandparents were William and Mary (Connor) Chambers, both born in Ireland, and William and Elizabeth (Jameson) Nourse, the former born in Virginia and the latter in Mercer County, Ky.
In politics Mr. Cummings is a Republican; in 1868 was elected Clerk of the McDonough Circuit Court, and was chosen the first Mayor of Bushnell, Ill., on the organization of the city government. For several years he also served as a member of the Board of Education in Macomb. In his religious relations, Mr. Cummings accepts the faith of the Presbyterian Church, and fraternally is affiliated with the Masonic Order. In his long and busy life he has received ample evidence, on notable occasions and in different places, of the confidence and esteem of his fellow-citizens, and now, in its declining years, a general solicitude for his welfare is felt throughout the community.
Source: The Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois and History of McDonough County, compiled by Dr. Newton Bateman, and Paul Shelby, 1907.