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Below is a family biography included in The History of Dent County, Missouri published by Goodspeed Publishing Company in 1889.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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John Cummins, another farmer and stock raiser of Spring Creek Township, was born in Washington County, Mo., in 1831, and is the son of Samuel and Elizabeth (Cole) Cummins, both natives of Lawrence, Ky., where they were reared, married, and in an early day removed to Washington County, Mo. (This was soon after the War of 1812). There they spent the remainder of their lives. The father died about 1875, at the age of eighty-four, after a life of probably over sixty years on one farm. At the age of nineteen he enlisted in the War of 1812. His parents were from Ireland. The mother died about 1870. John Cummins is the youngest but three of eleven children born to his parents. He was educated in the common subscription schools of Washington County, and in 1851 was united in marriage to Miss Angeline, daughter of Joseph and Mary Millsap, natives of Tennessee and Illinois, respectively. Her parents were married in Illinois, where Mrs. Cummins was born in 1834, and where she remained until about four years old. They then moved to Franklin County, Mo., and then to Washington County, where the father died about 1844. The mother died in St. Francois County in 1880. After the death of Mr. Millsap she had married again. To Mr. and Mrs. Cummins were born six children, three now living: Mary J., wife of Enoch Spriggs; Julia A., wife of James Gayhart, and Eliza, wife of John Copeland. In 1854 Mr. Cummins came to Dent County, settling in the woods on his present farm, in a hunter’s cabin, and there remained two years. After some years he used this cabin for a smoke house, and now has moved it to his barn, and uses it for a corn crib. He has 320 acres of land, with about ninety under cultivation, all the result of his own hard labor. In 1859 Mr. Cummins went to Pike’s Peak, where he spent some months in the mines, and met with fair success. He expected to return the following year, but did not on account of the approaching war. During the war he was three years in the Federal army, enlisting August 11, 1862, in Company D, Thirty-second Missouri Volunteer Infantry, and operated in Missouri, Arkansas, Mississippi, etc. He was in the battles of Haines’ Bluff, Arkansas Post, and the last two years of the war he was at Camp Burnside, Ind., guarding prisoners, where he was mustered out at the close of the war. He is now one of the prominent farmers and stock raisers of the county, and spares no pains for the improvement of his stock. He is a Democrat in his political opinions, and his first presidential vote was for Pierce in 1852. Mr. Cummins is a member of the Agricultural Wheel, and Mrs. Cummins and the eldest daughter are members of the Presbyterian Church. The other two daughters are members of the Christian Church.

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This family biography is one of 82 biographies included in The History of Dent County, Missouri published in 1889.  For the complete description, click here: Dent County, Missouri History, Genealogy, and Maps

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