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California Genealogy and History Archives

Sonoma County


Michael E. Cummings

One of the best-known residents of Sonoma county is Michael E. Cummings, who with his partner, S. B. Lewis, is maintaining one of the most thoroughly up-to-date meat-markets in Sonoma. Every department of the business is under the immediate supervision of the proprietors, from the slaughtering of the cattle to the sale of the meat in the retail store, and their customers are thus assured of the best that is possible to be obtained in their line.

A native son of the state, Michael E. Cummings was born in Haywards, Alameda county, November 17, 1874, the son of Michael and Catherine (Nealon) Cummings, both natives of Ireland, and both of whom are now deceased, the father dying in 1903 and the mother in 1904, the death of both occurring in Santa Rosa. Four children besides our subject were born to this couple, three sons and a daughter, the latter a resident of Santa Rosa; one son died in Santa Rosa, one son still lives in that city, while the other son is a resident of Willits. Mr. Cummings has no personal knowledge of his birthplace for when he was one year old his parents removed from Haywards to Santa Rosa and there and in Sonoma he received his education, first attending the Ursuline Academy and public schools, and later taking a business course in Morrison's Business College, Santa Rosa. Following this, when he was about twenty years of age, he began his business career as office-boy in the office of T. J. Ludwig, a contractor in Santa Rosa, remaining with this employer until 1891. For the following five years he was associated with the firm of Noonan & Towey, butchers, of the same place, after which he went to San Francisco and continued his interest in this same business with Hammond & Bros., continuing with them for four years as foreman. In 1900 he returned to Santa Rosa and four years was associated with his old employers, after which, in 1904, he came to Sonoma and with S. B. Lewis engaged in the business of which they are now the proprietors. No better equipped or more up-to-date plant of this character can be found in this part of the county than that of which they are the owners. To supply their large trade they slaughter from ten to fifteen beeves a week, in addition to smaller stock, all of which is placed in the excellent cold-storage quarters with which the plant is equipped.

Ever since taking up his residence in Sonoma Mr. Cummings has been an earnest worker in behalf of his home city and that his efforts have been appreciated and put to good account by his fellow-citizens, was demonstrated in April, 1910, by his election as president of the board of city trustees, for a term of four years. His popularity was recognized in the fact that he polled the largest majority of votes of any of the candidates. Politically he is a Democrat, and fraternally he is a member of Lodge No. 646, B. P. O. E., of Santa Rosa, and also the Knights of Columbus and the Native Sons of the Golden West, joining the latter in Santa Rosa in 1904. Mr. Cummings is exceedingly fond of fine horse flesh, and possesses a fine specimen in Mike C., sired by Sidney Dillon, a famous pacer that w9on the records in the July 4, 1910, races at Sonoma, his records on this occasion being 2:14 and 2:15. At the San Francisco statium he won a cup in the 2:15 race. Little less proud than the owner on these days was the driver, Joe Ryan, of Sonoma. Since Mr. Cummings has been mayor of Sonoma the council have inaugurated various improvements, among which may be mentioned the installation of a city rock crusher and the sewer system, besides which a donation for a Carnegie library has been secured.

History of Sonoma County, California
Biographical Sketches of The Leading Men and Women of the County Who Have Been Identified With Its Growth and Development from the Early Days to the Present
History By: Tom Gregory
Historic Record Company, Los Angeles, California (1911)

Transcribed by Peggy Hooper 2011