John Cummins

Contributed by Frances Trimble
© 2001

John Cummins "the Stones River miller" was born about 1755. This is based on the age of his widow, Elizabeth Cummins McNees. According to the Missouri census of 1840 her birthdate was between 1760 and 1770. John's first land purchase in upper middle Tennessee was in 1787. He served in the Sumner County militia and was commissioned in 1792 (Durham & Blount Journal). He is listed in Sumner County tax records in 1787. John Cummins was the first signer of the Petition to create Rutherford Co, TN. I don't think he moved...I think he just happened to live in a part of Sumner County that became Rutherford County. He owned at least two mills on Stones River. One was located at Black Fox's Camp and the other at the site where the Lebanon Pike crosses Stones River. Spence says that Cummins built mills in 1802 but I think he was in business substantially before that and there is evidence to suggest that he not only had a sawmill but also a grist mill. In 1803, there was a court case in Davidson County in which there was testimony that an individual had worked on John Cummins boat. This is most interesting because John may have been building or operating flatboats to carry goods on Stones River and on to Nashville. He had a license to operate an ordinary and inn, too. He was called for jury duty in Mero District in January 1804 but by April 1804, his estate was in probate.

Page 7, Rutherford County Court Minutes 1804-1810 - John Cummins records his stock mark. James Cummins recorded his stock mark same day/same page 10 Rutherford County Court Minutes; John Cummins is dead intestate; ordered letters of administration issue to Elizabeth Cummins, James Cummins & John Hoover on the chattel estate; bond of $2500 with Samuel Wilson, Thomas Shute and Obediah M. Benge.

The most puzzling thing about John is why three of his children were born in PA? Richard Waller, Sarah, and Elizabeth Cummins were born there although Sarah was born in 1791, after her father was in upper middle Tennessee. I believe John may have been actively engaged in mobile commerce and chose to leave his family in Pennsylvania until the Indian raids quieted in TN.

I am still searching for John Cummins birthplace and where he lived during the Revolutionary War. My guess is that he served in the Revolution, but did not live long enough to have a pension.

Daughter Sarah Cummins - b. 1791 PA - d. 6 December 1847 MO. Married John Edwards.

Daughter Elizabeth Cummins b abt 1794 said she was born in Pa. Married David Abbott.

Daughter Elinor Cummins Elinor b abt 1796 said she was born in TN. Married Ota Cantrell

Son Richard Waller Cummins b. 1786 PA - d aft. 1860 MO. Married Mary Kavanaugh.

Son Uriah S. Cummins ca. 1797 PA - d 25 Aug 1859 TX. Married first Margaret Smith and second Martha L. Tilford. Uriah or his wife told the enumerator that he was born in PA but since he didn't live to 1860, I cannot confirm this.

Daughter Letitia Cummins b 1801 in TN and d 1874 in TX. Married Giles M. Samuel (the Santa Fe trader). Letitia is my g.g.g.grandmother.

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