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The well known gentleman whose name forms the heading of this sketch has been a resident of Mendota, Illinois, for a period of thirty-six years, and for more than twenty years was in business here as a dealer in groceries and boots and shoes.

Nicholas Charles Cummings was born in Rensselaer county. New York, August 10, 1851, a son of John and Almira (Craver) Cummings, natives of the same state. He is the younger of two children; his brother Eli died in Mendota in 1898. Their father was a farmer, who came to Illinois with his family in 1852 and located in Lee county ten miles northeast of Mendota, where he bought land and for eleven years carried on agricultural pursuits. In 1863 he came to Mendota, where he lived, retired, till his death, in 1899. His wife died in 1886.

The paternal grandfather of our subject, Eli Cummings, was of English and Irish descent, was a farmer and lived and died in New York state, at the age of eighty years. In his family were eight sons and two daughters. Mr. Cummings' maternal grandfather, Nicholas Craver, was a native of Pennsylvania and by trade a blacksmith. In the early '50s he came out to Illinois and bought a farm adjoining the one owned by the father of our subject, and lived there until about 1872, when he moved to Mendota; and here he died, at the age of eighty-five years.

Nicholas C. Cummings was an infant when brought to Illinois by his parents, and the first twelve years of his life were spent on his father's farm, since then living in Mendota. He was educated in the public schools and the college at Mendota, and when he started out to make his own way in the world it was as a clerk in a grocery. In 1878 he engaged in the grocery business for himself, in Mendota, and later added also a stock of boots and shoes in connection with his groceries, doing a prosperous business in both lines until August 19, 1899, when he closed out the business.

Mr. Cummings owns and occupies a pleasant home on the corner of Fourth avenue and Eighth street, which he built a number of years ago. He was married November 25, 1872, to Miss Mary Alice Gheer, a daughter of Levi and Nancy Gheer. Two sons were born to Mr. and Mrs. Cummings, namely: Arthur E. and Claude G. The former married Laura Roth, in 1895, and was superintendent for the Mendota Gas Company when he met with his death, by accident, being shot, the accident occurring as he was taking- a gun from his buggy. This sad affair happened October 13, 1899. His age at the time of death was twenty-six years and a few days. Claude G., the second son, is twenty-four years of age and is an employe of the Mendota Electric Light Company.

Mr. Cummings is a Republican and has always taken a commendable interest in public affairs, especially those of a local nature. For nine years he has been a director in the city schools of Mendota. He is a member of Lodge No. 293, I. O. O. F., and Camp No. 65, Modern Woodmen of America.

Extracted 26 Dec 2016 by Norma Hass from Biographical and Genealogical Record of LaSalle County, Illinois published in 1900, volume 2, pages 434-435.

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