Pages 104-105, transcribed by Carolyn Ward from History of Allen and Woodson Counties, Kansas: embellished with portraits of well known people of these counties, with biographies of our representative citizens, cuts of public buildings and a map of each county / Edited and Compiled by L. Wallace Duncan and Chas. F. Scott. Iola Registers, Printers and Binders, Iola, Kan.: 1901; 894 p., [36] leaves of plates: ill., ports.; includes index.


Reason M. Cunningham


REASON M. CUNNINGHAM is a representative of many important business interests of Allen county. Since 1885 he has been a resident of Humboldt, where he has been the promoter of many enterprises which contribute not alone to his individual prosperity but also advance the general welfare by promoting commercial activity. A native of Indiana, he was born in Daviess county on the 22nd of March, 1856, his parents being Reason and Susan E. (Prewitt) Cunningham, the former born in Indiana in 1818, the latter in Kentucky in 1821. The father was a farmer by oocupation.[sic] In 1870 he removed to Kansas, arriving in Humboldt on the 19th of April, after which he purchased a farm near Leanna in the southern part of the county. Both he and his wife are still living, their home being in Humboldt. The father has attained the age of eighty-two, while the mother is seventy-nine years of age. They were parents of eight sons and three daughters, and two sons and one daughter have passed away. Elbethel B. was a soldier in the Civil war. He served for three years with Company I, Sixtieth Indiana Infantry, and then veteranized, remaining at the front until the cessation of hostilities. He participated in many battles but escaped the enemies' bullet, although he came nearly losing his life from the explosion of his ammunition box. The other children of the family are Mrs. Sarah E. Dickerson, who resides on a farm near Leanna; Robert H., an agriculturist; I. N., of Moline, Kansas; G. D. and W. S., who are residents of Humboldt, and Ollie, who is with her parents.

In taking up the personal history of Reason M. Cunningham, Jr., we present to our readers the life record of one who is widely and favorably


known. He was fourteen years of age at the time of his parents removal to Kansas. After completing a common school education he continued his studies in the Fort Scott Normal and in the State Normal of Emporia, Kansas, providing the means for his tuition and other expenses by teaching at intervals and by farm work in the summer. For fifteen years he followed the profession of teaching, and was regarded as an excellent educator, having the ability to impart clearly and impressively to others the knowledge he had acquired. In 1885 he came to Humboldt, where he engaged in teaching through the winter, while in the summer months he followed the insurance business. Ultimately he dropped his educational work and has since given his attention to the insurance and real estate business, in which he has met with very desirable success. He has conducted many important realty transactions and is the owner of considerable valuable property, having a firm of one hundred and sixty acres near Humboldt, together with his residence, and other business property in the city. He also owns the grounds and ice plant building on the banks of the Neosho river and is a stock holder and the secretary and treasurer of the Humboldt Telephone Company. These various interests bring to him an excellent income, which classes him among the well-to-do citizens of the county.

Mr. Cunningham was married on the 27th of May, 1883, to Miss Nancy H. Booe, of Neosho county, a daughter of William Booe, who was a native of Indiana, whence he came with his family to Kansas in 1879. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Cunningham have been born five children, four of whom are yet living: Gertrude L., Vera M., Clay D. and Helen E. The third child, Glen, died at the age of eleven months. At the time of his marriage, Mr. Cunningham removed to Erie and purchased lumber of A. L. Taylor to build his house. That was before the day of railroads in this locality, and he had to haul his lumber by teams from Osage Mission.

In his political views Mr. Cunningham has ever been a stalwart Republican, and takes an active interest in promoting the party's welfare. He has served as a member of the county central committee, and for three terms filled the office of township clerk, while at the present time he is notary public. As a citizen he is progressive, lending his aid to any movement calculated to prove of benefit along material, social, intellectual and moral lines. He has made marked advancement in his business career through the possession of those unyielding elements which ever conquer success.

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