This is a collection of short biographical sketches submitted by individuals with a link to the Researcher. You are invited to send appropriate sketches of early Atchison County residents for inclusion on this page


Atchison County Kansas Bio Sketches 


Barney Cummins, farmer and trustee of Mt. Pleasant township, Atchison Co., was born in Atchison December 17, 1859, a son of Patrick and Mary (FAULKNER) Cummins, the former a native of Roscommon County and the latter a native of County Caven, Ireland. Both came to America. Both came to America from their native land when young, and met and were married in Philadelphia. After their marriage they went to Wisconsin and lived there one year and then came to Atchison, KS. Patrick was employed on a Missouri River steamboat for a time, saved his money and moved to a farm, which he rented for about ten years, accumulating sufficient capital to then purchase a quarter section of school land in Mr. Pleasant township, the tract now known as the old Cummins homestead. Patrick Cummins succeeded in his farming venture and became prosperous as the years passed. During the Civil War he was enrolled as a member of the Kansas State Militia. He was known as a Free State Democrat and was a member of the Catholic Church. He died in 1871, and the widowed mother of Barney Cummins is still living at the ave of seventy-six years, on the old home farm. There were six children in the Cummins family, namely: Barney; Charles, on the home place; John, a farmer in Atchison Co.; Katherine, living with her mother; Mary wife of Williams ROGERS, of Nortonville, KS; Sophia, wife of Thomas CAVANAUGH, of St. Joseph, MO.

Barney was about four years of age when the family removed from Atchison to the farm in Mt. Pleasant township. He received his education in the district school, near his home, and has lived on the farm all of his life, excepting one year spent in Atchison. Mr. Cummins recollects with sadness the severity of the early-day teachers as compared with the teachers of today. He recalls that he was frequently given his choice of punishments, which included either having his ears cut off, or take a sound whipping with a great gad. This badly frightened him and he also remembers how the teacher jerked a big boy from his seat and threw him unconscious to the floor of the school room. Happily the days of brute strength control of pupils in the schools is past and a new and better era of kindness and forbearance has dawned years since. Mr. Cummins is the owner of 100 acres of well improved land and is a progressive farmer.

He was married January 9, 1882, to Sarah MAYLEN, a daughter of Joseph and Elizabeth Malen. The father was a native of Canada and the mother was born in Liverpool, England, their children being a product of the intermarriage of French, English and Welsh ancestry. Joseph Maylen was a French Canadian and his wife was of Welsh and English descent. They came to Kansas in the early days and settled on a farm in Doniphan Co. Four Children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Cummins: William, living at Potter, KS; Ella, wife of Luther BLODGETT, a farmer in Atchison Co.; Anna, wife of Harry LINSEY, living in Atchison Co.; Joseph, at home with his parents. Mr. and Mrs. Cummins have reared all of their children on the farm upon which they have lived continuously since their marriage.

Mr. Cummins is affiliated with the Modern Woodmen Lodge of Potter, and is a member of the Catholic Church. He is a Democrat of the old school, and since attaining his majority he has taken a more or less active part in political affairs. He has served several terms as trustee of Mr. Pleasant township and it can be said of him that no man ever filled the office more capably or administered the affairs of the township to better advantage or more economically and honestly than Barney Cummins. He was the first elected to the office in 1892, again in 1907, then in 1908 and again in 1912, being reelected in 1914. As trustee, Mr. Cummins has the supervision of eight schools in his township, including the graded high school of Potter. He is a faithful and conscientious public official in whom the people impose every trust.

Taken from:

History of Atchison County, Kansas

by Sheffield Ingalls - 1916

Submitted by:

Clemi Higley Blackburn, July 2001

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Last updated 7/18/2001

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