Necrology of Toledo's Woodlawn Cemetery

Joseph W. Cummings

Judge Joseph W. Cummings was a well-known attorney of Toledo, a senior partner in the firm of Cummings and Lott, and a police and probate judge of Toledo. He was born near Mansfield, Richmond County, Ohio in 1839. When he was eight years old his parents moved to Indiana. The son of Robert and Mary Cummings, he attended Ontario Academy and Michigan University where he studied law, graduating with high honors. In 1862 he was admitted to the bar in La Grange County, Indiana.

At the outbreak of hostilities in 1861, Cummings enlisted in an Indiana company, but the company was not used due to a lack of weapons. He later enlisted for 30 days to help in the defense of Washington when it was attacked by General Early and General Breckenridge. Between 1863 and 1865 Joseph Cummings acted as the prosecuting attorney for five counties in northwest Indiana. He later moved to Toledo and became police judge from 1869 to 1873.

Cummings tried his hand at local politics and in 1880 ran as a candidate for mayor. He was defeated in the elections that year. In 1885 he was elected probate judge, successfully standing for reelection.

Cummings married Fannie S. Smith of Green Springs, Ohio and the couple had two children. His son was Robert S. Cummings. Cummings suffered from a chronic liver complaint and on 18 December, 1899, after a nine week illness, Judge Cummings died. He is buried in Section W1/2 11: Lot 13.[Toledo, It's Resources and Their Development: A Souvenir of the Toledo Bee, (Toledo: Toledo Bee, 1890). p. 63, and "Memorial of Judge Cummings," Maumee Valley Pioneer Association Addresses, Memorials and Sketches, (Toledo: Vrooman, Anderson and Bateman, 1900). p. 55.]


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