Necrology of Toledo's Woodlawn Cemetery

Robert S. Cummings

Robert S. Cummings was born in Toledo in 1880. He was the son of Judge Joseph Cummings and a nephew of John Cummings who was a Toledo banker and businessman. Robert attended Toledo public schools and the old Central High School before graduating from the University of Michigan. He was a Toledo tennis champion at one time but was better known for his work in the world of advertising.

Robert spent 25 years as president of the Martin V. Kelley Advertising Company which was, at that time, the largest in the country. When that company dissolved he went into the advertising field on his own. Robert served as vice-president of the Sterling Beeson Advertising Company, and spent most of his life in the advertising business. During World War One he was also active in the Liberty Loans campaigns in Toledo.

Robert was married to Zora Sollberg Cummings and had two children, Robert S., Jr. and Carolyn L. He was a member of many of the social and civic organizations in Toledo, these included the Toledo Club and the Chamber of Commerce. Ill health eventually forced him to resign from all except the Toledo Country Club.

On September 30, 1938, Robert S. Cummings was found in his bedroom by a maid. He had a pistol at his side and a bullet wound to his temple. His suicide at the age of 58 was blamed on the financial crisis that the country was experiencing at the time. He had suffered a nervous breakdown prior to 1929 and never fully recovered. After spending time in Europe, Robert had returned to find the country in the midst of a depression and banks closing down. His distress was aggravated by the second depression that occured in late 1937.(Toledo Biography Scrapbook, Local History Collection, Toledo/Lucas County Public Library. See also Toledo Blade, 30 September 1938. He is buried in Woodlawn Cemetery in Section 12E, Lot 13.)



Toledo's Attic and all contents herein are to be used for educational and scholarly purposes. U.S. and international copyright laws protect digital contents in this collection. Commercial use or distribution of the image is not permitted without prior permission of the copyright holder. Toledo's Attic by is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at