1885 Dakota Territory census records show John Cummings (age 29, blacksmith, born in Ontario) married to Sarah (age 21, born in Ontario). The couple had a daughter May (age 4 months, born in Dakota Territory). The Cummings family resided in Grand Forks, Dakota Territory.
BLACKSMITHS. John Cummings, 106 South Fourth. (Grand Forks and North Dakota Manual for 1885, William L. Dudley, Plaindealer Book and Job Rooms, Grand Forks, Dakota Territory, 1885, Page 114)
W. C. Cummings, (Rhodes & Cummings), foundry, beds 200 Walnut. (Grand Forks and North Dakota Manual for 1885, Page 78)
Foundry and Machine Shop. Rhoads & Cummings, 500 North Eighth. (Grand Forks and North Dakota Manual, Page 117)
1885 Dakota Territory census shows William Cummings (age 24, from Ontario), brother of John, living in Grand Forks.
A Foundry That Talks
Up to a week ago the Grand Forks foundry, situated near the railroad at 8th and Dakota owned by John Cumming & Co., was bright with busy industry. It has done work the past season of which Dakota may be proud, and it should be known to the whole valley that we have here iron casting works in which all kinds of fine, whether heavy or light, work can be done. Those who look at the iron columns in the Collins block, the HERALD block, and last and chief of all the new Budge & Co. block, will see what excellent work is done by means of their new machinery. The columns in the Budge block are specially pointed to as models. There are eight sixteen feet in length, being two feet longer than any in the city and molded of similar design as those in the Birkholz block. They contain fifteen tons of iron and are made everlasting as the granite hills, to uphold that high new block. The window sills, lintels and water tables are also east by this foundry and competent judges pronounce them equal to anything yet done west of Chicago. This foundry has also proved a great convenience to farmers and builders in that they do all kinds of engine work and heavy forging, repairing, etc., and the attention of all in this city and in the northwest generally is invited to the fact that such work is so neatly, and cheaply done here. There is no need to pay heavy freight bills to ship iron columns in from the east. If we had smelting works here as we are bound to have, this industry would reduce the cost of all cast iron goods to the very lowest figures. The senior member of this growing industry, John Cumming, is quite a young and active man, having been born in Canada in 1856. He came to Grand Forks in the spring of 1879 and followed farming near Ojata that year, where he acquired title to 320 acres of land in due course of law. He then operated an extensive blacksmith shop near the railroad and Fourth and continued in the business until last spring when he purchased the foundry and put in $2,000 worth of new machinery. His firm have there a plant worth $8,000 and the beginning of an independent fortune, for they are reliable workmen and full of industry and thrift. The junior member is Dan Dow, an excellent machinist, like Cumming of ample experience, and also a native of Ontario.
Grand Forks Daily Herald
Sunday Morning, December 19, 1886
Volume 11, Number 42, Page 3
John Cummings’ home was damaged in the June 16, 1887 Grand Forks/East Grand Forks tornado.
1910 United States census records show John Cummings (age 53, blacksmith, born in Canada) living in Grand Forks, North Dakota. He is widowed, but his daughters May (age 25, born in North Dakota) and Cassie (age 23, born in North Dakota) live with him.