Thornton Cummings was a native of Virginia. When a young man he immigrated to Kentucky, and was there married to Miss Sylvia Williams, a native of Kentucky. In 1816, soon after marriage, Mr. Cummings removed to Gallatin County, Illinois, where he resided till 1834, at which time he came to Bureau County, Illinois. When he reached Hennepin, he left his family there, and in company with a Frenchman as guide he traveled over the western part of Bureau County seeking a suitable location, and as he had been reared in a timbered country French Grove suited him best on account of its containing heavy timber. But when he announced his intention of settling here, his guide informed him that his own claim embraced the grove, but that he would divide, and accordingly staked off one-half, and Mr. Cummings selected the west half and there settled, and his was the first settlement in what is now Concord Township. When the land came into market he entered 240 acres of the Grove and adjoining prairie land. He died in 1872, and his widow January 1, 1883. They were the parents of ten children, seven of whom lived to reach maturity. The following are now living: Fitchyou, Sylvia (widow of Alexander Shafer) and William are in this county, Harvey Cummings is now a resident of Minnesota.
William Cummings was born in Gallatin County, Illinois, in 1829. He came to this county with his parents in 1834, and attended the first school taught in the western part of Bureau County. This school was taught in a log-cabin on the east of French Grove. Mr. Cummings has made this township his home since first coming to it.
In 1853 he was married to Miss A. J. Hodge, who was born in the State of New York, and is the daughter of Jacob Hodge. Mr. and Mrs. Cunninghams are the parents of five sons, viz: Orlando W., Marvin S. and Melvin S. (twins), Hampton B. and Harvey D. (twins).
Immediately after marriage Mr. Cummings settled on his present farm and in August 1870, engaged in the breeding of short-horn cattle, and has been one of the most successful breeders of thoroughbred cattle in the county, and now keeps his farm of nearly 500 acres fully stocked with the choicest cattle. June 8, 1881 and June 26, 1884 he had a public sale of short-horn cattle, each herd containing about fifty head. More of his connection with this industry will be found in the chapter on blooded stock.
Source: History of Bureau County, Illinois, H. C. Bradsby, Editor. World Publishing Company Chicago 1885