Andrew J. Cunningham

Andrew J. Cunningham was born in Mercer County, Kentucky, April 30, 1839, and died on his home farm of 160 acres in section 27, township 31, range 23, in Ross township, Cherokee County, on December 14, 1903. In his death passed away one of the county's pioneer settlers and most estimable and highly respected citizens. He was a son of Jacob and Jane (Curry) Cunningham.

The parents of the late Andrew J. Cunningham were also natives of Mercer County, Kentucky. In 1848 they removed to Brown County, Illinois, and later to Adams County, Illinois, and in April, 1871, they came to Ross township, Cherokee County. They were farming people, who lived for a time on a farm and then bought a home in Cherokee County, where Mrs. Cunningham died. Mr. Cunningham came back to Ross township and died here. They had seven children.

Andrew J. Cunningham was a man of excellent mental training and was known for his good judgment both in his home affairs and in matters of public interest. He assisted his father until he married, and then followed farming for himself, in the same neighborhood, until September 20, 1870, when he located in Ross township.

On December 26, 1860, Mr. Cunningham married Malinda E. Cunningham, of Schuyler County, Illinois, who is a daughter of William and Ellen (Eades) Cunningham. The father was born in Mercer County, and the mother in Taylor County, Kentucky. They afterwards removed to another part of Illinois, where Mrs. William Cunningham died in 1845. Mr. Cunningham married for his second wife, Elizabeth Eades, a sister of his first wife. The three children of the first marriage were,—Eliza, Sarah and Malinda E. Six children resulted from the second union, namely: Joseph, Maria, William, Maggie, Thomas and Lucy. The 10 children born to Andrew J. Cunningham and wife were as follows: Alice, deceased; James, who married Myrtle Dobson, and lives at Mineral, Kansas; Joseph, who first married Fannie Spencer, and second, Rosie Dobbins, and lives at West Mineral; Maggie, who is the wife of John Hite, of Chicopee, Kansas; Samuel, who married Naomi Hadlock, and lives in Ross township; Millie, who is the wife of Alvin Swan, of Kansas City; Mary, who is the wife of Lewis Black, of Mineral; Herbert, who is at home with his mother; Minnie, who is the wife of Warren Whittaker, of Reeds, Missouri; and Elmer, who resides at home. Mr Cunningham took pleasure in affording his children educational and social advantages, and they all reflect credit upon their home training. The larger number are comfortably settled in homes of their own, and all are highly esteemed members of society.

When Mr. and Mrs. Cunningham first settled here, being the very first in their section of the township, they were confronted with many hardships. Years of toil and deprivation faced them, but Mr. Cunningham lived long enough to enjoy many of the rewards of his industry, and his most estimable wife is surrounded with everything needful to the comfort of advancing years.

Mr. Cunningham carried on general farming and stock-raising, and met with good success. He made all the improvements on the farm, setting out the beautiful hedges and orchards with his own hands. In politics, he was a supporter of the Democratic party. His religious convictions made him a member of the Christian Church. His was a life full of kind, helpful work for others. In his family he was beloved, and in his community universally respected.


History of Cherokee County Kansas and its representative citizens, ed. & comp. by Nathaniel Thompson Allison, 1904, transcribed by Michielle Culley, staff from USD 508, Baxter Springs Middle School, Baxter Springs, Kansas, February 26, 1996.


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