The Cummers came from a long line of lumber barons, whose businesses stretched through Canada, Michigan, Virginia, and Florida. Wellington Willson Cummer (1846-1909) relocated the family from Morley, Michigan to Jacksonville, Florida and founded the Cummer Lumber Company in 1896. They owned a modern sawmill and vast timber tracts in Baker, Alachua and Levy Counties, as well as a phosphate plant at Newberry, Florida. These various properties were connected by the Jacksonville & Southwestern Railroad, a one hundred-mile railroad line built by the Cummers that later became part of the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad. Pine, cypress, oak, and phosphate rock were brought by train to Jacksonville and shipped from the Cummer docks. Not only was the Cummer lumber company one of the largest employers in Jacksonville during the 1900s, the family was the largest private landowner in the state, with more than 500,000 acres.
Wellington and his wife, Mary Ada Gerrish, built their Greek Revival house at 801 Riverside Avenue in the Riverside neighborhood of Jacksonville in 1897, the same year their son, Arthur, married Ninah May Holden in Michigan City, Indiana.
The Cummers actually left Morely, Michigan in 1876 and moved to Cadillac, Michigan. In Cadillac, they created a vast lumbering empire that was a precursor to their later Florida enterprise. A most fascinating history and the Cummers were pioneers in the use of band saws and Shay locomotives in Michigan. wellington maintained a legal residence in Cadillac until 1902.
The Cummers were very settled and established in Cadillac Michigan before they moved to Jacksonville Florida.
The Cummer family ( Originally Kummer pre 1800 from PA, USA) settled in Yorktown ( present day Toronto , ONT.) approx 1810. Jacob Cummer, marred to Marry Ann Snider moved to Newaygo County, Mich in the 1850s and then settle in the Morely area about 1860, In 1876, as Mr McDonald stated they moved to Cadillac. By this time Wellington ( b. 1853) was very involved in the lumber business w/ his Father Jacob. In Cadillac is when the Cummer Family excelled in the Lumber business. While in Cadillac the Cummers went into business w/ two Diggins brothers Fred & Delos. Interestingly, The Diggins bros Mother is Delos Blogetts sibling … ie: the two Diggins brother are nephews to Delos Blogett who was also a very successful Lumberman. Wellington and Delos Diggins married sisters whose last name Gerrish. Fred Diggins married Wellingtons sister Carrie. Wellington had a brother Elmer who can be credited with continuing the Cummer Lumber in Florida. Elmer died at a young age but did lumbering in FL. In the very Early 1900s, Wellington and his two sons, Arthur & Waldo moved to JAX to continue the Lumbering. The Cummers were the largest private landowner in FL w/ nearly 460,000 acres. During the Early 1900s, the Cadillac production was strong w/ hardwoods as the pine was harvested over the previous 35 years.
The Cummer Family has a long history in Cadillac. Both Mary Ann Snider Cummer & Jacob are buried here. My Great G-father worked many years for the C&D until he became a probate judge.
Please feel free to email if you want to know more detailed history.