Memoir of a Minnesota Farmer
A fascinating account of life
at the turn of the last century.
Part I: 1846-1903
Part II: 1904-1937
To order from your favorite bookstore, ask for ISBN 1-58736-023-3.
Readings & Interviews:
To schedule a reading
contact Sandra Wilcoxon
Listen to Sandra's interview
on AARP's Prime Time Radio broadcast
during the week of May 22 - 31, 2001.
Readings on the second Monday of each month at:
Molly Malone's Pub (7:30 PM)
7652 W Madison Ave, Forest Park, IL 60130
Click on one of the links below
to hear a reading of Fred's Poetry
(by Sandra Wilcoxon) recorded at an
open mic that took place on
Jan. 8, 2001 at Healy's West Side
in Forest Park, IL.
Civil War Years
1903 Personal Ad
Fred Cummings was a not-so-simple farmer who struggled to clear new land, raise crops, and feed his family and livestock. He survived through sheer hard work, tenacity, and ingenuity. Born in 1846 in Vermont, his aunt and uncle took him in after his mother's death. In 1855, they moved to Minnesota to homestead new land.
Fred kept journals, almost continuously, from 1868 through 1937 shortly before his death at the age of 92. He was a thoughtful man who subscribed to eight newspapers, read many books, and wrote poetry to express his feelings. He comments on politics, natural disasters, news items, and family activities.
The journals include: details about the weather that so critically affected a farmer's livelihood; accounting of income, expenses, and barters; local news from the south-eastern corner of Minnesota near Preston; the trials of homesteading up by Lake Itasca; national news items such as elections and politics, the Chicago fire, the Johnstown flood, the Titanic sinking, and much, much more!
Last updated: 12/20/2005
You are visitor #18947