Sunday, November 22, 2015

Jubal Converse Gleason (1837-1890), Jubal Herndon Cummins (1860-1938)

Portrait courtesy of the State Library of Massachusetts.

    Today we highlight an oddly named political duo, both of whom are named "Jubal".  A name that hearkens back to the Book of Genesis, this biblical Jubal is mentioned as being the "father of all those that handle the harp and pipe." We'll begin our write-up in Plymouth, Massachusetts with one Jubal Converse Gleason, a prominent physician and multi-term state legislator from that county. The son of Andrew and Celia Harwood Gleason, Jubal C. Gleason was born the Worcester County town of Hubbardston on November 9, 1837. 
   A student in the public schools of Hubbardston and the New Salem Academy, Jubal Gleason enrolled at the Amherst College in 1859 and graduated four years later. He continued his studies at the Harvard University medical school and following his graduation in 1867 launched his medical practice in Gilbertville, Massachusetts. On July 31st of that year, Gleason married to Anna Pierce Sayles, with whom he would have two children, Everett Harwood (who died aged five in 1876) and Emma Willard (born 1872). 
   After a three-year residency in Gilbertville Gleason removed to the town of Rockland, located in Plymouth County. He would reside here for the remainder of his life and in addition to practicing medicine built up a reputation as one of the town's most respected office holders. For twelve years Gleason served as chairman of the Rockland School Board and for three years chaired the Rockland Board of Health. In 1869 he was elected as one of Plymouth County's representatives to the Massachusetts General Court and during the 1870-71 term held a seat on the joint standing committee on Federal Relations.
   At the conclusion of his term in 1871 Gleason returned to Rockland, and in 1877  was named as medical examiner for Plymouth County's 2nd district. Nine years later Gleason was returned to the Massachusetts General Court as a state representative, and in 1887 won election to the State Senate. His Senate service extended from 1887-1889 and during those terms served on the committees on the Liquor Law, Education and Public Health. 
   Shortly after leaving the state senate Jubal Gleason died in at his home in Rockland, his death occurring on November 1, 1890 at age 52. At the time of his passing, he had been a councilor and member of the Massachusetts Medical Society and was survived his wife and daughter. A burial location for both Gleason and his family remains unknown at the time of this writing.

From the Tennessee legislature composite portrait, 1891-92.

    Unlike the man who preceded him here, Tennessee state representative Jubal Herndon Cummins has had very little information on his life come to light, hence why his biography here will be on the short side. A lifelong native of Tennessee, Cummins was born on August 3, 1860 and married to Genevra Thurman (1862-1938) in the early 1880s. The couple would later have a total of six children, who are listed as follows in order of birth: Lydia Estelle (1885-1953), Carl Thurman (1889-1977), John Oliver (1892-1983), Anna Mary (1894-1984), James Henry (1899-1986) and Guillelmine (1901-1996). 
    Little could be located on Cummins' personal life, excepting notice that he was a "prominent farmer and millwright" for a good majority of his life. Cummins would represent Cannon County in the Tennessee General Assembly from 1890-1892. He was elected to a second term in 1892 and during the 1893-95 session served on the committees on Judiciary and Sanitation. Following his two terms in the state house, Cummins appears to have disappeared from the pages of history. He died sometime in 1938 and was later buried at the Smyrna Cemetery in Cookeville, Tennessee.

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