J.F. Cunningham, one of the pioneers of the Cheyenne and Arapaho Country, coming to Roger Mills County in 1892, passed away last Monday afternoon in a Sayre Hospital, after an illness of only a few days. Mr. Cunningham’s passing marks the going of one of the real pioneers of the county. He homesteaded a farm northeast of Cheyenne and reared to manhood and womanhood a family that has played an important part in the development of the county. The mother preceded him in death four years ago
Mr. Cunning ham became ill last Friday morning and was taken to the Sayre Hospital that afternoon where an operation was performed. He became worse Sunday and passed away Monday afternoon. All of the children were present except Mrs. Mavis Kaiser of Springfield, CO, who had just recently visited her father in Cheyenne.
James Felix Cunningham was born in Galston, Alabama, April 16, 1850 and departed this life Aug. 4, 1930, age 80 years, three months, nineteen. When 19 he moved to Henderson County, Texas where he had typhoid fever, the only illness he had ever suffered until the last one which was but a few days in duration.
In 1873 he married to Mrs. Mary M. Cauble, a widow, in Hill County, Texas and to this union eleven children were born, eight of whom survive. He also assisted in the rearing of two step-children. They are Mrs. John Cross of near Cheyenne. Mrs. S.N. Rimbey of Cheyenne. Kenneth Cunningham of near Cheyenne; Jesse Cunningham, rural mail carrier of Cheyenne; Judson Cunningham, Court Clerk of Roger Mills County; Ray Cunningham of near Cheyenne; Bertie McKinley of Elk City and Mavis Kaiser of Colorado. Mr. Cunningham had 20 grandchildren, 13 great grandchildren and 1 great great grandchild. Patricia Louise Rolley of Albuquerque, NM.
Mr. Cunningham was a Veteran of the Civil War. He had three sons and six grandsons to serve during the great World War.
When 32 years of age he was baptized into the Missionary Baptist Church in which faith was believed always. In an early day he preached. During the recent revival he attended every meeting seeming at that time to happy, well and joyful.
He had been a Mason for 55 years being a charter member of the local lodge.
The large crowd present at the funeral services Tuesday afternoon at the Baptist Church was a testimony of the esteem in the pioneer and his family hold in the community.
To J.F. Cunningham goes the distinction of planting the first cotton ever grown in Cheyenne.
Services were: conducted by Rev. Shirley of Elk City assisted by Rev. Rhoads of Cheyenne. The funeral rites were in charge of the local Masonic Lodge, which was assisted by members of that fraternity of Strong City. The remains were laid to rest in the family lot, beneath a mound of Flowers in the Cheyenne Cemetery.
The services were under the supervision of the Tunnard’s Funeral Home of Cheyenne.
The Star joins the many friends of the family in extending to the members of the family sympathy and bow in respect to the memory of a sturdy pioneer.
Cheyenne Star, August 7, 1930