Cummings, Ephraim Chamberlain
Age: 37, credited to St. Johnsbury, VTVITALS
Birth: 09/02/1825, Albany, MEADDITIONAL INFORMATION
Alias?: None notedDESCENDANTS
Evergreen Cemetery, Portland, ME
Check the cemetery for location/directions
and other veterans who may be buried there.
EPHRAIM CHAMBERLAIN CUMMINGS.
BY GEORGE FOSTER TALBOT.
Read before the Maine Historical Society, March S0, 1898.
…Let me complete the historic picture of our lamented associate by mentioning the leading incidents and the principal activities of his uneventful, but, on the whole, rarely fortunate life. Son of Francis and Lois (Chamberlain) Cummings, he was born at Albany, Oxford County, Maine. Oxford County, with its mountainous surface, its rigorous but invigorating climate, has contributed more perhaps than any other precinct to that native sagacity, that capacity for sustained intellectual as well as physical labor, that clearness of insight which is the requisite of all valuable philosophic speculation and study, which have distinguished Maine-born people in industrial invention, in political leadership, and in initiating and guiding the currents of modern thought. Rev. Asa Cummings, so long the editor of the Christian Mirror, the influential organ of evangelical religion in Maine, was his father's brother. Young Cummings passed several years of his youth as a member of his uncle's household and a helper in his work.
He was fitted for college at North Yarmouth Academy, a preparatory school long famous for the high character of its teachers and the thoroughness of its instruction. Beforehand with the usual preparatory studies, he passed his examination for admission to the Sophomore class at Bowdoin in 1841, when he was sixteen years old; but owing to ill health, he relinquished the prosecution of his collegiate studies and did not commence them till 1849. After graduation he was employed in teaching, being one year tutor in his college. lie chose the clerical profession; and, completing his theological studies at Bangor, he was ordained for the ministry in 1857, as pastor of the Congregational church in Brewer. His next pastorate was in St. Johnsbury, Vermont, and continued from 1860 to 1870, during which term he served one year as chaplain of the Fifteenth Vermont regiment, engaged in the War of the Rebellion. He also at this period was greatly delighted and instructed by his first visit to the Old World.
Upon leaving St. Johnsbury he came to Portland, which he made his home for the rest of his life. He had no official connection after coming to Portland, employing his time in study, historical research and authorship, though he supplied the pulpit of the Park Street Unitarian church for a year, and was during parts of the years 1872,1873, provisional professor of mental and moral philosophy at Bowdoin College. Mr. Cummings became a member of the Phi Beta Kappa at his graduation in September, 1853. Served as the vice-president of the Alpha of Maine from 1883-87, and as its president from 1887 to 1889, both inclusive.
He was among the early members of the Portland Fraternity Club, a literary and social association, holding weekly sessions at the houses of its members, which society has just entered upon the twenty-fifth year of its successful existence. His comprehensive learning, his unsurpassed conversational talents, and his genial and charitable spirit, made him a general favorite in the fellowship, though the absolute nonpublicity which the Club always maintained, has made no reputation or fame for those gems of colloquial wit and wisdom he so largely contributed to its conversations. At the time of his death he was its vicepresident.
His last year but one brought him both the means and the leisure to make another journey to Europe. He was absent more than a year, his wife accompanying him, and a delightful resurvey of the treasures of art, science and literature, which the countries of the Old World offer to persons with the necessary training and taste to appreciate them, was perhaps the pleasantest of his earthly experiences. It was a fitting incident to complete the good fortunes of a life, as lives go, specially favored and happy. He died of valvular disease of the heart, December 14, 1897.
Mr. Cummings married, October 18, 1866, Annie Louise, daughter of Rev. Dr. Swan L., and Annie (Quincy) Pomeroy. His wife survives him.
Collections and Proceedings of the Maine Historical Society, October 1898, ix:403,410-413.