Jim Cummings, left, and B.C. Howell standing next to a historic marker
Tennessee State Library & Archives
County Seat: Woodbury
Few legislators were ever as powerful as “Mister” Jim Cummings of Cannon County, who was first elected to the state house in 1928 and stayed there until 1972 (other than a four-year hiatus as Tennessee Secretary of State from 1949 until 1953). Cummings was a brilliant legislator and a big friend to the farmer; he fought hard to keep the legislature under the control of the rural parts of the state (at the expense of the cities).
One of his favorite, and more controversial quotes, was “I believe in collecting the taxes where the money is – in the cities – and spending it where it’s needed – in the country.” During his lifetime Cummings was engaged in many bitter political battles against “Boss” Edward Crump of Memphis.
A picnic area along highway 70
One of the small reminders of Jim Cummings and his ability to get money from the General Assembly is the series of public picnic areas along highway 70 in Cannon and Warren counties.
For more information about Jim Cummings and “Boss” Ed Crump, read the book One Man, One Vote by Gene Graham. You should be able to find a copy at a used bookstore or at the library.
Cannon County is very scenic.. If you pick the right day and the right route you are in for a real treat.
Here is a view from Locke Creek Road.
(Click on the photo to see a larger version.)
Another view from Locke Creek Road...
And, after we climbed a pretty steep hill, a third view from Locke Creek Road...
And, after we crossed into the valley below, we found a place called Auburntown, which has an old bank building....
... now used as a library!
Here is a photo of the Cannon County Courthouse, which is one of the handsomest in the state.