Few legislators were ever as powerful as 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). 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.”
Today, one of the charming 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 the library.
Cannon County has always been known for its arts — especially basketmaking and chairmaking. No one is really certain how this got started, but by the Great Depression there were people here making their living at these crafts. This legacy is celebrated by an organization called the Arts Center of Cannon County.
Click here to be taken to its website.
Cannon County is also very scenic. If you pick the right day and the right route you are in for a real treat.
Here (to the left) is a view from Locke Creek Road on a pretty fall day.
A little while later we found a town called Auburntown, which has an old bank building used as a library (shown here)!
Here is a photo of the Cannon County Courthouse–one of the handsomest in the state.