[p. 893] residing nine miles southeast of New Castle, in Slippery Rock Township, Lawrence County, Pennsylvania, is the owner of a valuable farm of eighty-five acres, and is engaged in general farming. He was born in Wayne Township, Lawrence County, June 4, 1852, and comes of a prominent old family of that section. He is a son of William and Nancy (Vaneman) Cunningham, and a grandson of Benjamin Cunningham.
Benjamin Cunningham, the grandfather, was a native and lifelong resident of Wayne Township, where his father was one of the very earliest pioneers. William, father of R. S. Cunningham, was born on the old homestead in Wayne Township, and attended the early schools of that vicinity. He worked on the home place for some years, then purchased a farm of his own in that township, on which he passed the remainder of his days. He married Nancy Vaneman, a daughter of N. V. Vaneman, of Wayne Township, and they became parents of eight children: Keziah M., Maria M., Martha S., R. S., David L., Amos B., George W., and Frank W.
R. S. Cunningham received his early education in the district schools of his native township, after which he assisted his father on the farm until his marriage. He then went west to Iowa and Nebraska, and farmed some years. Returning to Lawrence County, he lived on a farm in Hickory Township two years, then moved to Butler County. In 1886 he purchased his present farm, on which he has made many improvements, and has followed farming with entire success.
Mr. Cunningham was united in the holy bonds of wedlock with Nora Durnell, a daughter of John D. Durnell, of Butler County, and they have five children: Cyrus C., who married Maud Cameron and has three children, Roy, Mabel and Paul; Rhoda, who married Lewis Dunbaugh, and has a daughter, Agnes Gula; Mitchell, who lives in the West; Herman, who married Laura Nagel; and Harry, who assists in farming the home place. Mr. Cunningham is a Republican in politics, and served a number of years as school director. Religiously he is a member of the Harmony Baptist Church, and is at the present time serving as trustee and also as treasurer.
20th Century History of New Castle and Lawrence County Pennsylvania and Representative Citizens Hon. Aaron L. Hazen Richmond-Arnold Publishing Company, Chicago, Ill., 1908
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