Jefferson County Historical Society

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Ward Cunningham, of the firm of Hamel & Cunningham, manufacturers of
heavy tinware, roofing and guttering, and dealers in hardware, stoves,
etc., in De Soto, is a native of the State of New York, born in Herkimer
County in 1859, and is a descendant of Gen. Herkimer, after whom that 
county is named.  He is a son of James and Lucinda C. (Uhle) Cunningham, 
the former of whom, of Irish and Scotch descent, was born in Patterson, 
N. J., in 1823; he is a machinist by trade, settled in Herkimer County, 
N. Y., after marriage, whence he moved to 1866 to St. Louis, where he 
has since been connected with the Pacific Express Company; his wife is 
a native of Herkimer County, N. Y., and was born in 1838. Ward Cunningham
was educated in St. Louis, attending school until twelve years of age.  
He was subsequently amanuensis in the Union Depot freight office for 
eight years, and the following four years was a traveling salesman for 
a St. Louis paint company. In 1884 he came to De Soto, and, in partnership 
with Gust J. Hamel, bought the hardware stock of R. Borrough, which 
business they have since conducted.  They carry a first class stock of 
hardware, stoves, chinaware, glassware, paints and oils, and manufacture 
heavy tinware and roofing.  November 23, 1887, Mr. Cunningham married Miss 
Mary, daughter of S. W. Crawford, of De Soto, Mo. In politics Mr. Cunningham
is a Democrat; he is a member of the Knights of Pythias, A. O. U. W. and 
Legion of Honor.  In religion he affiliates with the Episcopal Church.