Milton Kyser Cummings

 Businessman and Civic Leader

Born:August 12, 1911, Gadsden, Alabama
Died:March 7, 1973, Huntsville, AL
Buried:Maple Hill Cemetery, Huntsville, AL
Residence:1204 Ward Avenue NE - Two story cape cod style home of and built by Milton J. Cummings.
Residence:603 Adams Street SE


•  Honorary Doctor of Laws conferred by Auburn University , 1963 - Auburn

•  "In 1958, Teledyne Brown was taken over by a group of local investors headed by Milton K. Cummings. Cummings, now a major stockholder of Brown Engineering, was asked to be president. In that role, he quickly set the company on sound financial footing." - Encyclopedia of Alabama

•  "Cummings was born in Gadsden, Alabama, where his father, Charles Wesley Cummings, was the superintendent of a cotton gin. The elder Cummings was a second-generation native of Huntsville, Alabama, and soon moved his family back to Huntsville. Afflicted with osteomyelitis, Milton lost a lower leg when he was four years old. He attended school in Huntsville and, coping well with an artificial leg, became an excellent tennis player. While still in school, he worked as an errand runner in the office of a cotton broker where his father was employed. Impressed with Milton's determination, intelligence, and handicap adjustment, the broker offered him a full scholarship to attend college as he finished high school at age 16. Feeling obliged to help support his family, he declined the offer of college but asked for employment in the brokerage firm. His father died a few years later, leaving Milton responsible for the family while still a teenager." Information from: Davis, Louis; "New Throne for a Cotton King," The Nashville Tennessean Magazine, 19 Jan. 1964, pp. 6-7 - Wikipedia

•  Cummings, at the age of twenty-five, opened a cotton brokerage firm in Northern Alabama with $5000 left to him in Shelby Fletcher's will. He became known as an "honest broker" and was successful. But seventeen years later he became dissatisfied with the business primarily because he could see how government policies would eventually make things very hard for cotton farmers. For several years he focused his attention on the stock market and investments. He was very good at this and soon "amassed a considerable fortune." - Wikipedia

•  "Wernher von Braun had suggested to Cummings that Huntsville needed a central research park for the emerging space and defense industries. A large section of former farmland was found on the western edge of Huntsville, adjacent to the developing campus of the University of Alabama Huntsville Graduate Center (later to become the University of Alabama in Huntsville) and near to Redstone Arsenal. Through purchases and options, rights to hundreds of acres of this land was secured by Cummings (primarily to forestall speculators), and the Huntsville City Council was persuaded to designate 3,000 acres (1,200 ha) as the Huntsville Research Park. BECO became the first occupant in the new park, opening a large complex in early 1962." - Wikipedia

•  Son of Charles Wesley and Alice Sherril Cummings - Wikipedia

•  Married: Nannie Vastus Ivy in 1936. - Wikipedia

•  Daughters: Jean, Carol Ann, and Nancy. Step-son: William Brooks Wilkinson - Wikipedia

•  Cummings was able to see the potential in Brown Engineering and set the course for what was to become a major player in the aero-space industry. - Wikipedia

•  "Cummings set an example for Southern firms in equal opportunity employment, long before it was federally mandated. In 1963, he was a principal founder and first President of the Association of Area Companies (AHAC), a Huntsville organization devoted to ensuring equal opportunity of minorities in employment, education, housing, and community affairs. Huntsville led Alabama in all aspects of race relations." - Wikipedia

Related Links:

• - Page owned by Mike McNabb-72 and requires membership to view. (Originally found at

•  Encyclopedia of Alabama - Teledyne Brown Engineering.

•  Huntsville Chamber of Commerce - History of Cummings Research Park. (Originally found at

•  Wicks - Huntsville: Air and Space, by T. Gary Wicks, © 2010, pp. 107-19.

•  Wikipedia - Excellent Bio

•  Wikipedia - Cummings Research Park

•  Auburn - List of Degree Honoraries. (Originally found at

The Following Pages Link to this Page:
•  1204 Ward Avenue NE
•  603 Adams Street SE