The patriarch of this family line was James Cunningham, born in Canada in 1833. He came to the United States and married an Ohio girl, Carolina Stumpf, in 1858; they lived near Onarga, Illinois for many years. That's where their six children were born.
Eldest of their children was Alfred Vlandingham Cunningham, born in Hudson, Illinois in 1864. He married Mary J. Poulson in 1885. The family migrated to Iowa and finally settled near the little south-central Nebraska town of Trumbull in 1888.
Alfred was a farmer, and he also served two terms as a Nebraska State Senator. A member of the Christian Church, he was also a Mason. Alfred and Mary had 10 children -- all boys. The oldest was Rayburn. The family moved to Lodgepole, Nebraska shortly before Alfred died at the relatively young age of 49 years.