|Other People | Frank J. Bradley | Olive Rambo Cook | Jerry Litton ||
Past and Present of Livingston County
Volume 2. Biographies
by Major A. J. Roof. 1913
The name of May has been well known in Livingston county since pioneer times, for representatives of the family have lived in this section since 1849. In that year James May came to this county and preempted land in Cream Ridge township, to which he gradually added, founding in this way the old May estate, of which his son, John J. May is now manager and part owner. The farm comprises three hundred and fifty-eight acres lying on the east half of section 20 and on sections 22 and 23 and is one of the well improved and valuable properties of this locality. John J. May was born upon the property, February 9, 1855, and has spent his entire life here. His parents were James and Nancy (Creaghead) May, the former the founder of the family in Livingston county and for many years one of the substantial and representative citizens. He was recognized as a powerful factor in agricultural development and was also prominent in public life, serving for twelve years as public administrator and cooperating heartily in all progressive public movements. He died in 1895, at the age of seventy-one, and is survived by his wife, who makes her home in Colorado during the summer months.
John J. May was reared to farm work and as a boy became familiar with the details and methods of practical farming, much of his success today resting upon the thoroughness of his early training. He acquired a primary education in the district schools and later attended the Kirksville State Normal, which lie left at the age of twenty-two. He afterward began teaching in Cream Ridge township and continued to do so until 1895, although he did not abandon his connection with farming, spending his summers managing the homestead. He inherited a share in the property and was made one of the administrators of the estate, which he has managed since the death of his father. Upon it he has steadily carried forward the work of improvement, building a new residence, substantial barns and a number of other buildings and neglecting nothing which would make this a model agricultural property. He is widely recognized as a prosperous and enterprising agriculturist and stock-raiser of the community and as one whose success is entirely the result of his well directed labor and capable management.
Mr. May married, in Jacksonville, Illinois, April 11, 1893, Miss Lullah Davis, a daughter of John T. and Ann E. Davis, the former for many years a successful farmer in Livingston county. He died in Cream Ridge township and is buried in the May cemetery, which was named in honor of the father of the subject of this review. Mr. and Mrs. May have five children: Ina L., the wife of W. H. Stickney, of Joseph, Oregon; Mansur, a painter in Denver, Colorado; Glen D., of Pueblo, Colorado; Vivien, who lives at home, and Anna, who is attending -school.
Fraternally Mr. May is identified with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and he is well known in business circles of Chula as an important stockholder in the Farmers & Merchants Bank. He gives his allegiance to the democratic party and served as county assessor from 1906 to 1907 and has also been township collector and assessor for a number of terms. In his official career he has always been most loyal to the interests of the county and devoted to its welfare. As a citizen he is public-spirited and whatever tends to promote the best interests of the community receives his indorsement and hearty support.