|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
William R. May, who in a prominent way has for many years been identified with farming interests in Cream Ridge township and whose enterprise has contributed much toward the advancement of Livingston county, his native section, was born September 4, 1861. He is a son of James and Nancy (Creghead) May, the former a native of Missouri, who came to Livingston county in pioneer times, taking up a preemption claim of three hundred and twenty acres in Cream Ridge township in 1849. Little by little he increased his holdings and carried forward the work of development along progressive lines, becoming finally one of the substantial and representative men of this locality. He was for twelve years public administrator and in many other ways gave his active support to movements for the general welfare. He died in 1895, having reached the age of seventy-one, and is survived by his wife, who makes her home in Colorado during the summer months.
William R. May acquired his education in the public schools of Cream Ridge township, laying aside his books at the age of twenty two in order to assist his father with the work of the homestead. After three years, however, he began his independent career, buying a small farm of eighty acres, which he has since increased to two hundred and sixty-seven acres. This farm, lying on section 18, is in a high state of cultivation and Mr. May has provided it fine residence, barns and other buildings. Each year he gathers abundant harvests as a reward for the care and labor he bestows upon the fields, while in addition he is extensively interested stock-raising. He also operates a sawmill and has two threshing outfits upon his property. He is a director in the Farmers & Merchants Bank of Chula.
Mr. May has been twice married. His first union occurred in Cream Ridge township, when he wedded Miss Melsina Clowdis, a daughter of John and Nancy A. Clowdis. Mr. May's first wife died in 1894, leaving four children: James E., a farmer in Cream Ridge township; Ora A., a blacksmith in Kenyon City, Texas; Pearl, the wife of Clarke Morris, a farmer in Rich Hill township; and Effie, who lives in Colorado. Mr. May's second union occurred in Chillicothe, Missouri, May 9, 1895, on which date he married Miss Prudence Luamy Austin, a daughter of Edwin and Jane Austin, both of whom have passed away and are buried in Ward cemetery.
Mr. May is affiliated with the blue lodge in Masonry and politically gives his allegiance to the progressive party, having served three years as township collector, However, he has never desired office, preferring to give all of his time to his business affairs, which are capably conducted, so that he is justly classed with the progressive farmers of this county