IAGenWeb Project - Allamakee co.

R. G. May


Various important business interests have at different times claimed the attention of R. G. May, and all have profited greatly by his energy, enterprise and ability. Today he is not only one of the progressive farmers, successful stock-raisers and extensive landowners of Iowa township, where he has resided since 1879, but he is likewise prominent in local politics and is classed with those citizens whose sterling worth, earnest purpose and fidelity to duty make them valued members of the community.

Allamakee county numbers Mr. May among her native sons, his birth having occurred on May’s Prairie in 1858, his parents being John and Juliana May, the former a native of Ohio and the latter of Delaware. Their marriage occurred in Ohio, and in 1852 they came to Iowa, settling in Lansing township, Allamakee county, where the father engaged in farming, buying a large tract of land, which he improved and developed until his death, which occurred when he was sixty-five years of age. His wife has also passed away, having survived her husband for a number of years. Of their family of thirteen children five still survive: Henry and Roan C., of New Albin; Margaret, who married Charles Feuerhellm, of May’s Prairie; and Lois E., the wife of E. W. White, of Nebraska.

R. G. May was reared upon his father’s farm on May’s Prairie and acquired his early education in district school No. 2, supplementing this by a course in business college at New Albin. After laying aside his books he turned his attention to farming, having already gained a practical knowledge of the best agricultural methods by aiding his father with the work of the homestead. He had also learned the carpenter's trade and this he followed in conjunction with agricultural pursuits until 1885, abandoning both lines of activity in that year in order to establish a drug store in New Albin, an enterprise which he successfully conducted for two years. At the end of that time he engaged in carpentering and contracting in that city and secured a large and profitable patronage as his ability and skill became widely known. In 1891 he disposed of all his business interests in New Albin and purchased, in partnership with C. N. Steel, a portion of the farm which he now owns. Their association still continues, and together they are the proprietors of over twelve hundred acres of well improved land, upon which they make a specialty of raising stock, their animals being of high grade and commanding a ready sale on the market. Mr. May owns also a great deal of improved property in New Albin and is connected with many of the most important business concerns in that city, being secretary of the New Albin Cooperative Creamery, secretary and a stockholder in the New Albin Manufacturing Company and a director of the New Albin & Irish Hollow Telephone Company. His business interest are at all times carefully and capably conducted and have been a source of great individual prosperity besides constituting valuable elements of community advancement.

Mr. May is a member of the Methodist Episcopal church and fraternally is connected with the Yeoman and the Masonic lodge. Although he is a successful, reliable and discriminating business man, he has not by any means confined his attention to this one field, but has extended the scope of his activities to include participation in public affairs, his influence being at all times on the side of right, reform and progress. He gives his political allegiance to the republican party and has held various important positions of trust and responsibility, being at the present time secretary of the school board and city clerk of New Albin. His interest are largely identified with those of this section of the state, where he has resided since his birth, and at all times he is ready to lend his aid and cooperation to any movement calculated to benefit the section or advance its development.

-source: Past & Present of Allamakee County; by Ellery M. Hancock; S. J. Clarke Pub. Co.; 1913
-transcribed by Diana Diedrich

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