The family and descendants of
Reuben May [1800-1840]
to composite of photos of the
Entered March 2006
Their two youngest children were twins,
William Harvey & Andrew Jackson May.
10. William Harvey May
b: 24 Jun 1875 Maytown, Ky, a twin borther of Andrew Jackson May d:
24 Feb 1921 Prestonsburg, KY, buried there in Mayo Cemetery. age at
William Harvey May attended the public schools of Floyd County and Kentucky Normal School. He and his twin brother graduated from Southern Normal University at Huntingdon, Tennessee on June 25, 1898 with their Law Degrees. He was admitted to the Kentucky Bar the same year and soon became known as one of the brightest and most active lawyers in Eastern Kentucky. In 1906, he was appointed by Gov. J. C. W. Beckham as Commonwealth Attorney for the thirty first Judicial District to fill an unexpired term on Albert B. Stephens, deceased. Thereafter, he was twice elected to this office without opposition, serving a total of ten years. He had a reputation of being one of the toughest prosecutors the district had ever known. After an unsuccessful candidacy for Circuit Judge, he moved to Jenkins, Ky., where he became an attorney for the Consolidation Coal Co. He held this position with the company until his death in 1921.
In addition to his political aspirations, William Harvey took active interest in all civic and religious work in his hometown of Prestonsburg. He was one of the promoters of the First National Bank on Prestonsburg and served as a Vice President. He also owned half of the Hotel Elizabeth on First Ave. He built a handsome residence on his property on the northeast corner of Second Ave. and Court St., once owned by his uncle, also named William Harvey May (1830-1890).
He was converted to Christianity under the preaching of Rev. W. H. Sledge, and his conversion is said to have been a bright one and his Christian faith served him well during his last hours. He was the moving spirit in the erection of the Baptist Church in Prestonsburg, which was constructed on property he donated to the congregation [on the northwest corner of Court St. and the US highway though town.]. He served as Superintendent of the Sunday School and Chairman of the Board of Deacons. He also was Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Prestonsburg Baptist Institute and was a member of the Masonic Lodge.
Tress May Francis ends her summary of the life and works of William Harvey May by saying, "His life was gentle and the elements so mixed in him that nature might stand up and say to all the world, 'He was a man.' "
11. Andrew Jackson May
b: 24 Jun 1875 Maytown, KY, twin brother of William Harvey May d: 6
Sep 1959 Prestonsburg, KY, buried there in the Mayo Cemetery.
Standing: Secretary of
War, Henry Stimson;
Andrew Jackson May worked on his father's farm, attended the Floyd County schools, and began teaching at the age of eighteen. He taught a few years in the common schools of Floyd and Magoffin Counties, while he studied law preparatory to attending college. He and his twin brother graduated from Southern Normal University at Huntingdon, Tennessee on June 25, 1898 with their Law Degrees. At the age of twenty-four, he and his brother began their law practice as the law firm of May & May in Prestonsburg, the county seat of Floyd County, Ky. They continued their practice together for over twenty years, the firm being dissolved upon the death of William Harvey May in 1921. In 1901, at the age of twenty-six, Andrew was elected County Attorney of Floyd County. He was re-elected in 1905, serving a total of eight years in the office. He was appointed a Special Judge of nearby Johnson and Martin Counties' Circuit Courts. He was retained for a number of years as an attorney for Pittsburgh Coal Co. and Kentucky-West Virginia Power Co. of Eastern Kentucky. He was engaged in the coal mining business and was associated with others in the operation of the May Coal Company on Right Beaver Creek in Floyd County. In 1904, the May brothers joined with a few other men of the community to organize the First National Bank in Prestonsburg, Ky. During his years of affiliation with the bank, he served as Vice President and later as President and Director.
In 1930 Andrew Jackson May, a Democrat, was elected to the U.S. Congress from the 10th Kentucky Congressional District, and served in that capacity for eight consecutive terms, ending in 1946. On March 4, 1932 he became a member of the House Military Affairs Committee and on January 10, 1937, as Franklin Roosevelt was preparing for his second administration, he was elevated to the Chairmanship of this committee. He is credited with rendering a great and honorable service to his district and the nation in World War II by his leadership of this very important committee. As the war in Europe was escalating, prior to the bombing of Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, Congressman May fought repeatedly for strengthening the fortifications of the American held islands in the Pacific. A fiery speech from the floor of the House on February 27, 1939 records his plea to better fortify the island of Guam. Unfortunately, the Congress was still in denial on the military threat to the United States as they defeated May's proposals. After the surprise attack by the Japanese, the Philippines and Guam were overrun in 1942.
Congressman May was successful as the sponsor of legislation to provide Universal Military Training and wrote and sponsored the first peacetime Draft Act, which was enacted shortly before war was declared. He remained Chairman of the Military Affairs Committee until he went out of office. Throughout his years in Congress he worked long and hard for government support of the canalization of the Big Sandy River. This ambitious project never came to fruition, but he was successful in his efforts on legislation authorizing the Dewey Dam Project in Floyd County. In the early 1950s the waters of Johns Creek formed a lake behind this dam and the State of Kentucky began to develop Jenny Wiley State Park. The commodious lodge on the lake is named "May Lodge" in honor of Congressman Andrew Jackson May.
Mr. May was a member and loyal supporter of the Baptist Church in Prestonsburg, Ky. since 1907. He served as a Deacon, Chairman of the Education Committee and taught in the Sunday School. He also served on Church committee at the state level and was active in local civic clubs.