By a life of persistent and well applied industry led along the most
honorable lines, the gentleman whose name appears above has justly earned
the right to be represented in a work of the character of the one at hand,
along with the other men of Marion county who have made their influence felt
in their respective communities.
Harvey D. May, the present popular Trustee of Haines township and a well known dealer in harness, saddlery and hardware in the town of Kell, Illinois, was born in Raccoon township, Marion county, October 12, 1879, and while yet a young man he has shown what properly applied energy and a business mind can do toward wrenching success from seeming insurmountable obstacles. He is the son of Jesse H. and Mary (Williams) May, the former a native of Kentucky and the latter of Tennessee. Anderson May, the subject's grandfather, was also a native of Kentucky and was one of the early settlers in Marion county, Illinois, having settled in Raccoon township. Jesse H. May, who has devoted his life to farming and is still living in that township, is a highly respected citizen. Three children were born to the parents of our subject, Amos is a farmer in Raccoon township; Laura, who is deceased, was the wife of Orvil Prater, and they were the parents of two children, Etha and Henry, who are still living; Harvey D., our subject, was the second child.
Our subject was reared on a farm where he assisted with the work about the place. He attended school in Raccoon township, having applied himself in such a manner as to gain the foundation for a good education. Deciding early in life that he desired to be a harness maker and dealer, Mr. May learned the harness maker's trade and became quite a proficient workman early in life, and he finally opened a shop in Kell, this county, establishing his present business, in which he was successful from the first and which has steadily grown, his business now extending through a wide scope of country on every hand, owing to the fair dealing he gives his customers and the intimate knowledge he has of the harness business. He does a general repair business and is always very busy. His shop is equipped with all the latest appliances and improvements known to the harness maker's art and his work is all of a high grade.
Mr. May's domestic life was begun in 1903, when he was united in marriage with Ava Williams, who was born in Jefferson county, Illinois, and is the daughter of N. A. and Jane (Rice) Williams. Mrs. May was called from her earthly labors January 14, 1908. She was a member of the Baptist church. She was a woman of many estimable traits of character, a good wife and was beloved by all her neighbors.
Mr. May is a member of Romine Lodge No. 663, Independent Order of Odd Fellows. He has represented this lodge at the Grand Lodge on two different occasions, and has passed all the chairs in the local lodge. Our subject is a loyal Republican and has taken considerable interest in his party's affairs. He was elected Trustee of Haines township in the spring of 1908. He is regarded as an energetic, honest and influential citizen, enjoying the respect of all who know him.
Extracted 10 Jul 2017 by Norma Hass from 1909 Biographical and Reminiscent History of Richland, Clay and Marion Counties, Illinois, pages 204-205.