Samuel M. May was born on March 15, 1839 in Bedford County, PA, the son of Leonard and Maria "Catherine" (Younkin) May.
He married Mariah Amanda Beltz (April 1844- ? ).
They produced nine offspring, among them Alice Augusta Holler, Calvin Samuel May, Charles M. May, Harvey J. May, Norman L. May, James A. Garfield May and William H. May, plus several who died before 1926.
Daniel and four of his brothers joined the Union Army during the Civil War, "rallying promptly to the call for troops to preserve the Union," said the Meyersdale Republican. He was assigned to the 138th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry. Later, he joined the 2nd Potomac Home Brigade, Maryland, Company K.
Some six-plus decades after the war's end, the Republican summarized his military career this way:
Samuel May was a good soldier, and during the years he was in the army saw much hard service... After two years of service he was taken captive, and after being confined in Belle Isle and Libby prisons for a short time, he was transferred to that hell on earth known as the Andersonville prison, where he suffered from hunger and hellish treatment for a year and three days. The happiest moment of his life, Mr. May used to say, was when the news came to him that the war was over. He was always popular among his army comrades, and also numbered many other people among his personal friends, as he was a man of genial disposition, who readily made friends wherever he went.
In 1870-1880, he and Mariah were farmers and resided next to his parents’ home in Juniata Township, Bedford County.
Later, for many years, the Mays made their home at Boynton, Somerset County. Later in life, they lived in Sand Patch, Summit Township, Somerset County.
Census records for 1900 show them in Elk Lick Township, Somerset County, with four sons, grandson Ross S. Darrah and boarder Albert Rob in the household.
Noted the Republican, Samuel "was a man of rugged health during most of his long life, and was a member of a family noted for longevity." But as he aged, he was burdened with heart and kidney disease.
Samuel died in Sand Patch at the age of 87 years, five months and 20 days on either Sept. 5, 1926. Reported the Republican, "his remains were taken to his native county and interred in Dry Ridge cemetery, near Buffalo Mills. The obsequies were conducted by Rev. H.M. Couchenour pastor of the Berlin and Salisbury M.E. congregation." He was survived by 16 grandchildren. Son Calvin signed his official Pennsylvania certificate of death.
Daughter Alice Augusta May (1866-1955) was born on Dec. 9, 1866 in Bedford County. She married Ross Holler (1862- ? ). Their known offspring were James Holler, Leona Holler, Alice Holler, Amanda Holler and Hiram Holler. They lived in Elk Lick Township, Somerset County in 1920 and in Boynton, Elklick Township, Somerset County in 1926. Ross was a longtime coal miner in and around Somerset County. The Hollers resided in 1944 in Cornville, AZ. She eventually returned to live in Boynton. At the age of 88, widowed, she bore heart disease and died on Jan. 3, 1955. Her remains were lowered into eternal repose in the Salisbury IOOF Cemetery.
Daughter Ida May (1868- ? ) was born in about 1868.
Son Calvin Samuel May (1870-1958) was born on May 25, 1870 in Bard, Bedford County. Unmarried at age 30, he lived at home in 1900 and earned a living as a coal miner. His home in the mid-1920s was Larimer Township, Somerset County and in 1944 in Holsopple. He eventually married but became widowed. In 1958, he resided on Salisbury Street in Meyersdale, Somerset County. He suffered cardiovascular problems and his late 80s fractured his right femur. He died on Aug. 14, 1958 in Meyersdale Community Hospital, at the age of 88. Interment was in Salisbury IOOF Cemetery.
Son Charles M. May (1872- ? ) was born in about 1872. He dwelled in Salisbury, Somerset County in 1926-1944.
Son Harvey J. May (1873- ? ) was born in about 1873. He worked as a coal miner in and around Elk Lick, Somerset County in 1900.
Son Norman L. May (1876- ? ) was born in about 1876. He resided in 1926 in Davidsville, Somerset County. By 1944, he had relocated to Winchester, VA.
Son James A. Garfield May (1880- ? ) was born on Sept. 1, 1880 in or around Bard, Bedford County and was named for the presidential candidate. He taught school in early adulthood and at the age of 19, he worked as a coal miner and lost his left arm in a hunting accident. He married Martha Shoemaker ( ? - ? ), daughter of W.A. Shoemaker of Meyersdale. They lived in Jerome and for 13 years in Davidsville, Somerset County, moving there in about 1931. There, he was employed as a weighmaster for Maple Ridge Coal Company. He also served as justice of the peace at Davidsville and was an active member of St. David's Evangelical Lutheran Church. Fate intervened on the morning of Nov. 30, 1944 when he was driving to work on route 53, between Davidsville and Holsopple in Conemaugh Township. Another vehicle came too close and "he was crowded off the road," reported the Meyersdale Republican, " and that in endeavoring to get back onto the concrete road from the berm, the car skidded and turned over." James was knocked unconscious from severe concussion and was rushed to Memorial Hospital in Johnstown. He never recovered consciousness and died three evenings later on Dec. 3, 1944. Burial was in Maple Spring Church of the Brethren near Jerome, with his pastor, Rev. John Fisher, officiating.
Son William H. May (1882- ? ) was born in June 1882. Circa 1926, his home was in West Salisbury, Somerset County. When he was age 17, he labored in local coal mines in Elk Lick, Somerset County. Circa 1944, he dwelled in Barberton, OH.