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G. A. J. May

G. A. J. May is the present efficient postmaster of the town of Toledo, but besides devoting his attention to this calling, he is also engaged in merchandising and farming, these occupations fully occupying his time.

He is a Virginian by birth, born in 1835, .a son of Gabriel and Elizabeth (Still) May, who were also born in that State. In 1836 they removed to the State of Mississippi, but in 1849 took up their abode in Bradley County, Ark., where they settled (now Cleveland County), being in a very wild and unimproved condition.

As the father had been a faithful soldier in the War of 1812, he was given a land warrant of 160 acres, in the State of Arkansas, and on this farm he continued to reside until his death, which occurred in 1864, at the age of seventy-two years, his wife's death occurring in 1856, when sixty-two years of age.

The latter was a member of the Baptist Church, and bore her husband ten children, all living to be grown, and three yet living, of whom the subject of this sketch is the youngest. Those living are: Sarah (the eldest child, a resident of Cleveland County, Ark.), J. J. and G. A. J. The latter attained his majority in this county, and here his early education was also received.

At the opening of the Rebellion he put on his suit of gray, shouldered his musket, and was on active duty for the cause of the Confederacy, until just before the close of the war, when he came home. He was taken prisoner at Pine Bluff, Ark., but was soon after released. He was at Shiloh, Corinth, and also at a number of battles, and after the close of the war returned to his home with the consciousness of having faithfully served the Confederate cause.

Upon his return home he began working at the blacksmith's trade and carpentering, and followed these callings, in connection with farming, until 1878, when he leased a ferry on Saline River, for seven years, upon which he went to Rison, and opened a general mercantile establishment, which he conducted successfully, until coming to Toledo, in 1886, where he has since followed the same calling, in connection with farming, and discharging the duties of postmaster. He is an exceptionally intelligent and well-posted man, on all public matters, and the people showed their appreciation of his merits by electing him to the office of special probate judge of the county, a position he filled several terms, after which he discharged the duties of deputy county clerk for some time.

Since he attained his twenty-first year, he has been a member of the Masonic fraternity, and has been master of his lodge at different times. Soon after the close of the war, he was married to Miss Laura A. Briggs, a native of the State of Mississippi, and a daughter of John Briggs, who died when Mrs. May was a small child, and she came to the State of Arkansas with her mother, who always remained a widow, in 1851, she being her only child.

To Mr. and Mrs. May a family of nine children have been born, two of whom are deceased. Mrs. May is a consistent Christian lady, and is a worthy member of the Baptist Church.


Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Southern Arkansas
Copyright 1890
Published by The Goodspeed Publishing Co.; Chicago, Nashville and St. Louis