Biography - LEONIDAS J. MAY

Dr. May has been established in the town of Cobden, Union county, Illinois, ever since beginning his practice in 1905, and in that time has built up a fine practice and enjoys the confidence of the community to whose ills he has ministered so wisely. He is a constant student of his profession and is never ceasing in his efforts to keep in touch with the latest discoveries of the science to which he has elected to devote his life and to which so many of the greatest men the world has produced are devoting their powers. Dr. May, who is still to be counted of the younger generation, is a native son of Illinois, his eyes having first opened to the light of day in Marion, Williamson county. He is a son of Rev. G. W. May, a minister of the Cumberland Presbyterian church and well known for his ability and services in the high cause of his honored calling. The elder gentleman is a native of Johnson county and a son of William May, a native of Tennessee, who migrated to Johnson county and had the distinction of being one of the earliest settlers of Southern Illinois. He was prominent in the simple, friendly, wholesome and strenuous life of the new section and his good life has been recorded as a legacy to his descendants. He took as his wife a Miss Simpson, a member of another pioneer family. Four of the brothers of William May and four of his wife's brothers were soldiers in the Civil war, their sympathies being enlisted in the cause of the Union.

The youth of the Rev. G. W. May was passed in both Johnson and Williamson counties, the family removing to the latter when he was ten years of age. He married Sarah L. Davis, a native of eastern Tennessee. When she was nine years of age her parents migrated to Williamson county. The father was born in the year 1850 and has been a minister for twenty years, being at the present time located at Owensville, Indiana. He reared a family of six children, namely: Edna, now Mrs. McLain, of Union county; Ada Pearl, wife of Dr. Stewart, of Anna, Illinois; Myrtle (Barckniann); Daisy (Cantwell); Cecil (Wilder); and Leonidas J.

Dr. May, immediate subject of this review, was educated in part in the Marion schools, finishing nine school grades when fifteen years of age. He was for one year a student in the Anna high school and one year in that at Patoka, Indiana. He finished his classical education in Oakland College, Oakland City, Indiana, in 1898. Meantime, however, he had been working at various occupations and his studies were frequently interrupted while earning a livelihood. The family was in modest circumstances, as is proverbial with the families of ministers. When eleven years of age he was working on a farm near Cobden and first and last he did a good deal of work of this kind in the vicinity of Cobden. Later he engaged in sawmill work for three years in the vicinity of Anna, Illinois. He also worked in a brick plant in the Hoosier state for a year and in 1897 began teaching. His pedagogical services extended over a period of six years and included a year near Princeton, Indiana; two years in the Francisco high school; three years as principal of the high school at Monroe City, Indiana. In the meantime he had come to the conclusion to make the medical profession his own and while teaching pursued his studies in the Indiana State University at Bloomington, completing the course in two years. In the spring of 1902 he entered the Kentucky School of Medicine at Louisville and studied for four years, graduating in 1905. While pursuing his studies in the Keystone state he was interne in the Louisville City Hospital. In October, 1905, he passed the Illinois state board examinations and immediately located at Cobden, where he has built up an excellent practice and where he enjoys the regard of the community. He is affiliated with the Union county, the Illinois State and the American Medical Associations, and with the Masonic order at Cobden. He is a Presbyterian in church faith.

Dr. May was happily married February 26, 1908, Miss Stella Stout, of Cobden, daughter of Henry P. and Susan (Rich) Stout, becoming his wife. They have a small son, Robert Leon.

Extracted 13 Nov 2018 by Norma Hass from 1912 A History of Southern Illinois, volume 3, pages 1094-1095.

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