John May Cemetery Ceremony

            Descendants and friends of the John May family gathered on Saturday, October 6, 2007 at the family cemetery near that pioneer’s Shelby County homestead to dedicate a new headstone and a memorial Texas Ranger cross. This cemetery was recently recovered from neglect because it was no longer on family land. Trees and undergrowth were cleared, a new fence and gate were erected. A road has been built leading to the cemetery. This cemetery has also been called Hooper-May Cemetery because of the number of people from both families who are interred there.
        John May was both a Texas Ranger and a Veteran of the War of 1812. He served with Col Clayburn’s 7th Regiment during that war. Later he joined the Mississippi Militia close to Natchez and fought Indians in Alabama. He was also present with Col Clayburn at the Battle of New Orleans.
        Mr. May’s service to the Texas Rangers was noted in a muster roll of Capt John W. Middleton’s Ranging Company of the Sabine, established July 15, 1839. The company was established to guard the area from the lawless elements of the nearby areas during the Regulators and Moderators War and to protect residents from invading Indian parties. They were dispatched along the road from Logansport to Nacogdoches.
        Mr. May died in the old “Haight House” which still stands about a quarter mile north of the cemetery that bears his name. His third wife, Elizabeth Williams Wagstaff Haight May, is buried near his grave.
        Thomas Ronald Parker was the master of ceremonies and the program featured Capt. Dan North, of the Texas Rangers reciting the Texas Ranger Prayer. The Tombstone was unveiled and the Memorial Texas Ranger Cross was placed. Mike Wood played Amazing Grace on his bagpipes. Later he played On Jordan’s Stormy Banks.
        A U.S. flag ceremony was conducted by Larry Hume, Quartermaster of the VFW Post 8904. A 21- gun salute was given by the Shelby County Deputy Sheriff’s Department. The flag was presented to Heidi Parker.
        After a closing prayer and blessing by Rev. Jody Hooper, the large crowd enjoyed barbecue and all the trimmings while the Buffalo and his Buffalo Band entertained them.
        The ceremony was a fitting memorial to one of Shelby County’s earliest pioneers.

William Rudd & Dowell Youngblood   Buffalo Band
Shelby County Deputy Sheriffs   Ronald Parker
Larry Hume-VFW  

Elsie Youngblood Rudd



    Edgel May Permenter and Fred Spurlock