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 • Black Hawk County
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Samuel L May
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Birth: 1809
New York, USA
Death: Nov. 4, 1855
Black Hawk County
Iowa, USA

He was the first burial in the Waterloo Cemetery. I have not located a stone for him there, which is not unusual for this early burial date.

Samuel's middle name is Lanfear or Lamphere. (History of Black Hawk Co states Lanfear). Still in process confirming mother's maiden name. He was born about 1809. His father was Samuel May and mother, Polly. His wife's name also was Polly.

On July 11, 1853, the family arrived in Black Hawk Co., IA, in the vicinity of what is now east Waterloo. They intended to locate on the west side of the bank, but rainy weather and high waters prevented him from crossing for several weeks. They built a log cabin in this area. This unfortunate delay gave him the idea that a rooming house and tavern would be a good business there. He went into action and built himself a suitable structure for this purpose on what is now the busiest corner in Waterloo, 4th and Sycamore. It was a modest frame building, 16 x 20 feet, and a wing 12 x 16 feet, both one and a half stories high, with a long one-story annex at the rear. A stairway led to the second floor instead of the usual ladder. On the first floor were a lounging room, dining room, kitchen, pantry and two sleeping rooms. The hotel was sometimes used for Methodist meetings.
He also saw the need for a ferry and on October 12, 1853, he was granted a permit to operate a ferry across the Cedar above the rapids, approximately at Second Street. He built the boat himself and charged 5 cents each way for the ferry. Samuel also established the first tavern in that part of the city. He later sold the ferry to Seth Lake. By 1854, there were 17 houses in Waterloo. He kept the motel until his death in the autumn of 1855.

Family links: 
  Polly Borden or Bardin May (1814 - 1897)*
  Eliza May Virden (1832 - 1883)*
  Elizabeth May Benight (1835 - 1909)*
  Harriet May Hawver (1843 - 1930)*
  George M May (1852 - 1913)*
*Calculated relationship
Waterloo Cemetery
Black Hawk County
Iowa, USA
Created by: LDA
Record added: Mar 23, 2013
Find A Grave Memorial# 107155184
Samuel L May
Cemetery Photo
Added by: Ken Wright
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