Begin New Search
Refine Last Search
Cemetery Lookup
Add Burial Records
Help with Find A Grave

Find all Mays in:
 • Waterloo Cemetery
 • Waterloo
 • Black Hawk County
 • Iowa
 • Find A Grave

Top Contributors
Success Stories
Discussion Forums
Find A Grave Store

Log In
Sponsor This Memorial!
Polly Borden or Bardin May
Learn about sponsoring this memorial...
Birth: Sep. 10, 1814
New York, USA
Death: Apr. 14, 1897
Black Hawk County
Iowa, USA

MRS. POLLY B. MAY (Wife of Samuel L. May and mother of Eliza May VIRDEN]
Source: Iowa State Reporter, Waterloo, IA: Thursday, April 15, 1897, Page 10

She Was the Mother of Waterloo's First School Teacher-The Story of a Useful Life.

From Tuesday's Daily.

Waterloo's oldest resident passed away last night when death came peacefully to Mrs. Polly Bardin May at the home of her daughter, Mrs. E. Blowers, 415 East Fifth street.

Besides being the oldest settler in Waterloo, Mrs. May enjoyed the distinction of having been a continuous resident of this city longer than any other person.

Deceased was 83 years of age. For the past two years she has been very feeble, and has suffered several strokes of paralysis during that time. Combined with her advanced age the paralysis caused her death. From an entry in her Bible, in her own handwriting, the following record was taken:

"I was born in Ontario County, N.Y., Sept. 10, 1814. My parents were of English descent, their ancestors being among the early settlers of Connecticut and Rhode Island. In 1818 my parents removed to the eastern part of Indiana, remaining there until I was eight years old. They then moved across the state, settling in Vigo county, where I was married to Samuel L. May January 1, 1832, also from Ontario county, N.Y. We were both converted and joined the Methodist church in 1835. In 1838 we moved to Park county, where we remained until 1858, when we again moved west, finding a home in Blackhawk county.

"My husband died in November, 1855. We were parents of nine children, five boys and four girls. Three of them we left buried on the old homestead in Indiana. I bless God for my children, and have tried to give them a Christian home. I trust they will meet me in heaven, where I believe my husband and four children have gone.

This entry was made January 20, 1883. The surviving children are Albert H. May, living in California; Geo. M., Charles City, Iowa; Mrs. E. M. Benight, Chicago, and Mrs. G. W. Hawver and Mrs. E. Blowers of this city.

Mrs. May has been a consistent Christian woman through all the years of he long and useful life. She was a charter member of the First M. E. church of Waterloo. Earnest, thoughtful of the welfare of others, her life has been one of sunshine for all that were blessed with her confidence and her friendship.

There is much in the life of Mrs. May and her family that is connected with the early history of Waterloo. The first wedding in Waterloo was celebrated with a member of her family as one of the contracting parties. It occurred on the 11th day of July, 1854. The parties were Isaac Virden and Miss Eliza May, daughter of Samuel L. May, who then lived on the west side, on the bank of the river near the ferry landing. Judge J. R. Pratt officiated. Mr. Virden died in the army during the war, and Mrs. Virden died at Clarksville, where she was visiting, on the 1st day of January, 1883.

The same lady was also the first school teacher in Waterloo. We find the following record of it in the files of the REPORTER of June 7, 1883:

"The first school house in Waterloo was a small log building, about 16x22, erected on Jefferson street in 1853, in which Miss Eliza May, afterward Mrs. Eliza Virden, first taught the Waterloo youth the same summer. On Sundays the building was used for church purposes, the Methodists, Baptists and Presbyterians holding services alternately."

Mr. May built the first hotel on the east side. It was erected in 1854. It stood on the corner now occupied by the Wood & Wyant block. Mr. May was landlord until his death, in the fall of 1855. The house was then closed for a time, and afterwards opened by Job Engle, who after a short time let his son John C. have it, and he, in time, was succeeded by Asa Shinn as landlord.

Mr. May also ran the first ferry-board across the Cedar at Waterloo. The historical records show a ferry license was granted Sam'l L. May October 10, 1853, giving him an exclusive right to run a ferry boat across the Cedar river at this point. The line was established above our present dam, and Mr. May was authorized to charge 5 cents for each footman, 15 cents for horse and man, 20 cents for horse and buggy, etc. It was also made obligatory on him to furnish free transportation to all persons going to or returning from church on Sundays and all voters going to or returning from elections in Waterloo.

Funeral services of Mrs. May will be held Tuesday afternoon at 1:30 o'clock at Grace M. E. church. Rev. W. F. Pitner will officiate. Interment will be in the old Waterloo cemetery.
Family links: 
  Samuel L May (1809 - 1855)
  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# 107155350
Polly <i>Borden or Bardin</i> May
Cemetery Photo
Added by: Ken Wright
Photos may be scaled.
Click on image for full size.

 Added: May. 4, 2015

Privacy Statement and Terms of Service