Charles S. May

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Charles Sedgwick May
Charles S. May.png
16th Lieutenant Governor of Michigan
In office
January 7, 1863 – January 2, 1865
GovernorAustin Blair
Preceded byHenry T. Backus
Succeeded byEbenezer O. Grosvenor
Personal details
Born(1830-03-22)March 22, 1830
Sandisfield, Massachusetts, U.S.
DiedMarch 25, 1901(1901-03-25) (aged 71)
Gull Lake, Michigan, U.S.
Resting placeMountain Home Cemetery, Kalamazoo
Kalamazoo County Michigan, USA
Political partyRepublican
Spouse(s)Cornelia E Myers May
Eliza Edna Dailey May
RelationsDwight May (b)
ChildrenCharles Frederick May
Gordon Allen May
Cornelia Eliza May
Allen Potter May
ParentsRockwell May
Celestia E Underwood May
Newspaper Editor
Military service
Branch/serviceUnion Army
Years of service1861
UnitCompany K, Second Michigan Infantry
Battles/warsAmerican Civil War
Bull Run
Blackburn's Ford

Charles Sedgwick May (March 22, 1830 – March 25, 1901) was an American politician and the 16th Lieutenant Governor of Michigan.

Early life[edit]

May was born in Sandisfield, Massachusetts and at the age of four moved to Richland, Michigan. He worked there on a farm until the age of fifteen and became a student of the State University (now Western Michigan University) at Kalamazoo. He studied law in Bennington, Vermont and Battle Creek, Michigan and was admitted to the bar in 1854.

From November 1855 to October 1856, May was associate political editor of the Detroit Daily Tribune and its Washington, D. C. correspondent. He commenced the practice of law in Battle Creek, but soon returned to Kalamazoo where he was elected prosecuting attorney in 1860.

May resigned in 1861, and raised Company K, Second Michigan Infantry, the first volunteer company from Kalamazoo, and was commissioned as captain in the Union Army.[1] He participated in several of the early battles, including the battle of Bull Run and Blackburn's Ford. He resigned due to ill health.


In 1862, May was elected the 16th Lieutenant Governor of Michigan and served from 1863 to 1865.[2] The following year he was a member of the 1866 Republican state convention. In 1872, he broke party ranks and supported Democrat Horace Greeley for U. S. President against the re-election of Ulysses S. Grant and was a losing Democratic candidate for U. S. Senate in 1876. He then practiced law in Detroit and later returned to practice law in Kalamazoo.

Retirement and death[edit]

In 1888, May retired due to ill health and built a country home, “Island View”, overlooking Gull Lake where he wrote several newspaper and magazine articles and several books. He died of heart disease there just three days after his seventy-first birthday. He is interred at Mountain Home Cemetery, Kalamazoo, Kalamazoo County, Michigan, USA.

Family life[edit]

May was the son of Rockwell May (1799 - 1895) and Celestia E Underwood May (1800 - 1889). He married Cornelia E Myers about 1851 and after her death in 1852, he married Eliza Edna Dailey in about 1853. They had four children, Charles Frederick, Gordon Allen, Cornelia Eliza, and Allen Potter.[3] His brother Dwight May was elected Lieutenant Governor in 1867.


  1. ^ "Charles S. May". 2nd Michigan Infantry Company K - Retrieved 13 June 2014.
  2. ^ "Charles S. May". 2014 State of Michigan. Retrieved 13 June 2014.
  3. ^ "Charles S. May". 2014 Retrieved 13 June 2014.

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Henry T. Backus
Lieutenant Governor of Michigan
Succeeded by
Ebenezer O. Grosvenor