The Samuel May House

Located in Prestonsburg, Kentucky, Historical Marker #2018 commemorates the Samuel May House. Built in 1817, the house was the hub of a 350-acre farm that served as a recruiting and supply post for the Confederate Army during the Civil War.

The builder of the home, Samuel May, was the second son of Revolutionary War veteran John May and Sarah Phillips May. He married Catherine Evans, whose family moved to Prestonsburg from Morgantown, Virginia, in 1808. The couple had a total of 14 children.

May supported his family through a variety of business ventures. He was commissioned to build the county's first brick courthouse in 1818. He was also a carpenter, surveyor, ferryman, inn keeper, justice of the peace, gold and mineral prospector/miner, and politician. Elected in 1835 to the state senate, May fought for the enhancement of transportation lines in the region, including improvement of the vital Mt. Sterling-Pound Gap Road and navigation of the Big Sandy River.

Following a series of financial misfortunes in the late 1830s and early 1840s, May traveled with his son, Andrew Jackson May, to Placerville, California. After his father's death during the gold rush in 1851, A. J. May returned to Kentucky and married Matilda Davidson in 1855. At the start of the Civil War, May was practicing law in West Liberty, Kentucky.

A staunch Confederate, A. J. May helped organize Company A of the 5th Kentucky Infantry. May utilized the land around his childhood home in Prestonsburg at several points during the war, using the farm as both a staging and recruitment area and re-supply post. May ultimately served as colonel of the 10th Kentucky Cavalry, C.S.A. After the war, May settled in Tazewell, Virginia, where he became one of the area's most prominent attorneys.

The Samuel May House was added in 1980 to the National Register of Historic Places. The house was restored using a $400,000 grant from the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet and the Kentucky Heritage Council in 1997.