History of Aunt Beck May and Her Log House - Piedmont, MO
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member YoSam.
N 37° 10.025 W 090° 40.738
15S E 706078 N 4115930
Two markers here, one out front and one on the front wall
Waymark Code: WM11W1R
Location: Missouri, United States
Date Posted: 12/26/2019
Published By:Groundspeak Premium Member iconions
Views: 2

County of marker: Wayne County
Location of marker: Piedmont Ave (MO 34), Piedmont
Marker Erected by: The Wayne County Historical Society

Marker Text:

Rebecca Payne May was born near Sandborn, Indiana in Greene County on April 10, 1848, the daughter of William Payne and Elizabeth Brandon Payne

Rebecca Payne married William A. May in Greene County, Indiana on November 22, 1866. They came to Wayne County, Missouri c. 1876-1883 where they raised a family of 10 children: Mahalia, Simpson, Laura, Mary, Francis, Henry, Edwin, Johany, Martha, Cassolina, and Eliza.

Rebecca Payne May became widely known in Wayne County as "Aunt Beck" because she was a midwife to many of her neighbors.

John Albert Wilfong built this log house c. 1889-1890. Four years later, on January 3, 1894, he married Laura May. However, their life together was not to be a long one as Laura died October 27, 1894 while giving birth to their daughter, Rebecca "Becky" Wilfong Morgan.

It is not known why, but this log house was moved c. 1894 to 43 acres of land about seven miles north of Wappapello. The land had been given to William May as payment for his service in the Civil War. "Aunt Beck" not only raised her own children in this log house but had two grandchildren, Luther and Lucy Briscoe, when both of their parents died.

"Aunt Beck and William May were living in this log house at his death, January 12, 1906. She continued to live in the house until her death on September 23, 1923.

While their have been numerous families that have lived in this log house through the years, "Aunt Beck" was there in the beginning so we fondly call it log house today.

In 1994 Earl and Ruth Carve of Wappapello were about to tear down a structure on their farm to make room for a new barn.

However, when they began removing the boards they discovered that they owned a log house. The Carvers shared their discovery with Evelyn and Bob Wilson of Popular Bluff because they knew of Evelyn's relationship to the May family. As soon as Evelyn and Bob saw the old house, they took quite an interest in it. After that the real work of dismantling it and finding a new home for "Aunt Beck's" log house began.

At this time, Wayne County Historical Society member Roy Williams, learning of the Wilson's interest in preserving the old log house agreed to help find it a home. He approached the WCHS on the possibility of taking on the project. The historical society and the Wilson's began a very tedious effort to remove years of changes to the log house and restore it to its original condition. Bob Wilson prepared detailed graphs numbering each log in the structure so the house would fit together precisely as it did before being moved to its new home here at Piedmont Park.

This log house has been restored through a cooperative effort by the Wayne County Historical Society, Evelyn and Bob Wilson, the City f Piedmont and numerous volunteers.

As you might have guessed, this old log house holds a very special significance to Evelyn May Wilson as "Aunt Beck" was her Great Grandmother.

Web link: [Web Link]

History of Mark:
Please see above

Additional point: Not Listed

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