May Elenor (Imus) Davis Brown Young, daughter of Edwin and Rose (Hunt) Imus, was born on January 7, 1878, on the Goodwin Homestead at the fork of Walnut and Apache creeks, about fifty miles northwest of Prescott, Yavapai County, Arizona Territory. Edwin and Rose were one of the first ranching families to settle in Mohave County.  They homesteaded the site of old Camp Willow.

May wrote that at the time she was born her mother traveled about forty miles over a rough dirt road in a lumber wagon to get to the nearest white woman who could deliver her first baby. May was born at night and feet first “and believe me, I have been on the move ever since,” she wrote.

On December 25, 1897, May married cattleman George Wyatt Davis at her parents' home. George and May built their home in Hackberry in Mohave County. Later they traded the home plus $1000 for the Trout Creek Ranch where their house was built at the foot of a high red bluff. One morning the couple awakened to find a large boulder blocking the kitchen door. Wesley Jackson, George’s cousin, put rollers under the house and moved it away from the bluff.

The couple had four children: Dora Dean Sharp, born October 4, 1898; Rose Dorothy Rodrigues, born June 28, 1904; Jack Wyatt Davis, born January 4, 1913; and Lila May Bonnett, born December 26, 1914.

George died in his sleep on September 20, 1921, while on a roundup. May had a few head of steers and tried to keep the ranch going, but the bank in Kingman, Arizona wouldn’t lend her any money. She and her daughters moved into Kingman and worked in a laundry and at any odd jobs they could find.

In 1923, May married John Brown. John had first seen May when he was just riding through the country and came upon George and May’s place. George was sitting on the porch playing his fiddle, and John said there was “a good-lookin'” woman with dark red hair chopping wood. He claimed to have been in love with her for a long time. John was not young when he married and had never been around young children. The children didn’t like John and made life pretty miserable for May and John. Within a few years the couple divorced.

May then married Tot Young in 1937, and the couple operated the Poverty Flat Cattle Ranch in Skull Valley. They divorced in 1945. May lived in the Vendome Hotel in Prescott for a number of years and cooked at local ranches, finally moving into the Arizona Pioneers' Home in 1954. Even in the home she was perpetually active, doing mending for other residents, crocheting pillow tops, making baby quilts and even cooking for several ranches during spring and fall roundups every year until she was 88. She saved $6000 so she “could be laid away nice.”

She was an active member of the Business and Professional Women, Arizona Cattleman’s Association and the Rebekah Lodge.  May was also a charter member of the Daughters of Mohave County Pioneers.

Her granddaughter-in-law wrote that May was a true pioneer from a pioneering family with a great spirit, sense of humor and family loyalty. No matter what life handed her, she made the best of it.

May died on March 25, 1967 and was buried in Kingman.

Donor: Dana Sharp, granddaughter-in-law, April 2003
Photo Located: Prescott Courier Collection PC-5, Box 9, F–April 1964
Updated: 04/21/2015, Mary Melcher