Yates and Others

Mahala May

Mahala May

Female 1845 - 1918  (73 years)

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  • Name Mahala May 
    Born 15 Jan 1845  Crawford, Indiana Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Gender Female 
    Reference Number 6140 
    Died 22 Sep 1918  Crawford, Indiana Find all individuals with events at this location  [2
    Person ID I1461  Yatesville History & Genealogy
    Last Modified 10 Aug 2020 

    Father John Wesley May,   b. Abt 1817, Kentucky Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Mother Lavina Roberson,   b. Abt 1818, Indiana Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Married 2 Apr 1843  Crawford, Indiana Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Family ID F595  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family 1 John Winfield Yates,   b. 31 Jul 1835, Crawford, Indiana Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 14 Nov 1862, New Albany, Indiana Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 27 years) 
    Married 9 May 1861  Crawford, Indiana Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Children 
     1. Lavina J. Yates,   b. 4 Feb 1863, Indiana Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 23 Aug 1938, Indiana Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 75 years)
    Last Modified 27 Nov 2021 
    Family ID F877  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family 2 Cyrus Benham,   b. 12 Sep 1845, Crawford, Indiana Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 12 Dec 1893, Crawford, Indiana Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 48 years) 
    Married 3 Apr 1870  Crawford, Indiana Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Children 
     1. Charles Wilford Benham,   b. 26 Aug 1871, Indiana Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 26 Aug 1902  (Age 31 years)
     2. George Walter Benham,   b. 7 Sep 1872, Crawford, Indiana Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 7 Jul 1892, Crawford, Indiana Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 19 years)
     3. Lilby "lillie" Benham,   b. 1876, Crawford, Indiana Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1899, Crawford, Indiana Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 23 years)
     4. Arthur Garfield Benham,   b. 3 May 1881, Crawford, Indiana Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 22 Mar 1955, Crawford, Indiana Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 73 years)
    Last Modified 27 Nov 2021 
    Family ID F886  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Notes 
    • 1850 United States Federal Census Name: Mahala May Age: 7 Estimated birth year: abt 1843 Birth Place: Crawford Co Gender: Female Home in 1850: Union, Crawford, Indiana Family Number: 40 John W May 33 Lovina May 30 Mahala May 7 Benjamin May 6 John W May 4 Harvey May 2 Sarah Ann May 0

      1860 United States Federal Census Name: Mahala May Age in 1860: 16 Birth Year: abt 1844 Birthplace: Indiana Home in 1860: Union, Crawford, Indiana Gender: Female Post Office: Grantsburg Wesley May 43 Lavina May 38 Mahala May 16 Benj May 15 John W May 13 Henry May 11 Mary A May 6 George W May 4

      U.S. and International Marriage Records, 1560-1900 Name: Mahala May Gender: Female Spouse Name: John W. Yates Spouse Birth Year: 1837 Marriage Year: 1861 Number Pages: 1

      Indiana Marriage Collection, 1800-1941 Name: Mahala Yates Spouse Name: Cyrus Benham Marriage Date: 3 Apr 1870 Marriage County: Crawford Source Title 1: Crawford County Indiana Source Title 2: Marriages 1818 - 1880 Books A - D Source Title 3: Part I Grooms Part II Brides Compiled by Ruth M Sl Book: C OS Page: 499

      1880 United States Federal Census Name: Mahala Benham Home in 1880: Union, Crawford, Indiana Age: 38 Estimated birth year: abt 1842 Birthplace: Indiana Relation to Head of Household: Wife Spouse's name: Cyrus Benham Father's birthplace: Kentucky Mother's birthplace: Indiana Occupation: Keeping House Marital Status: Married Race: White Gender: Female Cyrus Benham 34 Mahala Benham 38 Charles Benham 9 George Benham 7 Lilby Benham 5 Lovina Yates 17

      1900 United States Federal Census Name: Mahala Benhaur[Mahala Benham] Home in 1900: Union, Crawford, Indiana Age: 57 Birth Date: Jan 1843 Birthplace: Indiana Race: White Gender: Female Relationship to head-of-house: Head Father's Birthplace: Indiana Mother's Birthplace: Indiana Mother: number of living children: 2 Mother: How many children: 4 Marital Status: Widowed Mahala Benhaur 57 Arthur Benhaur 19

      1910 United States Federal Census Name: Mahala Benham Age in 1910: 67 Estimated birth year: 1843 Birthplace: Indiana Relation to Head of House: Mother Father's Birth Place: Indiana Mother's Birth Place: Indiana Home in 1910: Union, Crawford, Indiana Marital Status: Widowed Race: White Gender: Female Arthur G Benham 28 Ella Benham 29 Lela Benham 8 Lester Benham 4 Thelma Benham 2 Infant Benham 0 Mahala Benham 67

      9/2/1918; death recorded and published by Crawford Co., IN Department of health. Burial location not indicated.

      Name: Mahala Benham [Mahala May] Gender: Female Race: White Age: 73 Marital Status: Widowed Birth Date: 15 Jan 1845 Birth Place: Indiana Death Date: 22 Sep 1918 Death Place: Mifflin, Crawford, Indiana, USA Father: John May Mother: May Spouse: Silas Benham

      Some stories on how this affected the Roberson and Yates Families……….

      On January 8, 1867 Mahala May Yates traveled to Leavenworth, Indiana with her 1st cousin Elizabeth Roberson Yates to complete an affidavit which would be filed relative to the widow's pension for Elizabeth. Like many other pioneer women of the time they did so with heavy hearts and fortitude which kept both of them going. To do otherwise would give into the personal losses that must be borne by many families both Federal and C.S.A. In this affidavit Mahala swore to her personal presence during the births of John and Elizabeth's children.

      Like her brother Benjamin, Mahala was a child of John Wesley May and Lavina Roberson. John and Lavina were married in 1843 in Crawford County. Lavina is the 4th child of George Roberson, Jr. and Francis Westfall. Mahala May born in 1843 is the 1st child and Benjamin H. May born in 1844 was the 2nd child of John and Lavina Wesley. Both the 1850 and 1860 census show John and Lavina developing their own family living in Union Township near neighbors with names familiar to us.

      On May 9, 1861 Mahala May married John Winfield Yates, born July 31, 1835 as the 4th child of Tolbert Thompson Yates and Jane McCraney. Tolbert is the oldest child of Robert Yates who had previously migrated from Kentucky. Soon thereafter Mahala and John Yates produced their only child Lavina Yates born before the fall of 1862. At some point during the summer of 1862, 24 year old John Winfield Yates determined it was time for him to volunteer for Federal service. You can almost imagine the times where they sat around and discussed this whole serious matter and how it would impact their lives. You can also imagine what impact his sister's husband might have had on an 18 year old Benjamin May. We now know they decided to go together.

      With the decision made it doesn't take much imagination to think of how the scene played out with Mahala saying goodbye to her husband and brother as they embarked on their adventure. They left the Grantsburg area in time to make it to Camp Noble in New Albany, Indiana on August 29, 1862. They were enlisted in Company H, 81st Indiana Volunteers Infantry, by Captain Alexander C. Scott with each man signing for a term of three years. John W. Yates is described as 24 years old, 5 feet 10 inches, light complexion, blue eyes and dark hair. His brother-in-law Benjamin H. May is described as 18 years old 5 feet 11 inches, light complexion, blue eyes and light hair.

      In 1859 the Indiana State Fair was brought to New Albany. During the Civil War the grounds were converted into Camp Noble where regiments were mustered. During the Civil War, New Albany became a strategic supply center for the Union Armies fighting in the South and a hospital center for the wounded being sent North as well as a part of an "underground railroad' for slaves escaping from the South. President Abraham Lincoln established one of the first seven National Cemeteries in the United States in New Albany in 1862.

      While not unique, the 81st Indiana Volunteers was an authentic family and community affair. The men serving were doing so with family members and neighbors. The roster of Company H could almost be a family reunion as follows: John M. B. Scott, Second Lieutenant (Benjamin's Uncle); Joseph Landiss, Musician (Husband of Benjamin's 2nd cousin); Joseph G. Benham, Musician (Brother-in-law of John W. Yates); Daniel D. Grant, (Husband of Benjamin's 2nd cousin); Harvey Roberson, Private (Benjamin's Great 1st Cousin); Henry C. Roberson, Private (Benjamin's 2nd cousin).

      In regards to current life descendants: Benjamin H. May and Ronald E. Yates are 2nd cousins 3 times removed. Daniel Robert Roberson and Esther Ada Yates are the grand-uncle and aunt of Benjamin H. May. Benjamin H. May and Nidrah, Jack and Dale Roberson are 2nd cousins 3 times removed. And, John Winfield Yates and Ronald E. Yates are 2nd cousins 3 times removed. Esther Ada Yates and Daniel Robert Roberson are the grand-aunt and uncle of John Winfield Yates. John Winfield Yates and Nidrah, Jack and Dale Roberson are 2nd cousins 3 times removed.

      Company H, 81st Indiana Volunteers Infantry with Mahala's two men got off to a fast start once ready. They started with a pursuit of General Bragg into Kentucky October 1-15, 1862 engaging in the Battle of Perryville, KY, on October 8, 1862. The Company thereafter marched to Nashville, TN., from October 16th to November 7th, and thereafter stood active duty until December 26, 1862.

      The first of the two men to have trouble was John Winfield Yates. After the Battle of Perryville while the Company was on the march to Nashville he was taken sick on October 20th with dysentery in Lebanon, KY. Dysentery is an infection of the digestive system that results in severe diarrhea containing mucus and blood in the feces. Dysentery is typically the result of unsanitary water containing micro-organisms which damage the intestinal lining.

      Amoebic dysentery is transmitted through contaminated food and water. Amoebic dysentery is well known as a "traveler's dysentery" because of its prevalence in developing nations, or "Montezuma's Revenge". John became so ill he was taken to the General US Hospital located in New Albany. Benjamin May must have been heartsick when he heard his brother-in-law died on November 14, 1862 of "Acute Dysentery".

      While on the march to Nashville Benjamin's trouble had already begun but he just didn't know it as a result of an 8-12 day symptom free disease incubation period. After arriving in Nashville, only 10 days after his brother-in-law John W. Yates had died, Benjamin was taken sick with Rubeola Measles on November 24, 1862 and was hospitalized.

      Rubeola is the ordinary measles, an acute highly contagious viral disease with fever, runny nose, cough, red eyes, and a spreading skin rash. Rubeola (measles) is a potentially disastrous disease. It can be complicated by ear infections, pneumonia, encephalitis and/or the sudden onset of low blood platelet levels with severe bleeding. Rubeola (measles) now can be prevented through vaccination. You can imagine Mahala's heartache when she heard her brother Benjamin died at age 18 on December 1, 1862.

      John Winfield Yates is buried at Union Chapel-Yates Cemetery outside Grantsburg, Indiana near his parents and Benjamin is buried in Nashville National Cemetery, South Madison, TN 37115, Section B, site #6419. The manner of their deaths is consistent with fully 60% of how all Civil War deaths occurred. In fact, consistent with death patterns of all wars up to and including the horrendous disease source deaths of World War I. World War II would be the first time these percentages were modified as a result of scientific advancement and organization.

  • Sources 
    1. [S20] Brøderbund WFT Vol. 2, Ed. 1, Tree #6253, Date of Import: Dec 31, 1995.

    2. [S21] Brøderbund WFT Vol. 2, Ed. 1, Tree #6253, Date of Import: Dec 31, 1995.