While the worthy pioneers who first started the commercial activity and business of Nez Perces County did a noble work, still there are many who have come here since that have manifested excellent enterprise also in the continuation of the industrial interests of this section. Among this number we mention the subject of this sketch, who, in company with F. Gritman, does a fine business in Lewiston, being proprietors of the White Front livery and feed stable in Lewiston. They have a fine equipment of stock, vehicles and buildings, and are up to date and careful liverymen, doing a fine business at the present time.

Mr. Mays is distinctly a western product, being born in Walla Walla, on January 19, 1877, and at the age of thirteen doing for himself, since which time he has always conducted his affairs with great credit to himself. His father, John Mays, who was a carpenter, farmer and stockman, born in 1857, crossed the plains in an early day, and died in July, 1902. His mother, Rachel (Beard) Mays, was born in 1857 and is at Green Creek, Idaho.

When our subject was one year old, his parents went to the vicinity of Dayton and farmed. That continued to be his home, except from 1895 to 1898, when he was with the Walla Walla Dressed Meat Company, of Dayton. Mr. Mays was in the livery business there until he came to Lewiston. He then formed a partnership with Mr. Gritman and together they started the livery stable mentioned and have since that time done a fine business.

On June 10, 1902, Mr. Mays married Miss Nellie, daughter of John A. and Ellen A. (Watris) Knox, at Dayton, Washington. Mr. Knox was born in New York, in 1845, came west in 1889 and settled in Columbia, where he lives now and is an esteemed and successful farmer. Mrs. Knox was born in Wisconsin, in 1847. The paternal grandfather of Mrs. Mays was John E. Knox, born in Ireland, of Scotch descent, while her maternal grandfather, Levi Watris, was born in Canada and came to America when young. Mrs. Mays was born in Iowa, on September 26, 1881, and educated in the high school in Columbia County, Washington. She has the following brothers and sister, John Arthur, Clara Mays, Walter and Bruce, all in Columbia County. Mr. Mays has the following named brothers and sisters, Daughty, deceased; Andrew, near Dayton, Washington; Lulu, wife of William Hood in Kooskia, Idaho; Maude, wife of Willis Baldwin, in Dayton, Washington; Stella, Grace, Charlie, at Green Creek; also a half brother, Robbie Dunn.

Mr. Mays is active in the political world and has always allied himself with the Democratic Party.

Back to: Nez Perce Biographies

Source: An Illustrated History of Northern Idaho, Embracing Nez Perce, Idaho, Latah, Kootenai and Shoshone Counties, Western Historical Publishing Company, 1903