Martin receives George May Award

Massac County Historical Society president Paul Fellows presents the annual George W. May Award for Outstanding History Student to Reid Martin during the society’s May 2 annual meeting. Martin received a certificate and a check.

The George W. May Award for Outstanding History Student is presented annually to recognize excellence in history, particularly local history.

This year’s winner is Reid Martin, of Metropolis, a junior at Massac County High School.

Martin, the son of Ron and the late Kathy Martin, was nominated for the award by history teacher Michael Umberger.

Martin said his favorite history era is World War I through World War II. He is thinking of attending Murray State University and majoring in the medical field.

The May Award was established by Massac County Historical Society in 1997 to honor local historian, educator and author George Wilburn May. May believed history was a true story, and he was glad to see young people who were interested in that story: in what happened, but also why it happened, what had come before and what came next.

May was born in Massac County in 1909 to a second-generation farmer, but decided to take a different career path. He taught in Peoria for several years and authored books ranging from Massac County history to natural history to historical fiction. He had held the positions of president and director of Massac County Historical Society. May passed away in 2001.

The first George W. May Award for Outstanding History Student Award was presented to Micah Hodge, in 1997. Other winners are: Ross Woodward, 1998; Zachary Hosman, 1999; Lindsey Barnes, 2000; Brian LaGore, 2001; Kevin Garner, 2002; Corey Evitts, 2003; Gavin Riepe, 2004; Colton McNichols, 2005; Kelsey Weatherford, 2006; Josh Vinyard, 2007; David Davis, 2008; Dylan Glidden, 2009; Levi McDuffee, 2010; Dylan Hoyer, 2011; Aaron Kennedy, 2012; Jacob White, 2013; Emily Hoard, 2014; Jaelin Tockstein, 2015; Karly Hankins, 2016; Bailey Cissell, 2017; Mark Mizell, 2018; Svenja Lindquist. 2019; Jonathan Henley, 2020; and Eli Quint, 2021.

Martin was announced as the 26th George May Award winner at the annual meeting of the Massac County Historical Society on May 2.

Also at the meeting, officers for 2022-23 were elected. They are: Paul Fellows, president; Joe Miller, vice president; Betsy Fellows, secretary; and Rozann Wilkins, treasurer.

Marvin Schwetman was elected to a three-year term on the board of directors. Rosemary Schwetman, Yvonne Crosier and Scott Warwick are continuing directors.

The next society meeting will be at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, June 6, at the Elijah P. Curtis Home, 405 Market St. With a new society year starting, plans are being made and new ideas are wanted and encouraged. Everyone interested in history is invited to attend the meetings and join the society.

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