Was born December 7th, 1809, in Barnstable county, town of Turro, Massachusetts, near the locality where the May Flower landed and where the Puritans first pitched their tents. His father, Dr. James Ayres, was born in Brookfield Worcester county, Massachusetts, March 16, 1761. He was a soldier in the revolutionary war at the early age of seventeen. He was stationed at West Point during the conspiracy of Arnold and Andre. At the expiration of the war he received an honorable discharge, and, on his return home, applied himself diligently to the study of medicine, and after graduating, engaged in a successful practice in Turro, Massachusetts. At the age of thirty he was married to Miss Betsey Holman, native of Templeton, Mass. They had born to them a family of ten children, of whom the subject of this sketch is the ninth. In December, 1831, Mrs. Ayres died at their residence, and in 1838 the Doctor moved to Griggsville, Ill., and died a week thereafter. Through all his many years of practice he was more than ordinarily successful in effecting cures.
The subject of this sketch received his early education in the schools of his native state. While residing in Massachusetts he was engaged in the manufacturing of salt. In the fall of 1836, he removed to Illinois — first locating at Griggsville, where he was employed in the store of Ayres & Lombard. In 1838 he was married to Miss Alice, daughter of Rufus Cleveland, who was formerly of Winstead, Connecticut. They have had born to them a family of three children, of whom only two are now living. In October, 1838, he removed, with his family, to Perry, Ill., where he was engaged in merchandising for a period of twenty years, meeting with good success.
Mr. Ayres was the first magistrate of the town of Perry. He sympathized strongly with the cause of the Union, and lent all aid possible to crush out the rebellion. Politically, he has always been a republican since the organization of that political party. He says that his opinions were about eight years in advance of the times.
Mr. Ayres is now keeping drug store in the brick business block on Main street, in Perry, and is enjoying the best of health.