WILLIAM HENRY AYERS, one of the successful and enterprising business men of Liberty township, owner and operator of a valuable farm of two hundred acres situated in sections 34 and 35, is a native of Van Wert County, where he was born on September 2, 1853. He is the, son of Cyrus and Rachel (Butler) Ayers.
His father was born in Ashland County, Ohio, June 20, 1826, and was a son of James M. Ayers of Wayne County, Pennsylvania, who married Jane Richie, and subsequently moved to Ashland County, Ohio. He was married September 5, 1848, and moved to Van Wert County in 1850. On April 3, 1858 while felling timber, he was caught by a falling tree, which broke his spinal column and caused his death 17 days later. His wife Mrs. Rachel Ayers, was a daughter of John and Mary (Lindsay) Butler, of Tuscarawas County, Ohio, and died on July 2, 1905. They had six children, all of whom are living.
William H. Ayers, the subject of this ;ketch, was reared in Liberty township, received a good, common-school education, afterward devoting his time to agricultural pursuits, and in 1878 was married to Alvina Vangundy, daughter of Abraham Van
472 - HISTORY OF VAN WERT COUNTY
gundy, a prominent farmer of Mercer County, Ohio. They have six children : Vernon, who married Nellie Smith and lives in Rockford, Mercer County; Emery Lee, who married Nellie King, of Van Wert, lives in Ohio City, and is the father of one child; Orley, who lives at home; Tony Gaylord, unmarried; Ethel Burdella Edna and Agnes Edith May.
About three years after his marriage, Mr. Ayers purchased 80 acres of land (the old home place) from the heirs of the estate, his father having originally entered 40 acres of land in section 35. He has added to this tract until now he is the owner of 200 acres of productive and valuable farm land. At one time he had 240 acres, but disposed of 40 acres in 1905. He also owns two residence properties in Ohio City, and has 13 producing oil wells on his land. In addition to the 13 wells on his own farm, which is leased to the Trial Oil Company, he has in operation 10 complete oil wells on other land which he has himself leased. He has two producing wells on the Straw lease, one on the Butler lease, and four on the Peter Temple lease. Mr. Ayers had on his farm the second oil well drilled in the Ohio City field, which for several months produced 200 barrels per day. It has been pumping since April 1, 1904 and is yet productive.
Mr. Ayers is recognized as one of the township's progressive and public-spirited men—one whose interests are coincident with those of the community. He is a Democrat and has always taken a lively interest in the success of the party, being elected trustee of the township by that party and serving thus for several years. He was for three years treasurer of the township and for two years township clerk, being at one time an unsuccessful candidate for county commissioner. For several years Mr. Ayers was one of the directors of the warehouse andelevator at Van Wert, which is owned by the Grange of Liberty township. In all these various duties Mr. Ayers has ever striven to give the public his best and most conscientious efforts. On a preceding page in proximity to this, is shown a picture of Mr. and Mrs. Ayers and their family, executed from a recent photograph.