Sunday, April 20, 2014

W.L. Ayers, Dry Goods Merchant


We have a few pictures from the Ayres/Chambers families.  At this time the only connection I know of is that William L. Ayres, the owner of the above float, moved to Gardner Tennessee and went into business with F.M. Gardner.  The Gardner's are cousins of the Morans.   The picture was taken in Gatesville Texas post-1882 which is when Ayres and Gardner, like so many others, made their way to the Lone Star State.  If you look at the top of the building behind the float you'll see that it says "Gardner & Ayres" even though the float shouts "W.L. Ayres & Co."

William L. Ayres was a son of Matthias Leake Ayres and Martha Rebecca Hanes of Virginia.  He was born in 1851.  I would speculate that his middle name was Leake since that was his fathers and his sons middle name as well.  He moved to Gardner, Tennessee in 1867 and went into partnership with F.M. Gardner.  Ayres married Martha Holman Chambers (daughter of John W. and Mariah Chambers of VA) on Sept 26 1872 in Obion County Tennessee.

They are living at Gardner Store, TN in the 1880 Census.  William is listed as a dry good merchant, age 29.  His wife Mattie C. is keeping house.  They had three children: Matthias Leake age 7, Corona/Corinne W age 5 and John C age 3.

William L. Ayres died in 1910.  His wife Martha passed on in 1917.   Their son Mathias was a banker, sounds familiar, and married Myrtie/Myrtis/Myrtle Buckley in 1896.  Mathias died in 1949 and was interred at Gatesville City Cemetery. Corinne Ayres married Howard S. Compton.  She died in 1945. Their son John Chambers Ayres was a physician. He married a woman named Renna and they had a son, John C Ayres Jr.  John and his family lived in Memphis.  He died in 1952 and was interred at Memorial Park in Memphis.

As to the burial of William and his wife Martha....there seems to be some confusion about the Masonic Cemetery and the Gatesville City Cemetery which has resulted in two memorials for them on Findagrave.  Each memorial has the exact same picture taken by different photographers.
Mattie C. Ayres Gatesville City Cemetery
Mattie Ayres Masonic Cemetery
William L. Ayres Gatesville City Cemetery
William L. Ayres Masonic Cemetery

Like her parents, Corinne Ayres Compton has two memorials:
Corinne Ayres Compton Gatesville City Cemetery
Corinne Ayers Compton Masonic Cemetery.

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