The Ayres family are of Welsh extraction, the grandfather of Levy Ayres having been John Ayres, a Revolutionary patriot, who was taken prisoner by the enemy and confined in the noted prison-ship lying in New York harbor, where he remained until released by the suspension of hostilities. He was a blacksmith, and in that capacity proved invaluable to the enemy, who refused to exchange him. He married Miss Susanna Jarman, and had children, among whom was John, the father of the subject of this biographical sketch, born in 1777, in Cumberland County, N. J., the residence of his father, here he followed agricultural pursuits. He married Miss Margaret Pawner, the daughter of Asher Pawner, who was reared in the Quaker faith. The children of John and Margaret Ayres are Levi, Reuben, George, Charles, Richard, John, and Mary Jane (Mrs. Ebenezer Woodruff). The death of Mr. Ayres occurred in 1847, and that of his wife the same year. Their son Levi was born on the 3d of September, 1808, in Cumberland County, N. J. His early life was spent upon the far, and such education obtained as was possible in the common schools of the neighborhood, after which, for two successive winters, he engaged in teaching, meanwhile during the remainder of the year aiding in the labor of the farm. In 1832 he removed to Indiana, and settled for one year in Franklin County, after which he resided in Vicksburg, Miss., and for three years pursued the trade of a painter. In 1836 he returned to Franklin County and became owner of a farm. He was, in 1840, married to Jane C., daughter of Alexander and Rachel Cregmile, of Franklin County, Ind. Their children are John T., deceased; R. Jennie, deceased; Alexander C., a practicing lawyer in Indianapolis; Franklin, a farmer; Levi P., a farmer, and two who died in Infancy. Alexander C. and Levi P. are graduates of Butler University. Mr. Ayres during the two successive winters following his advent in Indiana engaged in teaching, the remainder of his life having been devoted to the cultivation of his lands. In 1858 he removed to Centre township, Marion Co., his present residence.
He has been, as a Democrat, actively identified with politics, and in Franklin County served as inspector of elections, justice of the peace, county commissioner for two terms, and as a member of the State Legislature in 1858. He is a charter member of Mount Carmel Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons, and also a member of the Brookville Chapter. Mrs. Ayres and her family were reared in the faith of the Presbyterian Church, of which Mr. Ayres is a supporter.
Sulgrove, B. R., History of Indianapolis and Marion County, Indiana; Philadelphia: L.H. Everts & Co., 1884, 785 pgs., p. 506.