Romeo, December 28.—Joseph Ayres, an old and highly respected citizen of this place, died at his home on Hollister street at 5 o’clock yesterday afternoon, from lung trouble, age 81 years.
Mr. Ayres was born in Dover, Morris Co., N.Y. [sic], November 18, 1812. He grew to manhood in his native state, learned the boot and shoe trade, receiving but a limited education. At the age of 21 he engaged in the boot and shoe business in the city of New York. Six years after he removed to Romeo, Macomb Co., leaving his native state on the 17th of June 1841, and arriving in Romeo July 17 after a month’s travel. In the fall of that year he engaged in the boot and shoe business in Romeo. A few years later he combined harness making with his other business. In 1845 he added a small farm, located near the village, which he managed in connection with his business in the village.
He was prosperous most of his lifetime, but, owing to a disposition to assist friends, met with serious losses that crippled him much. He was always ready to lend his aid to every movement that was calculated to elevate society, in the church and outside of it. He was a consistent member of the First Congregational Church of this place. He was engaged a few years, in company with others, as an iron manufacturer; conducted a furnace and made castings of all kind. He was free soil in political principles when he came to Michigan, and had been identified with the Republicans since the organization of that party. He served his generation as supervisor for twenty-five years, was village assessor and a member of the corporation.
He was married September 18, 1850, to Miss Elizabeth H. [sic] Sutton, of Sussex Co., N.J., who survives him. Two children were born to them, Joseph S., deceased, and Augusta, wife of P.A. Billings. In 1856, when the business portion of the village was nearly destroyed by fire, Mr. Ayres suffered the loss of a frame double three-story building. The brick store owned by him at the time of his death was erected by Sutton & Ayres in 1867. Mr. Ayres had lived a quiet life during the past few years and his sudden death is a severe blow to all of our citizens, as he was a man highly respected by all who knew him. The funeral services will be held from his late home on Saturday at 1 p.m., conducted by the Rev. E.C. Oakley, pastor of the Congregational Church, and the remains will be interred in the Romeo cemetery.
Source: Detroit Free Press, December 29, 1893.