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McLean County, Illinois
History and Genealogy



MRS. SARAH B. AYERS, widow of Rev. Hiram Ayers, formerly of Bloomington City, occupies a pleasant and comfortable home at No. 610 East Mulberry street, and has been a resident of this city since 1875. Rev. Hiram Ayers was born in Pennsylvania in 1840, being the son of Benjamin and Lucinda (Wass) Ayers, also natives of the Keystone State, and engaged in farming pursuits. They came to Tazewell County, Ill., in 1842, and located upon a farm which remained their permanent home. There the father departed this life in 1880; the mother is still living on the old homestead.

Hiram Ayers remained an inmate of his father's house until seventeen years of age, and then came to Bloomington for the purpose of attending Wesleyan University [ed., Illinois Wesleyan University]. From this institution he graduated in 1863, and soon afterward became a circuit preacher of the Methodist Episcopal Church. He was devotedly attached to the cause of Christ, and continued to preach and labor for the Master until his death, in 1870. He was a man possessed of the rare faculty of making and retaining friends, and at his death was universally lamented.

The marriage of Rev. Hiram Ayers and Miss Sarah S. Bishop took place in Bloomington, Nov. 17, 1864. Mrs. Ayers was born in 1843, in Old Town Township, McLean County, and was the daughter of William and Margaret (Lake) Bishop, both natives of Virginia. They came to Ohio in 1821, and engaged in farming until 1833. They then removed to Illinois and located in Old Town Township, which remained their home during the lifetime of the, father, his death having occurred in 1855. Mr. Bishop at one time was an extensive land-holder, and purchased in all about 2,000 acres. He was one of the substantial and prosperous men of his community, and in all respects a useful citizen. The mother of Mrs. Ayers, after the death of her husband, removed to Bloomington, where she now lives at the advanced age of eighty-three years. The parental family of eight children are all living, and were named Harvey, Henry, Samuel, George, William, Elizabeth (Mrs. Roop), Susan (Mrs. Rayburn),and Sarah B., our subject.

Mr. and Mrs. Ayers became the parents of two children Albert E., born in 1868, and Lottie V., in 1869. The subject of this history is a most estimable lady, greatly esteemed by her friends and associates, and earnestly devoted to her children and her home.

[SOURCE: Portrait and biographical album of McLean County, Ill. : containing full page portraits and biographical sketches of prominent and representative citizens of the county, together with portraits and biographies of all the governors of Illinois, and of the presidents of the United States. (Chicago: Chapman Brothers, 1887). Transcribed and annotated by Judy Rosella Edwards.]


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