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William Augustus Ayres

Politician. Democrat. Born: April 19, 1867, Elizabethtown, Illinois. Died: February 17, 1952, Washington, D.C. Served in U.S. House of Representatives, 8th and 5th Districts: March 4, 1915, to March 3, 1921.

Born in Elizabethtown, Hardin County, Illinois, on April 19, 1867, Ayres moved with his parents (William W. and stepmother Maria Baldwin Ayres) to a farm in Sedgwick County, Kansas, in 1881, where he completed his public school education and then attended Garfield (now Friends) University in Wichita. Ayres was admitted to the bar in 1893, practiced in Wichita, and served as clerk of the Court of Appeals of Kansas from 1897-1901. Prior to his 1914 election to the U.S. Congress, he was also county attorney of Sedgwick County (1907-1911). First elected in November 1914, Congressman Ayres first served three terms in the House of Representatives (March 4, 1915-March 3, 1921) but was an unsuccessful candidate for reelection in 1920. Two years later, however, he returned, being elected this time to the Sixty-eighth Congress and to the five succeeding Congresses. Congressman Ayres resigned on August 21, 1934, to accept appointment on the federal trade commission and served in that capacity until his death in Washington, D.C., on February 17, 1952. He was buried in Old Mission Cemetery, Wichita, Kansas.

Entry: Ayres, William Augustus

Author: Kansas Historical Society

Author information: The Kansas Historical Society is a state agency charged with actively safeguarding and sharing the state's history.

Date Created: June 2011

Date Modified: July 2012

The author of this article is solely responsible for its content.