Edwin Buck Ayres, now president of the Huntington County Bank, and who was one of the original stockholders, was made vice president in January, 1892 and since 1909 has held the chief executive position. Mr. Ayres, both through his record as a business man and through his family, has many intimate relations with HuntingtonCounty history. He was born in the city of Huntington County history. He was born in the city of Huntington, then a small village, August 28, 1845, the oldest son of Porter and Catherine (Kenower) Ayres. His father, who died at Huntington, November 11, 1889, after a long and successful career, was born at Ganges, Richmond County, Ohio, November 4, 1816, a son of Daniel and Parmelia (Buck) Ayres, the former a native of New York and the latter of Pennsylvania. Porter Ayres grew up on a farm, and while getting his education and performing the chores about the place, also mastered the trade of carpenter. From Ohio he moved West and became one of the pioneers in Northern Indiana, and during the greater part of his active life was identified with Huntington County. His work as carpenter was the basis for his prosperity. In the fall of 1838, following his marriage on March 4, in that year, to Mary Newcomer, he moved out to Missouri, but after the death of his wife in January, 1843, he again came East and in November of that year located in Huntington County. Here he continued his residence until March 1850, when he joined in the great moving tide of forturne seekers who were going west, and spent eight years on the Pacific coast engaging in mining. After that he was a permanent resident in Huntington County. Aside from his business activities, he was often called to the performance of civic responsibilities, and in 1878 was elected recorder of Huntington County and re-elected in 1882. He was a strong democrat in politics. Porter Ayres by his marriage to Mary Newcomer had two children. Of these, Elizabeth became the wife of Milton Taylor and lived in Huntington. In October, 1844, occurred the marriage of Porter Ayres and Catherine Kenower, a daughter of Jacob and Sarah (Wise) Kenower, and old and prominent family in this section of Indiana. The only living child of this second marriage is the Huntington banker.
Though for many years Mr. Ayres has been regarded as one of the most successful men in Huntington County, he began his career humbly enough, and he passed a great many competitors on the road to success. As a boy he attended the common schools of Huntington, until he was sixteen years old, and was then apprenticed to learn the cabinet-maker's trade with John Kenower. The Civil war was then in progress, and after two years, having reached the age of eighteen, he left his bench and went to the front in Company F of the Forty-seventh Indiana Infantry. The most important engagement in which he was participated was the siege of Mobile, and he was mustered out of service at Baton Rouge, Louisana, in October 1865. The first four or five months following his return were spent in work as a journeyman at his trade, and in the spring of 1866 he entered the employ of Mr. John Kenower, and continued as bookkeeper and lumber inspector with that business man until January 1876. He then became identified with the firm of Thorne, Slack and Company, in the lumber trade, and in the operation of a planing mill. This firm underwent several changes, S.T. Bagley retiring, and five years later C.L. Thorne leaving, and after that the enterprise was carried on under the name of Slack & Ayres, until January, 1888, when Mr. Ayres retired and devoted his attention to other lines. For twenty-five years he has been closely identified with the success of the Huntington County Bank.
On April 23, 1868, Edwin B. Ayres and Miss Emma Belle Leonard were united in marriage. She was born in Wayne county, Indiana, January 16, 1850. To their marriage were born five children: Eva Belle, Luella, Kate, Horace Leonard and Edwin Porter. The son, Horace L., died when three and a half years of age. The three children now living are: Eva Belle the wife of W.B. Piatt, a postoffice inspector; Kate, the wife of Theodore J. Finley, of Huntington and Edwin P., assistant cashier of the Huntington County Bank.
Mr. Ayres, among his interests, owns a fine farm of one hundred and sixty-eight acres in Huntington County. He has always been a stanch republican in politics and has membership in the James R. Slack Post No 37, G.A.R. , of which he was one of the organizers, and with the Independent order of Odd Fellows, of which he is a trustee. His home is a modern substantial brick residence at 336 Matilda Street.