Biography of William David Ayars

No single township in Riley County, Kansas, is so favored as to have within its bounds all the county’s solid, dependable men, but that Wild Cat Township had its full share cannot be questioned. One of these is William David Ayars, a prosperous farmer and stockraiser and a large landowner, and additionally one of the township’s most popular citizens.

William David Ayars was born August 17, 1850, in Grant County, Wisconsin, a son of Jeptha and Margaret (Thomas) Ayars. His father was born in New Jersey, perhaps of Holland ancestry, and remained in his native state until he was twenty years of age, when he adventured to Missouri, at that time conaidered far west. In that state he married and with his wife moved to Wiseonsin, settling in Grant County and remaining there until 1866. In that year he came to Kansas and homesteaded in Wild Cat Township, Riley County. He had come into the unknown country to select a home, by himself, but when it was secured he sent for his family and was joined by them in 1867. He developed his land into a valuable property and spent the rest of his life here, his death occurring at the age of seventy-six years. To Jeptha and Margaret (Thomas) Ayars three sons and three daughters were born, William David being the youngest of the sons.

William David Ayars was sixteen years old when he came to Riley County, his schooling having been secured in Wisconsin. With the exception of brief sojourns in Texas and the Black Hills, Mr. Ayars had resided on the place where his parents settled when coming to Riley County. He had devoted himself to farming and stockraising and had prospered greatly through industry and excellent judgment. When he started out for himself it was with limited capital but now he is the owner of 540 acres of land, of which 240 comprise his resident farm and 300 consists of ridge land on which his cattle roam. In all his business undertakings he had shown ability.

Mr. Ayars was married to Miss Maggie Pritner, who is a daughter of Leslie R. Pritner, who came from Pennsylvania to Kansas in 1858 and settled in Wild Cat Township, Riley County. Mr. and Mrs. Ayars are the parents of eight children.

Mr. Ayars in his quiet, unassuming, industrious life had never sought political honors but his fellow citizens have not been unmindful of his excellent qualities and unimpeachable integrity, and they have more than once elected him to townsihp offices, and in the primary elections of 1916 nominated him on the republican ticket for county commissioner, for which office no wiser selection could have been made. Mr. Ayars is a member of the Masonic fraternity.



Connelley, William E. A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans. Chicago : Lewis, 1918. 5v. Biographies can be accessed from this page: Kansas and Kansans Biographies.

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