Glendale, California Biographies

Elias Ayers

        By reason of his being a contractor and builder, Mr. Elias Ayers, being also a public-spirited citizen, was very literally, one of Glendale’s upbuilders. Mrs. Ayers, as Miss Alice Miller, came to Glendale in 1882, going back to Ohio in 1885, where in 1886 she wedded Mr. Ayers. They came to California in 1887 and settled on Ninth Street (Windsor Road) where they built a house, which they occupied for several years, selling the property in 1900; later this place became “Thornycroft Farm.”

        In 1892, they bought the store building on the southwest corner of Wilson and Glendale Avenues, of G. F. Dutton. They took over the merchandise business with the real estate and Mr. Ayers also succeeded Mr. Dutton as postmaster, Mrs. Ayers acting as deputy. The grocery business was mostly carried on, on a credit basis, requiring mucho f the deputy’s time as bookkeeper. One Spanish family on the list of regular customers paid up twice a year and some others not much oftener. The office of the Salt Lake Railroad Company was in the store as was also the telephone company.

        In 1894, there was a demand for a public hall and Mr. Ayers remodeled the upper floor of the building and “Ayers Hall” became the civic center of the aspiring community. For several years it was the only public hall in Glendale and furnished accommodations for fraternal orders, mass meetings, churches, etc. In 1905, Mr. Ayers constructed the building on the northwest corner of Wilson and Glendale Avenues, principally for the use of the Bank of Glendale. He soon afterwards built another building adjoining on the north. In addition to the bank, there were on the first floor a pharmacy, two grocery stores, a dry goods store and a bakery. The upper floor of both buildings was occupied as a hotel.

        In 1907, Mr. Ayers built the small cement block building at 123 North Glendale Avenue for the use of the post office, which occupied it for several years. In addition to the building of several structures for himself, Mr. Ayers was also the builder of a number of residences for his neighbors.

        Mr. and Mrs. Ayers were members of the Presbyterian Church, she being a charter member. He was a trustee of the church for a number of years and to him, perhaps, more than any other one person, is the church indebted for the construction of the new building in 1911, to which work he gave all his time for months without compensation. Mrs. Ayers is still a faithful church member. Mr. and Mrs. Ayers were ardent prohibitionists, she being active in W. C. T. U. work.

        Mrs. Ayers was the unfortunate victim of an accident, being thrown from a Pacific Electric car, in 1916, resulting in permanent injury necessitating the use of crutches, which she still depends on. Miss Judson Harris, her niece, resides with her on Belmont Street. Mr. Ayers died November 6, 1919, age 79 years.

From History of Glendale and Vicinity by John Calvin Sherer. The Glendale Publishing Company, c. 1922 F. M. Broadbooks and J. C. Sherer. pgs. 462-463.