|Birth: ||Jun. 29, 1898|
|Death: ||Jul. 31, 1983|
Frederick Philander Ayers was the eldest of 5 children of John Howard Ayers and Clara Irene (Carpenter) Ayers. He was born when the latter were living on the family farm of John Howard Ayers' parents, Philander and Nancy (Eagon) Ayers in Kirkwood Twp, Belmont, Ohio -- about 275 acres just north of the National Road on both sides of what is now County Road 100, between Morristown and Hendrysburg.
Through his father and mother he was descended from among very early settlers of Union Twp, Belmont County (his paternal great grandfather and mother John and Francis Ayers there by about 1818, and his mother's grandparents all arriving there from before 1810 to about the mid-1820's are the latest, with records to show it). Moreover, his paternal grandmother Nancy Eagon's father and mother were among the very first settlers in Guernsey County, settling into Beaver Twp by 1811 (this later became part of Noble County). Fred's grandmother Nancy had 3 ancestors who definitely served in the Patriot Army in the Revolutionary War.
Fred's childhood farmhouse was "next door" to his paternal grandparents' on the same farm. Frederick's childhood was marked by tragedy. His father died by lightning strike on August 21, 1906 while bringing in horses during an intense storm. This happened right in front of Fred, who watched his father die. This left his mother, Clara, a widow with 5 young children on a farm. Fred's maternal grandmother had died the year he was born (November 17, 1898); his maternal grandfather, who lived close by, died March 7, 1907, and his paternal grandfather died January 19, 1908. From that point, he only had his paternal grandmother Nancy, who died November 15, 1916. Fred's sister Martha died of an abdominal infection in November, 1912 when he was 14 years old. On July 22, 1914, when Fred was 16, his mother entered into a short, ill-fated second marriage to a Charles Sells and was married to Sells when Fred married in 1918 (see below). By 1920 Sells was gone; the marriage either by then or eventually ended in divorce. Sells was not ever again mentioned much if at all, his mother dropped that name and referred to herself as "Mrs. Ayers, widow". Then, Fred's sister Marie moved out in about 1927 after having a child out-of-wedlock, a baby girl. The baby died at less than 4 months of age and Marie, living and working at a YWCA in Zanesville and in extreme despondency, committed suicide by gunshot a few days before Christmas on December 22, 1928. This was covered in local papers. Years later, Fred's sister Nora (single and a school teacher near Morristown) committed suicide by hanging a few days after being admitted to Cambridge State Hospital, August 17, 1948.
So Fred's life was certainly marked by a great deal of tragedy in his immediate birth family.
Fred married Ethel Golden Hardesty on March 27, 1918 in Barnesville, Belmont, Ohio. He was 19 and she was 16. Together they had three sons and one daughter. They had the initial 3 between 1919 and 1923 (John Dallas January 10, 1919; Frank Willis September 11, 1920 and Edith Martha January 27, 1923), and then a son born quite late after the other children were grown and moved out, both sons serving in the service and Edith married to a man who was. This son was Frederick Douglas Ayers (born October 28, 1942).
When Fred and Ethel first married they lived at with his parents-in-law in Barnesville, where he worked as an auto mechanic. He also worked in a glass factory for some time during that period. However, sometime in the mid-1920's (after daughter Edith's birth in 1923 in Guernsey County) he moved with his wife and (then) 3 children to Marietta, Washington, Ohio where he remained. He worked for Marietta Concrete company mainly erecting silos, at various points in labor, a foreman, and in sales. At points both his older sons worked with him (for example, in 1940 all 3 were employed by Marietta Concrete).
Neither Fred nor his wife Ethel completed high school, each having only an 8th grade education. Their lives were marked by financial struggle, often poverty, dealing with the Great Depression and other disasters such as a flood of the Ohio River they lived along. Yet they managed to raise 4 successful children who each formed life-long marriages with one spouse, and maintained an excellent marriage themselves.
The 1960's proved tough for Fred. His mother, Clara, died in Marietta on May 13, 1964. Then his beloved wife Ethel died of stomach cancer on February 23, 1968, also in Marietta. His son Freddie was drafted and served in Vietnam. Yet he persevered. He never remarried after Ethel's death.
Frederick Philander Ayers, a committed Mason and Protestant Christian, died on July 31, 1983 while living at the Masonic Home in Springfield, Ohio. At this writing his daughter Edith lives. The other 3 children are all deceased (John on December 17, 1994, Frank on May 31, 2001, and young Freddie too young, on February 14, 2000). He had 7 grandchildren by son Frank (4 boys 3 girls), 2 by son Freddie (boy and girl), and 3 by daughter Edith (2 boys 1 girl). Fred and Ethel are both buried in East Lawn/Valley Cemetery outside Marietta, Ohio.
John Howard Ayers (1870 - 1906)
Clara Irene Carpenter Ayers (1872 - 1964)
Ethel Golden Hardesty Ayers (1901 - 1968)*
Frank Willis Ayers (1920 - 2001)*
Frederick Douglas Ayers (1942 - 2000)*
Frederick Philander Ayers (1898 - 1983)
Nora E. Ayers (1899 - 1948)*
Martha Ayers (1901 - 1912)*
John Carpenter Ayers (1902 - 1994)*
Marie Madeline Ayers (1904 - 1928)*
Note: Grave site is in Garden E, Lot 119, Spaces 1 and 2, in the Masonic Circle.
East Lawn Memorial Park
Created by: David Ayers
Record added: Aug 13, 2012
Find A Grave Memorial# 95296767
Added: Jul. 7, 2014