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 Catherine <I>Hall</I> Ayers

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Catherine Hall Ayers

  • Birth 6 Apr 1817 Ohio, USA
  • Death 5 Jul 1900 Athens, Menard County, Illinois, USA
  • Burial Athens, Menard County, Illinois, USA
  • Memorial ID 16601675

Catherine Hall (Ayers)
1818 - 1900
The first marriage in Abner Hall's family was that of his daughter, Catherine. She was married February 22, 1832 to Joseph B. Ayers, 1808 - 1880. Ayers was the son-in-law who participated with Abner in the sale of town lots in 1836.

Catherine, one of the children born in Ohio married very young, a check of the dates given for her birth and marriage, indicates that she was only fourteen years of age. If these dares are correct, this was in keeping with pioneer times when maturity arrived early. Young women were considered adults at age 16; boys when they reached 18. Ayers was twenty-four at the time of the marriage.

Not only did Abner Hall receive a real estate partner, but the marriage of Catherine started a rather important line of descendants. For purposes of convenience, it shall be referred to as the Hall - Ayers - Roberts line, although there were many other family names to become eventually included in it.

The older spelling of this name was sometimes given an 'Ayars.' The old county histories give adequate accounts of this family, generally referring to their farming and business interests. Apparently they were willing to take chances for business success in the early history of Menard county. There is some indication that they arrived in Illinois from Virginia by way of Ohio, the same path as the Hall family. The report of the wedding indicates that it was performed in Springfield by Rev. John G. Bergen. Bergen was an early Presbyterian minister. The Halls, as near as can be determined were Methodists. Methodism were an early frontier religion; the Presbyterians had an older background and their membership usually had a higher socio-economic background.

During his lifetime, J.B. Ayers acquired both city and farm property in and around Athens. The Petersburg Observer, in its issue of January 24, 1880 said his, 'funeral was one of the largest ever seen in Athens.' This was an indication of his prominence. It was further stated that he had lived for over fifty years in Menard county.

On October 17, 1856 Elizabeth Ann Ayers, daughter of Joseph and Catherine Ayers, was married to Dr. William F. Roberts. Roberts, 1834 - 1902, was Virginia born and by his efforts as a cabinet maker was able to attend the Jefferson Medical College of Philadelphia, graduating as an M.D. in 1860. (Elizabeth Ann Ayers (Roberts), 1840 - 1879.

Roberts returned to Athens, where he practiced medicine and in common with other physicians of his time, he later owned and operated a drug store there, (1879). Roberts, of course, was of age to be in the Civil War and his record is discussed in the section: The Halls in the Civil War.

W.B. Ayers, brother of Elizabeth Ann Ayers (Roberts) served in the War. Ayers received a good education for the time. He attended the North Sangamon Academy at Indian Point, highly regarded in those days. After some business experience in Indiana, he returned to Athens to manage a livery stable, and to operate a lumber yard. He ran the family farm - an inheritance from J.B. and Catherine Ayers. He served the community in several ways, helping organize a bank and serving on the first school board. In 1868 he married Mary Pines, d. 1879, and had three children: Etta M., Lou and Fred. Fred W. Ayers followed in his father's footsteps serving the community in several public offices.

Most important for the family history, the Ayers-Roberts branch, until very recent times furnished the best educated and most professional persons among the Abner Hall descendants. Over the years they produced druggists, doctors, lawyers, etc. Of interest in 1976, Mark O. Roberts, Springfield, is a well-known attorney and along with his brother, Frank, was founder and president of the Standard Mutual Insurance Company of that city. +

Considerable interest has been shown by various members of this branch in their family history. This is especially as regards memberships in the DAR - tracing their lines to John Overstreet, Sr. Others have become members of the Daughters of 1812.

It will be noted that Elizabeth Ann Ayers married at 16 years of age; her mother married at 14. In their day, education for women was not yet making its demands and delaying marriage for women.

Hall-Overstreet Families Book by Carrol Carman Hall, 1981.

Bio by: Iriss Hill

Family Members

Gravesite Details Wife of Joseph Ayers





  • Maintained by: Iriss Hill
  • Originally Created by: Charles W Brown
  • Added: 11 Nov 2006
  • Find A Grave Memorial 16601675
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Catherine Hall Ayers (6 Apr 1817–5 Jul 1900), Find A Grave Memorial no. 16601675, citing Old West Cemetery, Athens, Menard County, Illinois, USA ; Maintained by Iriss Hill (contributor 46617720) .