Transcribed by Mary Ann Kaylor
AYERS, EUGENE MORGAN - This is the age of the young man. Many of Springfield's most successful business men are still under forty, yet have attained material prosperity. Of these the majority have worked their way up from comparative poverty to affluence, and among them one deserving of more than passing mention is Eugene Morgan Ayers, born in Perry, Pike County, Ill., December 2, 1875, a son of Lewis and Katherine Eleanor (Morgan) Ayers, natives of Pennsylvania and Upper Alton, Ill. The father is a painter by calling and is now residing in Chicago, but the mother died in 1899. Eugene M. was their only child. Lewis Ayers is a Republican and a member of the Christian Church, in which he takes an active part.
Eugene M. Ayers has fought his way up. Leaving school at New Salem, Ill., when only thirteen years old, he came to Springfield to work in the Wabash shops. After eight months in the planing department he was errand boy at Weems laundry for two years, then found employment on the Wabash railroad as peanut boy. A year of this gave him the experience he felt he needed before embarking in his present business, which he has successfully prosecuted ever since.
Mr. Ayers was married on August 26, 1894, to Adeline Leeder, born in Springfield, daughter of William F. and Flora (Ripstein) Leeder, natives of Germany, who had six children, of whom Mrs. Ayers was the fifth in order of birth. Mr. and Mrs. Ayers are the parents of four children: Katherine, Russell, Dorothy and Arthur, bright young people.
The Democratic party has in Mr. Ayers a stanch supporter, although as yet he has not represented it in any official position. Fraternally he has connected himself with the original Order of Owls. His religious home is in the Christian Church, toward which he liberally contributes. He is a live, energetic young many, and one deserving of all praise for his industry and earnest endeavor to better his condition and not to allow adverse circumstances to discourage him.