MORTIMER AYERS, M. D., a leading member of the medical fraternity in Schuyler county, Illinois, has been a resident of Rushville since October 1, 1873. He was born at Springfield, Illinois, June 25, 1848, a son of Grover and Jane (Stockdale) Ayers. The father was a native of New York state, born near Penn Yan, May 21, 1818, and emigrated to Wapakoneta, Ohio, with his family at an early day. There he was married, and in 1844 he emigrated to Illinois, and settled at Springfield; here he embarked in a general mercantile trade, which he carried on until 1862, when he retired from active life; he removed to Vermont, Fulton county, in 1876, and there passed the remainder of his days; his death occurred in 1880; his wife survives him, and is a resident of Vermont, Illinois. He was very prosperous in business and accumulated a competency. In his religious faith he was a Baptist. The family consisted of five children: Bryon W., died in Springfield, Illinois; Ada is the wife of George W. Whitney; Sylvanus resides in La Fayette, Indiana; the fourth born is the subject of this sketch; Grover died at Springfield, at the age of twenty years.
Dr. Ayers passed his boyhood days at Springfield, and attended the public schools until he was fifteen years of age. He then entered the United States Navy as midshipman, and served in this capacity for three years; the greater portion of this time was spent at Annapolis, Maryland, although he made several cruises. In 1866 he returned to Springfield, and began the study of medicine, soon afterward going to St. Louis, where he continued the pursuit of the science under the direction of Prof. T. G. Comstock. He entered the Homeopathic Medical College of Missouri at St. Louis, and was graduated in the spring of 1868. He then located at Pana, Illinois, where he engaged in practice. He had not yet attained his majority, being only twenty years of age, and he soon decided to enter the navy; when he reached New York, however, he went on board a merchant vessel as surgeon sailed to South America, and was absent three years. Returning to the United States at the end of that period, he located at Rushville, Illinois. He has taken several special courses in medicine, the last of which was at the Royal Ophthalmic Hospital, London, England; he has been a close and careful student of all topics pertaining to the science and practice of medicine, and has made his mark as a skillful physician. He is the only member of the Homeopathic school in Rushville.
Dr. Ayers was united in marriage, July 15, 1874, to Miss Dora Hill, a daughter of Major William Hill, and a native of Littleton township, Schuyler county. Two children have been born to them, Ethel and Olive. In his religious faith the Doctor is a Presbyterian. He is a member of the Masonic order, belonging to the blue lodge, chapter and commandery; he has held the office of Commander of Rushville Commandery, No. 56, K. T.
Major William Hill was born in Lancashire, England, June 27, 1825. At the age of twenty-one years he emigrated to America, and became one of the pioneers of Schuyler county in 1846. He was a cabinetmaker by trade, and followed this vocation for ten years. He married Rachel Knowles, a daughter of Joseph Knowles, who came to the United States with his family aboard the same vessel with the Major. After abandoning his trade he was interested in a flouring mill, but when the Civil war broke out he was one of the first to respond to the call for troops; he raised a company, which was mustered into the service as part of the Engineers Regiment of the West; he was elected Captain, served through the entire conflict, and was mustered out with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel by brevet; he had arisen in regular order to the rank of Major. After the war he became a member of the firm of J. & J. Knowles & Co., and was connected with this firm until his death, which occurred March 25, 1877. His wife died April 12, 1877. They had a family of five children, four of whom lived to mature years: Maria, wife of C. M. Cowan, of York, Nebraska; Mary A. is Deputy County Clerk of York county, Nebraska; Dora is the wife of Dr. M. Ayers; Laura was the wife of the late Luther Jackson, of Rushville.
Major Hill was a staunch Republican, and took a prominent part in local affairs. He was a man of plain and unpretentious manner, true to his convictions, and worthy of the esteem in which he was held.
Biographical Review of Cass, Schuyler and Brown Counties, Illinois, Biographical Review Publishing Co., Chicago, 1892, pages 144-145.
Copyright 1999-2006 Judi Gilker; all rights reserved. For personal use only. Commercial use of the information contained in these pages is strictly prohibited without prior permission. If copied, this copyright must appear with the information.
Return to Biographical Review Index