Friday, July 12, 2013

Blackstone Drummond Ayres (1896-1984)


   A lifelong resident of Accomack, County Virginia, Blackstone Drummond Ayres was a distinguished practitioner of law in the aforementioned county, and later served a term in the Virginia State House of Delegates beginning in 1928. Ayres was born in Accomac on August 1, 1896, a son of John Hack and Mary Charlotte Derby Ayres. He received his education at the Virginia Military Institute and later enrolled at the University of Virginia.  A veteran of WWI, Ayres was a Lieutenant of Artillery in the U.S. Army, and was stationed in France with the "47th Army Artillery and the 79th Division". 
  After returning home from Europe, Ayres attended the University of Virginia Law School and graduated from here in 1922 with his law degree. Ayres married in September 1929 to Ms. Nelly Bird (1906-2006), with whom he would have three children, Blackstone Drummond III, Ann Byrd and John Hack Ayres (1930-1931), who died in infancy.
  B. Drummond Ayres is recorded in his 1984 Harrisonburg Daily News Record obituary as being a practicing lawyer in Virginia's Eastern Shore area for over 60 years and was one of a number of attorneys and businessmen who "arranged the $200 million financing for the Chesapeake Bay Tunnel". In addition to his law practice, Ayres was elected to the Virginia State House of Delegates in November 1927 from Accomack County and served in the legislative session of 1928-1930. During his one term of service Ayers held a seat on the committees on the Chesapeake and its Tributaries, General Laws, Militia and Police and Public Property.
  After leaving the legislature Ayres continued to practice law and later held the presidency of the Virginia State Bar Association from 1952-1953. He was also a member of the Order of the First Families of Virginia 1607-1620 as well as the Masons. He died of cancer at age 87 on January 8, 1984 at the Northampton-Accomack Memorial Hospital and was later interred at the Edgehill Cemetery in Accomac. Ayres was survived by two of his children and his wife Nelly, who celebrated her 100th birthday in February 2006. Nelly Bird Ayres died eleven days after her centennial birthday on March 6, 2006 and was also interred at the Edgehill Cemetery.

From the Harrisonburg Daily News Record, January 10, 1984.

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