David Ayres, pioneer merchant and a founder of the first Methodist missionary society in Texas, son of Silas and Mary (Byram) Ayers, was born in Morristown, New Jersey, on August 10, 1793. He and his wife, Ann, were married in 1815 in the John Street Methodist Church in New York City. From 1817 to 1832 Ayres, who changed the spelling of his name from that of his parents, was a merchant in Ithaca, New York, where he played a significant role in establishing Methodism and building its first church there. In 1832 he came to Texas to buy property and build a home. He landed at the mouth of the Brazos in early 1833 and proceeded up the river to Washington County, where he bought a tract of land thirty miles west of Washington-on-the-Brazos. After clearing part of the land and building a stone house called Montville, he returned to the East.
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