H. Welborn Ayres

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Harrison Welborn Ayres
Judge H. W. Ayres of Louisiana.jpg
Judge of the Louisiana Second Judicial District Court in Jonesboro
In office
1942 – December 31, 1953
Judge of Louisiana Second Circuit Court of Appeal in Shreveport
In office
January 1, 1954 – April 30, 1975
Preceded by J. Frank McInnis
Succeeded by Charles A. Marvin
Personal details
Born (1900-04-30)April 30, 1900
Natchitoches Parish
Died May 14, 1985(1985-05-14) (aged 85)
Caddo Parish
Resting place Forest Park East Cemetery in Shreveport
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Edna Ewing Ayres (married 1929-1985, his death)
Children James Ewing Ayres
Parents James W. and Lula Bumgardner Ayres

(1) Jonesboro
Jackson Parish

(2) Shreveport, Louisiana
Alma mater

former Ashland High School

Louisiana State University Law Center
Occupation Judge; Attorney
Religion United Methodist Church

Harrison Welborn Ayres (April 30, 1900 – May 14, 1985)[1] was a 20th-century judge of the Louisiana Second Judicial District Court, based in Jonesboro, and the Louisiana Second Circuit Court of Appeal, anchored in Shreveport.


Ayres was born to James W. Ayres (1867–1922) and the former Lula Bumgardner (1869–1942) in the village of Ashland in northern Natchitoches Parish.[2] On May 21, 1918, Ayres graduated from the former Ashland High School. The commencement ceremony was held in the since disbanded Ashland Methodist Church because a fire had destroyed the school building only a few weeks earlier. He then obtained his law degree from the Louisiana State University Law Center in Baton Rouge. In 1979, Ayres, as a former judge, penned a manuscript containing part of the history of the village within the annual report of the Ramah Cemetery Association.[3]

Legal career[edit]

Ayres served on the district court from 1942 to 1953, having been unopposed in 1948. He was thereafter elected in July 1952, as a Democrat to the ten-parish circuit court, a position which he began after a long waiting period on January 1, 1954. He defeated the Minden attorney John T. Campbell,[4] for the right to succeed the retiring Judge J. Frank McInnis, also of Minden and a native of Bienville Parish.[5] Under state law, Ayres retired from the bench when he reached his 75th birthday in 1975.[6]

After law school, Ayres practiced in both Jonesboro, the seat of Jackson Parish, and Arcadia, the seat of adjacent Bienville Parish, from 1925 to 1942. His Third Judicial District included Jackson, Bienville, and Claiborne parishes. He also presided for 3.5 years over Lincoln and Union parishes within the Third District. Toward the end of his twenty-one years on the circuit court, Ayres was the presiding judge. He also headed a special panel of the state Louisiana Fourth Circuit Court of Appeal in New Orleans, not to be confused with the United States Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, also in New Orleans. He was also a judge ad hoc of the Louisiana Supreme Court.[6]

Family and death[edit]

Though he maintained his official domicile in Jonesboro, on retirement Ayres continued to reside in Shreveport, where his son, James Ewing Ayres (born 1936), practices law. In 1929, Ayres married the former Edna Ewing (1904–1991),[1] the daughter of William Oliver Ewing, Sr., and the former Caledonia Maudie May. In addition to their son, the couple had two grandchildren, Laura Jean Ayres LeBlanc and Leland Harrison "Lee" Ayres, both of Baton Rouge. Ayres was a member of the Noel Memorial United Methodist Church in Shreveport. He was affiliated with the Masonic lodge in Jonesboro and the Louisiana and American bar associations.[6]

Ayres died in Shreveport at the age of eighty-five after a brief illness. Services were held at a Rose-Neath Funeral Home chapel in Shreveport, with Noel Memorial pastor W. O. Lynch officiating. Ayres is interred at Forest Park East Cemetery in Shreveport. Pallbearers included fellow Judges Pike Hall, Jr., James E. Bolin, O. E. Price, and Charles A. Marvin.[6]


  1. ^ a b "Social Security Death Index". ssdi.rootsweb.ancestry.com. Retrieved May 8, 2010. 
  2. ^ "James W. Ayres". findagrave.com. Retrieved May 27, 2010. 
  3. ^ H.W. Ayres, "The History of Ashland, Louisiana", manuscript for Ramah Cemetery Association, 1979. Ayers's parents are interred at Ramah Cemetery.
  4. ^ Minden Press, August 1, 1952, p. 1
  5. ^ "Judge Ayres Is Candidate for Court of Appeals", Minden Press, May 30, 1952, p. 2
  6. ^ a b c d "Judge H. W. Ayres", Shreveport Times, May 16, 1985
Legal offices
Preceded by
J. Frank McInnis
Judge of the Louisiana 2nd Circuit Court of Appeal in Shreveport

Harrison Welborn Ayres

Succeeded by
Charles A. Marvin