Biography of Allen Ayrault
FROM: History of Livingston County, New York
By James H. Smith
Assisted by Hume H. Cole
Published By D. Mason & Co. 1881


Allen Ayrault was born in Sandisfield. Berkshire county. Mass.. October 30, 1793. He passed the early years of his life at home assisting his parents on the farm and attending the district schools. He taught school a number of terms, and when twenty-one years of age left home and came to Geneseo. where he at once found employment in Spencer & Co.’s store, the “Co.” being Gen. James Wadsworth and William Wadsworth.

He remained with Spencer & Co. but a short time, going to Mt. Morris. where he started business for himself in general merchandising, but continued it for a short time only, having been appointed agent for the lands of Rogers & Murray. He remained in Mt. Morris until 1819, when be removed to Moscow, still retaining this agency. Here he engaged in the purchase and sale of cattle, pasturing tham on the lands for which he was agent. aud the profits from these transactions gave him a start in life. He carried on a large and lucrative business in Moscow until 1830, when he removed to Gem eseo, having been elected President of the Livingston County Bank, which was organized in that year. and of which he remained President until the expiration of its charter and close of its business, June 30, 1855.

His management of this bank was characterized by prudence, untiring vigilance, and a watchfulness that nothing could escape. He made it his sole thought and care, and gave it twenty-five of the best years of his life. and during that entire period, though the board of directors was composed of many of the best men of Geueseo and. vicinity, no Occasion was ever found to criticise his official or personal conduct.

Mr. Avrault belonged to that class of citizens who give stability to the financial status of our country and character to society. He was a safe counsellor anda judicious manager of his own affairs. His influence in all departments of society and in a;; associations for business, was characterized by modisty and diffidence, for his judgment (expressed without pretense and generally upon solicitation was generall based upon reasons which demanded and secured concurrence. Mr. Ayrault was a plain, unpretentious man, never a seeker for public office or honors. He affiliated with the Whig party, and strove in a consistent manner to enhance its interests, and was in tnrn honored, on several occasions, by nominations from his fellow citizens for important offices.

In 1841 he was a candidate for State Senator in the old Sixth District, including Allegany and Livingston counties on the west and running east on the southern tier and including Broome and Chenaugo counties on the east. In this contest he was defeated by James Faulkner, of Dansville, the Democratic candidate. He was elected. as delegate to the Constitutional Convention which convened April 22d of that year and adjourned on the ninth of October following. serving upon several important committees. In 1847 he was elected to the State Senate from the Twenty-ninth District (Ontario and Livingston counties) but resigned after serving one session.

Mr. Ayrault was President of the County Bible Society fourteen years, always manifesting a deep interest in its success and good work. In religious sentiment he was an Episcopalian and a member of St. Michael’s church in Fenesco, and give liberally from his means for the support of church interest and any enterprise looking to the advancement of education among the rising genera tion and the establishment of good society.

September 9. 1822, Mr. Ayrault was united in marriage to Bethiah, daughter of Rev. Wm. Lyman. She was born July 12, 1792, at East Haddam. Conn. Her father was born in 1765 and died June 5, 1833. Her mother was born in 1767 and died June 22, 1858 at the great age of ninety-one years, and their remains lie buried at Arcade, Wyoming county. They had eleven children, seven of whom are yet living, the youngest at the age of seventy-two years and the oldest ninety. Mrs. Ayrault is still living. now in her eighty-ninth year, in possession of her facnlties to a wonderful degree. Allen Ayrault died at Genesco, N. Y., February 4, 1861. They have had no children.

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