Last modified on November 18, 2021, at 18:54

H. Welborn Ayres

Harrison Welborn Ayres​

Judge of the Louisiana Second Judicial District Court in Jackson Parish
In office
1942​ – December 31, 1953​

Judge of the Louisiana Second Circuit Court of Appeal in Shreveport
In office
January 1, 1954​ – April 30, 1975​
Preceded by J. Frank McInnis

Born April 30, 1900​
Ashland, Natchitoches Parish
Died May 14, 1985 (aged 85)​
Shreveport, Caddo Parish, Louisiana​
Resting place Forest Park East Cemetery in Shreveport ​
Political party Democrat
Spouse(s) Edna Ewing Ayres (married 1929–1985, his death)​
Children James Ewing Ayres​
Residence (1) Jonesboro, Jackson Parish

(2) Shreveport, Louisiana​

Alma mater Ashland High School

Louisiana State University Law Center​

Occupation Attorney; Judge
Religion United Methodist

Harrison Welborn Ayres (April 30, 1900 – May 14, 1985) was a 20th-century judge of the Louisiana Second Judicial District Court, based in Jackson Parish 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.[1] On May 21, 1918, he graduated from the since razed 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 obtained his law degree from the Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge. ​

In 1979, Ayres, by then having retired as a judge, wrote part of the history of the village of Ashland. It was published within the annual report of the Ramah Cemetery Association.[2]

Legal career

After law school, Ayres practiced from 1925 to 1941 in both Jonesboro in Jackson Parish and Arcadia in adjacent Bienville Parish. ​He served on the parish district court from 1942 to 1953, having run unopposed in 1942 and 1948.[3] ​In July 1952, he was elected as a Democrat to the ten-parish circuit court, a position which he filled, after a long waiting period, on January 1, 1954.[4] He had defeated the Minden attorney John T. Campbell (1903–1993),[5] for the right to succeed the retiring Judge J. Frank McInnis on the Court of Appeas. McInnis was a Bienville Parish native residing in Minden.[6]​ Ayres' Third Judicial District included Jackson, Bienville, and Claiborne] parishes. He also presided for three-and-a-half years over Lincoln and Union parishes within the 3rd Judicial 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. (This court should not 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.[7]​ Under state law, Ayres was required to retire from the bench when he reached his 75th birthday, which was in 1975.[7]

Family and death

In 1929, Ayres married the former Edna Ewing (1904–1991), the daughter of William Oliver Ewing, Sr., and the former Caledonia Maudie May. They had a son James Ewing Ayres, born in 1936, who also went into law. Ayres maintained his official domicile in Jonesboro, but on retirement he continued to reside in Shreveport, where his son practices law. The senior Ayres was a member of the Noel Memorial United Methodist Church in Shreveport. He was affiliated with the Masonic lodge in Jonesboro, and with the Louisiana and American bar associations.[7]

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 his fellow judges, Pike Hall, Jr., James Edwin Bolin, Oscar Ewing Price, and Charles Allen Marvin.[7]


  1. James Ayres. Retrieved on April 4, 2019.
  2. H. W. Ayres, "The History of Ashland, Louisiana", manuscript for Ramah Cemetery Association, 1979. Ayres' parents are interred at Ramah Cemetery.
  3. Minden Press, May 30, 1952, p. 1.
  4. "Judge Ayres Will Become Successor to Judge McInnis", Minden Press, January 1, 1954, p. 1.
  5. Minden Press, August 1, 1952, p. 1.
  6. "Judge Ayres Is Candidate for Court of Appeals", Minden Press, May 30, 1952, p. 2.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 "Judge H. W. Ayres", The Shreveport Times, May 16, 1985.