AYERS, HARRY MELL, 1885-1964


Editor, publisher. Born– December 18, 1885, Anniston. Parents– Thomas Willburn and Minnie (Skelton) Ayers. Married– Edel Ytterboe, September 28, 1921. Children– Two. Education– Attended Jacksonville State Normal School. Served in the U.S. Army, WWI. Bought the Anniston Hot Blast  and the Evening Star in 1913 and merged them as the Anniston Star, of which he served as editor and publisher. Active in local and state politics;  campaign manager for Governor Thomas Kilby, 1917-18; delegate to the 1928 Democratic National Convention.  Member of the Rotary Club, National Press Club, Overseas Press Club, and many other organizations; president of the Alabama Press Association. Member and vice president of the Alabama State Board of Education.  Wrote “Come South Young Man,” an address before the graduating class of Wooster Preparatory School, Danbury, Connecticut, June, 1953. Awarded the honorary LL.D. by Howard College, 1931, and the D.Litt. by the University of Alabama, 1956. Awarded the Army’s Outstanding Civilian Service Medal for his efforts to re-activate Fort McClellan after WWII.Inducted into the Alabama Newspaper Hall of Fame, 1969. Died October 7, 1964.


Who Was Who in America, Vol. 4. Obituary.


Education, Segregation and Suppression. Troy, Ala.; s.n., 1956.

History of Parker Memorial Baptist Church. S.l.; s.n., s.d.

North Versus South and West. S.l.; s.n., 1956.


The papers of Harry Mell Ayers are held by the W.S.Hoole Special Collections Library at the University of Alabama.