Frederic M. Ayres owned a coal company!

Ohio Valley Coal Company, June 12, 1913 – 1924. The objective of the company was “to conduct any kind of mining business, including the production of coal by stripping or removing the overburden with large shovels operated by steam, electricity or other motive power.” The directors were:

Frederic M. Ayres – President of L.S. Ayres Department Store. He was the son of the founder, Lyman S. Ayres, and he built the popular Indianapolis department store located at S. Meridian St. and W. Washington St. in 1905. Victor C. Kendall – Secretary & Treasurer of L.S. Ayres Department Store. Samuel Ashby – a lawyer. Harry Stout – born in 1865, he was the son of a grocery store owner whose store was located at the Bates House Block. In 1886 Harry and partner William Bristor opened the Stout’s Factory & Shoe store at 318-320 Massachusetts Ave; Harry died in 1914. Edward E. Stout – born in 1862, Edward became President of the shoe store after his younger brother died. This shoe store is still run by the Stout family at the same location (2017). Clarence Stanley – the Federal Census lists his occupation as Real Estate, but the 1914 Indianapolis City Directory lists him at the Vice-President and Treasurer of the R.J. Reynolds Manufacturing Co, a manufacturer of automobile bodies, and the 1924 Indianapolis City Directory lists his occupation as the Vice-President of the Sunlight Coal Co. Frederic E. Dauner – in 1913 Secretary & Treasurer and in 1924 President of the Dauner Coal Co.

Its interesting how leading merchants and manufacturers in Indianapolis during the early 1900s joined together to invest in completely different lines of business. In this case a department store owner and its treasurer, a shoe store merchant, an automobile body manufacturer, a lawyer, as well as a coal company owner, all joined together to form a hopefully profitable coal mining company. It makes you wonder how and where they all got together to come up with the idea of this business venture.



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