Ninety nine years is just a blink of an eye in terms of world history but by most standards it's a long time for a family-owned business to continually operate.
The first Ayers in the real estate business was N. Guy Ayers. Great Uncle Guy was born on a farm near Peoria, Illinois in 1888. As a young man, Guy tried mining in Colorado before coming to the rapidly growing steel mill town of Gary, Indiana. A newspaper ad from 1921 advertises property for sale through a real estate firm N. Guy Ayers owned with a partner and was located at 6th and Broadway. Guy struck out on his own in 1922.
In 1926, Guy built the building at 646 S. Lake Street that we occupy today. Although his precise motivation for locating his business in Miller is unknown, it is easy to speculate Miller's annexation into Gary at about that time made the area ripe for growth. The stock market crash and depression were tough times for Uncle Guy, but he survived. In fact, when a small bank on Lake Street failed, he bought their 7 foot high, double door safe and it is still in use at our office today. Folks who remember Guy say he was a bit flamboyant. He was an entrepreneur who had a small loan business, insurance brokerage, managed seasonal rentals and, of course, sold more real estate in Miller than anyone else.
In 1946, with World War II ended, Guy sensed a boom in the making and convinced his nephew, Bruce Ayers, Sr, to come to Gary from Roanoke, Indiana to work for him. Sadly, within a few months of Bruce's arrival, Guy was bed ridden with an illness that caused his death in 1951. Because of these circumstances, Bruce never really got the mentoring that brought him to Gary, but decided to buy the business from Guy's widow, Aunt Grace, and made it his career.
The 50's & 60's were exciting times in Miller. Over 67% of our existing housing today was built in those 20 years. Bruce prospered amidst fierce competition in real estate and expanded by offering property and casualty insurance, built pre-fabricated National Homes and partnered in building "spec" homes. For over 30 years, Bruce was the agent largely responsible for growth in Miller.
In the meantime, Bruce E. Ayers, Jr. (Gene) was born with a "For Sale" sign in one hand and a pen for signing closing papers om the other. He joined Ayers Realtors after graduating in 1970 from Indiana State University with a degree in Real Estate. The key to the front door was passed from father to son in 1976 when Gene bought Ayers Realtors from his dad where he continues to promote and support the Miller community through his real estate sales and community involvement.
Gene is currently assisted in serving the Miller community by his wife Judy Ayers; Renita Reyna, Office Manager, with 19 years of title experience; Nancy Del Prado, Managing Broker (Ayers Office Manager 1990-1998) with over 30 years of real estate experience with a background in technology, insurance, and mortgages; and Beth Buckley, Associate Broker with years of experience as a real estate investor and broker. Together, they insure that Ayers Realtors is the premier real estate broker in Miller Beach, upholding their motto - "Small Company, BIG Results"