Ayres Cemetery – Beach

The Ayres Cemetery is an old family cemetery that served the pioneer Ayres family and their descendants. The small plot remaining today in the Ramada Inn (now the Plaza Hotel) parking lot is part of the original two-acre cemetery. In 1848 Benjamin P. Ayres and his wife Emily settled m Birdville, the original Tarrant County seat. Ayres was the second County Clerk from 1852-56, and helped organize Fort Worth’s First Christian Church. Ayres’ daughter, Isabella, married William Sanderson, an Englishman who had obtained a Texas land grant in 1845. In 1861, Mr. Ayres, who owned several hundred acres in the area, purchased 320 acres of his son-in-law’s land which included the current Ayres cemetery site. Sander- son worked as a farmer and stockman and was instrumental in having the Tarrant County seat moved from Birdville to Fort Worth. Benjamin Ayres, who died in 1862, and his wife who died ten months later were the first family members buried in the cemetery. Several other members of the Ayres and Sanderson families are also buried here. Ida Ayres, Benjamin P. Ayres’ granddaughter, was the last Ayres descendant buried here in 1955. In 1915, Michael W. Behan purchased eighty acres of the original Ayres homestead, including the cemetery. Bahan’s heirs sold the land to the Ramada Inn in 1972. Ramada Inn built a motel on the site, incorporating the Ayres Cemetery in the motel parking lot. The cemetery received an official Texas Historical Marker in 1983. It has eleven granite and marble grave stones, a number of small trees, and a nineteenth-century wrought iron fence encircling the oldest section.

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