Biographical Database of NAWSA Suffragists, 1890-1920

Biography of Alice Kinney Ayers, 1861-1941

By Vincent Wagner, Undergraduate, University of North Dakota and
Trista Raezer-Stursa, Archivist, North Dakota State University

Vice President, North Dakota Votes for Women League

Alice Erminia Ayers (nee Kinney) was born in 1861 to Erminia Williams Kinney (nee Flagg) and George Kinney in Brookfield, VT. Her father died of typhoid fever in 1861 while serving in the Civil War. Ayers and her mother moved to Montpelier, VT in 1878. Ayers graduated from the Vermont Methodist Seminary in 1883 having taken the Latin scientific course. She married Myron Lyndon Ayers on October 18, 1892 in Montpelier. Myron was from Montpelier and moved to South Dakota in 1885, then to North Dakota in 1887. He took ownership of the Dickinson Press in 1890.

Ayers taught in Berlin, VT for School District No. 4, in Cabot, VT, then taught Latin and Mathematics at the Vermont Methodist Seminary in Montpelier. In 1885, she was an officer and charter member of the Good Templar's Lodge in Cabot.

Alice and Myron had two daughters, Dorothy and Esther. Ayers was involved in the Ladies' Society of the Congregational Church, the Dorcas Society, purchased war bonds during WWI, and was the treasurer of the local chapter of the Ladies Aid Society in 1917. She was appointed the first Vice President of the North Dakota chapter of the Votes for Women League in 1912, and served on the Committee on Permanent Organization.

Alice passed away in 1941 and is interred at the Dickinson Cemetery in Dickinson, ND.


“At Rest.” Dickinson Press (Dickinson, ND), January 7, 1911, 2.

“Cabot.” St. Johnsbury Caledonian (St. Johnsbury, VT), November 12, 1885, 4.

“Local News.” Dickinson Press (Dickinson, ND), December 10, 1910, 7.

“Local News.” Dickinson Press (Dickinson, ND), December 29, 1917, 2.

“Local News.” Dickinson Press (Dickinson, ND), March 15, 1913, 2.

“Vermont Methodist Seminary.” Green-Mountain Freeman (Montpelier, VT), June 27, 1883, 1. Vermont, Vital Records, 1720-1908 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2013.

Dickinson Press (Dickinson, ND), March 5, 1898, 2.

Dickinson Press (Dickinson, ND), October 22, 1892, 3.

Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed 20 March 2018), memorial page for Alice Kinney Ayers (1861–1941), Find A Grave Memorial no. 96097647, citing Dickinson Cemetery, Dickinson, Stark County, North Dakota, USA ; Maintained by High Plains (contributor 47607357) .

Geo. A. Ogle & Co. Compendium of History and Biography of North Dakota: Containing a History of North Dakota. Chicago: Geo. A. Ogle & Co., 1131.

Harper, Ida Husted, ed.. History of Woman Suffrage, Volume 6, 1900-1920. (1922) [LINK]

Montpelier, Directory for 1890-'91: Containing a General Directory of the Citizens, a Classified Business Directory also a Church, Society and Street Directory. Newburgh: L.P. Wait & Co., Publishers, 1890, pg. 16.

Stark County Historical Society. Stark County Heritage and Destiny, Taylor Publishing Company: Bismarck, 1978.

U.S. Census, 1870 and 1930.

back to top