John Ayres arrived at Ipswich, Mass. by 1643. He was granted land at Quaboag Plantation (later Brookfield, Mass.) in 1660, where he moved by 1665 locating on the Town Road across from the Meeting House (now Foster Hill)with his wife Susannah and eight children. His house also served as a Tavern where he was licensed to sell wine. He was associated with Capt. John Pynchon’s grist mill from the construction on Mill Brook in 1669 (now Sucker Brook in West Brookfield, off Wickaboag Valley Road, now Pynchon’s Grist Mill Preserve) and was the miller from 1672 until the mill was burned by the Indians in 1675. In 1673 he signed the petition for the incorporation of Quaboag to become the Town of Brookefield. First Sergeant Ayres and two of his militia men (Prichard and Coy) joined Captains Hutchinson and Wheeler with troops to negotiate a Treaty of Pease with the Nipmuck Indians. They were ambushed about 10 miles north of Brookfield, claiming the lives of Ayres, Coy and Prichard along with five of the troops, in the battle known as Wheeler’s Surprise (now in New Braintree, Mass.). For three days, the surviving troops and 63 Brookfield citizens with stood a siege in the Ayres Fortified Tavern. On Aug. 4th, Major Willard with 26 soldiers arrived to drive off the savages. The Ayres family returned to Ipswich. John Ayres’ Monument at Brookfield was erected on Foster Hill Road in 1963 by Col. Fairfax Ayres, a descendant.
He married Susanna Symonds, daughter of Mark Symonds of Ipswich. He lived in Ipswich in 1648, removing to Brookfield as one of its first settlers by 1672. He was killed by Indians (at Squakeag or Northfield) when they destroyed Brookfield on Aug. 3, 1675.