Ayers Oil Company is a 4th generation locally owned petroleum marketer. W.H. Ayers founded the company in 1924 in the town of Lu Ray, Missouri in Clark County. Started primarily as a kerosene supplier for home heat, lighting, and agriculture, the product was typically sold in five gallon increments. The original suppliers were Standard Oil, White Rose, and Pure.
The company moved to Canton, Missouri in 1938 and became affiliated with Phillips 66. During this time, the river terminal construction had just started. Primary business was home heat, agriculture, and wholesale dealer operations. At one time, Ayers supplied over 100 dealers and operated 7 bulk plants. The bulk plants primarily supplied farm accounts.
Robert Ayers became president of the company in 1973, which was about the time that the emergence of self-service stations changed the landscape of petroleum marketing. Ayers got into the convenience store business in the mid 1970's. The emphasis in retail became higher volume stations also selling beer, cigarettes, snacks and other items. Ayers evolved into a company that owns and operates 16 stores in Northeast Missouri in the counties of Lewis, Clark, Marion, Ralls, Adair, Shelby, Sullivan, and Pike. Steve Ayers became president in 1994. Ayers also owns and operates a Motorcraft distributorship which sells prepackaged lubricants, motor oils, and automotive parts. In 2005 Ayers ended its relationship with Phillips 66 and became an independent marketer and supplier of petroleum products and currently owns and operates 16 stores and wholesales petroleum products throughout Northeast Missouri.