Centennial History of Ames
The town took its name from the late Hon. Oakes Ames, of Massachusetts, a man of world-wide notoriety and formerly an active pioneer in western railroad enterprise. He always manifested a lively interest in the improvement and welfare of his western namesake, which took practical and material shape on more than one occasion.
It is not presumptuous to declare that even in the great and growing West, where often under the stimulus of unexpected or suddenly inaugurated public improvements, or private enterprise, towns spring into existence and become objects of local wonder and speculation in a day, few instances can be found of towns whose record will bear favorable comparison to the truthful history of AMES.
It dates its birth in the fall of l864, and its paternity to the enterprise of John I. Blair, the "Railroad King" of Iowa, as exhibited in the building of the Cedar Rapids & Missouri River Rail Road, now operated by the Chicago & Northwestern R. R. Co., forming an important link in their line from Chicago to Council Bluffs.
While towns already established along the line of this road, were inspired with new life by its completion, AMES was one of its creations. It was finished to this point in October 1864 and nearly simultaneously with that event the town was laid out and the first dwelling house within what is now the incorporation, was erected and occupied during the same month by Noah Webster who is still a citizen of AMES. Although the road was completed to this point and beyond at the time above stated, regular trains for freight and passengers were not run until the following June. On the opening of the road for general business in 1865, H. F. Kingsbury came as local agent, discharging at the same time the rather onerous duties of Express Agent. Mr. Kingsbury soon engaged in mercantile pursuits, and was the first postmaster appointed at this place, the duties of which position he continued to discharge in an acceptable manner until the spring of 1869, when he was superceded by L. Q. Hoggatt who held the office until June, 1871, when he was succeeded by S. L. Lucas who was the incumbent until his death which took place Dec. 29th, 1875. In February, 1876, his widow, Mrs. Hattie A. Lucas, was appointed and commissioned as his successor in office, the duties of which she has since discharged. In July, 1871, a Postal Money Order Office was established here, the disbursements of which during the quarter ending June 31, 1876, were about $2,100.00, and the amount received during same period for orders sold was about $6,000.00. It may be proper here to note that this is an office of the third class, the salary being $1,200.00. This latter fact is presented as one index of the intelligence of our people.
Incorporation of the Town
In the fall of 1869, steps were taken to incorporate the town of Ames, and the project, on being submitted to the popular vote, was approved by a large majority. At the first election of municipal officers, Wm. West, Esq., was elected Mayor.
The results of this measure have justified the most ardent hopes of our people. Under it our streets have been graded and drained, sidewalks built, and other improvements made tending to beautify the town and advance the convenience, health and happiness of our citizens.
- The present municipal officers are
- Wm. Clark, Mayor.
- John L. Stevens, Recorder.
- H. P. Lods, H. C. Huntington, Wm. S. Bradley, Chas. Barroll, H. Gilbert, Trustees.
- E. R. Chamberlain, Treasurer.
- S. S. Paxton, Assessor.
- C. J. Kogle, Street Commissioner.
- McCarthy Stevens & Underwood,
- City Attorneys.
- W. C. Shockley, Marshal.
The present population of AMES is about 1,200 which is being constantly augmented by the influx of new settlers, who are attracted to this point by its many superior material advantages.
If the number and respectability of church organizations, is to be taken as an index of the character of a community, we may justly be denominated a religious people. Beyond a care for educational interests, another characteristic of our Yankee nation, is their earnest and commendable desire to evangelize the world. The citizens of AMES in large proportion come of that puritan stock who made all other interests subservient to the paramount one of religious development.
Methodist Episcopal Church
Our Methodist friends were characteristically foremost here in evangelical effort. During the early part of the year 1862, a church was organized in this township, consisting of only six members. We receive this latter
fact, as evidence of the sparsely settled condition of the country, and
also of the abundant faith, which upon all occasions, and under all circumstances,
stimulates and upholds the devoted followers of Wesley.
The little band of only six members, enjoyed, during their first
year, the ministrations, of Rev. James Hankins. He was succeeded by Rev.
J. M. Dudley, who had charge of the small but rapidly increasing flock
for two years. Mr. Dudley gave place to Rev. W. S. Darwin, who continued
with the church two years. During his second year, a church edifice was
commenced, on the comer of Onondaga and Kellogg streets, on grounds donated
to the society for that purpose, by Hon. John I. B1air. Rev. J. R. Williams,
of Indiana, donated the sum of one hundred dollars to aid in the construction
of the building. Many citizens of AMES and vicinity, also made very generous
contributions for this object. The result of this effort was a very tasty
and convenient church building, surmounted by a modest looking belfry,
containing a fine toned bell of appropriate size.
In the year 1867, Rev. T. P. Newlin succeeded Mr. Darwin, and in
1868 was himself succeeded by Rev. E. Kendall. Mr. Kendall remained with
his charge two years, being very popular both with his church and the community.
During his pastorate he succeeded in nearly relieving the church of financial
obligations incurred in completing the house of worship. In obedience to
the rules of the church, Mr. Kendall, after two years of profitable labor,
gave place to Rev. J. G. Eckles. After one year of very acceptable service
Mr. Eckles was in turn succeeded by Rev. A. Wilson who remained in charge
two years. Though a man of marked ability, the labors of Mr. Wilson here
were far from successful. During his pastorate difficulties arose which
proved nearly fatal to all the interests of the church. But under the ministrations
of Rev. A. Brown who took the charge in September 1873 the church was fully
relieved of its financial embarrassments and recovered much of its lost
vigor and usefulness. The pastorate of Mr. Brown terminated in the fall
of 1875, his successor being Rev. I. T. Miller, an old citizen of our county,
and an earnest worker in the cause which he has espoused. Discord has given
place to harmony of thought and action, and never in the history of this
organization has its future seemed more promising than now. While the membership
is slightly reduced from its maximum, the loss in numbers is fully compensated
by the unity of purpose now existing, and which at one time had nearly
deserted them. The present membership is one hundred and ten.
The initiatory steps toward the organization of the Baptist Church
at AMES, were taken July 11, 1868. Fourteen persons were associated in
this effort, and four others became united with them during the same month,
and on September 5, of that year, we find the membership increased to twenty-three.
From October, making good progress in material strength, and with several additions
to its membership. At the New Year, 1870, Rev. S. H. Mitchell took pastoral
charge, and under his wise and vigorous administration, all the interests
of the church were largely advanced. Early in the succeeding year the preliminary
steps toward the building of a church edifice were taken, two lots being
purchased for its site at the corner of Kellogg and Story streets at a
cost of $300.00. During the summer of 1871, and the succeeding winter,
these lots were paid for by the Ladies Aid Society of the church, much
to the credit of their energetic action.
During the season of 1872 the church building was erected and enclosed
and in the early summer of 1873, though not fully completed, it was dedicated
and occupied by the church. The size of this house of worship is 34x50
feet with an alcove where the pulpit is situated ten feet in depth and
of appropriate dimensions. The cost of the building thus far has been about
$3,500.00, all but $400 of which was paid during Mr. Mitchell's pastorate,
the latter sum having been paid since he left. About $1,000 more will be
needed to complete the church building in accordance with the architects
plan's and the intentions of the church. There need however, be no doubt
entertained but the early and full completion of this tasty church edifice
will be accomplished, when we consider that its interests are in the charge
of individuals and an organization who have already given so convincing
evidence of determined energy in the fonner progress of this enterprise.
It was undertaken at a time when business of a11 kinds was depressed, when
the truthful cry of "hard times" was upon every lip; under conditions indeed
where difficulties and discouragement seemed unsurmountable. Its successful
prosecution under these circumstances reflects great credit upon Mr. Mitchell
to whose persevering action it is largely due, and also upon the Baptist
church of AMES and our citizens generally, without whose generous material
aid it could not have been accomplished.
Mr. Mitchell found the church with a membership of less than forty,
with only occasional service at uncertain periods, and this service held
in a small and inconvenient hall; after five years of such labor as few
men could have been found competent to perform, he surrendered his charge,
being himself called to higher and seemingly more important duties, with
a membership increased to seventy-five, active, earnest and united workers,
a church edifice of fair proportions, so nearly completed as to be fit
for occupancy, and what is of great importance, nearly paid for, and all
the evangelizing agencies of the church thoroughly organized and in successful
On the 1st of January 1875, Mr. Mitchell was succeeded in the pastorate
of the church by Rev. D. D. Proper, the present incumbent. Mr. Proper is
a man of rare energy of character, devoted to his profession and the church
of his choice and constantly gaining in favor both with his own peop1e
and other classes of our citizens.
Since the commencement of his pastoral charge, the debt then existing
has been paid off and the influence and usefulness of the church greatly promoted and enlarged. During
the past year, fifty-five have been added to the membership making the
present number one hundred and thirty -- one of the most promising church
organizations in our town.
The First Congregational church of AMES was organized November 5th,
1865, with a membership of nine persons, and under the temporary pastoral
charge of Rev. Jolm White, formerly of Woodstock, Conn. The church edifice
is a tasty looking and convenient building, but in size, quite inadequate
to the accommodation of the present attendance of worshipers. Initiatory
steps have been taken to enlarge its dimensions, which together with other
improvements is likely soon to be accomplished.
The fine toned bell, at whose call worshippers here congregate, was
the gift of Hon. Oakes Ames, of Mass. Other gifts from his hand have challenged
the admiration, and awakened the grateful feelings which the Congregational
society and the citizens of AMES will ever cherish for the munificent donor.
Mr. White continued in charge of the church until the spring of 1868.
By his judicious management, and strict attention to its many interest,
its membership was very largely increased, and its influence and usefulness
greatly advanced. Ill health compelled Mr. White to sever these pleasant
and useful relations, and he was succeeded by Rev. S. Gilbert, a gentleman
of great Literary attainments, and of highly social tastes and habits.
Owing to some difference of opinion among the members of the church, it
seemed to the majority that its interests would be subserved by the withdrawal
of Mr. Gilbert from its service. From April, 1869, until the following
November, the church was without a pastor or stated preaching. At the latter
date, Rev. A. A. Baker assumed pastoral relations therewith, which continued
until October, 1874. A good degree of prosperity and growth was enjoyed
during this period, though some portion of it was unfavorable to the progress
of a new enterprise, owing to circumstances connected with the history
of the town.
March, 1875, Rev. Geo. G. Perkins entered upon the pastorate, removing
his family here in June; meantime, the building east of the church had
been erected as a parsonage and about July 1 was occupied for that purpose.
This, including the fence enclosing the lot, has cost about $2,000.
In the consummation of this work, a unity of purpose and a general
co-operation was manifested. The ministrations of Mr. Perkins here have
given great satisfaction to the church and people. He is a man of fine
ability, thorough education, an earnest and fluent speaker with his whole
heart given to the work in which he is engaged. Never since the organization
of this church have its prospects seemed more flattering or its future
success and usefulness better assured.
The tenth anniversary of the organization of the church, Nov. 5,
1875, was observed by a "Praise and Fellowship Meeting," which was attended
by a goodly number of the membership. Interesting reminiscences were given of its early history, its work,
and former pastors. The present membership of the church is about one hundred
As early as the spring of 1871 an effort was made to establish a
Mission station of the Episcopal church at this place, with very encouraging
prospects of success.
Quite a number of persons, who were formerly members of this old
established organization, had temporarily united themselves with other
churches here, with the understanding that the establishment of service
by the "Mother Church," should leave them free to withdraw from the connection
thus made. But owing to an unexpected and unfortunate combination of circumstances,
the scheme, at first so promising in the end, proved abortive.
Lately however, it has been revived with good hope of permanent success.
We have promise of Mission service, for the present monthly, or oftener,
and the friends of the church indulge earnest hope that the desire of years
is about to be accomplished, and they again blessed by the ministrations
of the church in whose bosom their childhood and youth were spent, and
to whose beautiful service and form of worship they are devotedly attached.
From very small beginnings the commercial interests of AMES have
acquired quite large and promising proportions. The first goods offered
for sale in AMES, were brought here by H. F. Kingsbury Esq., in the summer
of 1865, only eleven years ago, and were exposed for sale in the depot
building which had just been erected by the railroad Co. and where Mr.
Kingsbury, in addition to his mercantile pursuits, discharged the duties
of railroad agent, express agent and post master. Shortly after, N. A.
Rainbolt became associated with Mr. Kingsbury in trade, very soon becoming
sole proprietor and moving the stock into a building erected by Mr. K.
at the corner of Onondaga and Duff Streets, wherein is now kept the New
York House. Mr. Rainbolt continued in the mercantile business until the
summer of 1869 when he sold out and devoted himself to more congenial pursuits.
The second commercial enterprise in AMES was started by S. O. Osborn
who erected a fine store building at the corner of Onondaga and Douglass
Streets, for the drug trade in which business he continued until 1872 a
part of the time being associated with John J. Bosquet, the firm being
Osborn & Bosquet. The interest of Mr. Osborn passed to a brother of
Mr. Bosquet and the business is still continued at the old stand by J.
J. Bosquet & Co. In 1866 S. H. Miller erected a store building on the
N. E. corner of Douglass and Onondaga Streets, which he occupied as dealer
in Hardware. The firm was shortly known as MiUer & KeIT who in 1867
sold to Mr. J. H. McLain who enlarged and continued the business. The next
year he sold an interest to H. R. Boyd, the firm of McLain & Boyd continued
until 1871, when Mr. McLain sold his remaining interest to Wm. O. Boyd,
and the firm became Boyd Brothers who still occupy the old stand with an
extensive and constantly increasing business. They deal in general hardware, stoves, wagons, and all kinds
of agricultural implements and farm machinery. In addition to their store
proper, they occupy a large warehouse on the south side of Onondaga Street.
In the early part of 1867 Messrs. Wm. D. & S. L. Lucas erected
a commodious store building on Onondaga Street directly west of the drug
store which they immediately occupied with a large stock of general merchandise.
They continued in business about one year with a constantly increasing
trade and in the Spring of 1868 sold their business and building to L.
T. Larned of Illinois, who the same season sold his entire interest to
D. A. Bigelow and H. C. Huntington who, under the firm name of Bigelow
& Huntington, continued the business until the following spring, when
Geo. G. Tilden, a young man from Vermont, became the third partner in the
firm which, as Bigelow Huntington & Tilden, has greatly enlarged, and
successfully prosecuted the business to the present time. During the year
1873 they built and occupied a handsome and commodious brick store one
door west of their old stand where they continue to do a very successful
and yearly increasing business.
In the spring of 1867, J. H. & I. T. Miller erected the building
on Onondaga Street, where the Post-Office is now kept, which they occupied
as a general retail store. They had a prosperous trade for near two years,
and in the spring of 1869 sold building and stock to Messrs. Alexander
& Maxwell, of Chicago who continued in business until 1873 when they
closed out, Mr. Alexander returning to Chicago and Mr. Maxwell engaging
in other pursuits.
Among the pioneers in trade here was H. P. Lods, who commenced with
a general stock of merchandise in the fall of 1866, continuing in trade
only one year. In June 1871, he again went into business with J. H. MiIler
the firm being J. H. Miller & Co. About one year later Mr. Miller retired
and Mr. Lods took as a partner E. H. Monroe. After one year T. K. Soper
became associated with Lods & Monroe, the new firm being Lods Monroe
& Soper. The business was removed to a large and commodious brick store
erected by Mr. Soper on the south side of Onondaga Street, in the fall
of 1873. No further change took place until the spring of 1865, when Mr.
Lods sold to A. C. Thomas, since when the firm has been Monroe, Soper &
Thomas. They do a large and profitable business in their line of merchandise
besides being largely engaged in the purchase and shipment of livestock.
Early in the fall of 1869, a hardware store was opened by Messrs.
Holmes & Foster of Cleveland Ohio. They carried a fine stock of goods
and were reasonably successful in their business enterprise. In 1870 Mr.
Holmes sold his interest to S. L. Lucas, the firm becoming Lucas and Foster.
Later Mr. Foster sold to W. G. Wright who has, with several changes of
partners continued at the head of the concern to the present time, and
has by strict attention to business and the most untiring zeal and energy,
built up one of the best hardware trades in Story county. The firm for
the past year has been Wright & Little.
The grocery trade in AMES has had a multitude of representatives.
Among those K. W. Brown, Ralph Marshall, J. H. Gale, S. B. Farwell, and
Thomas Bro's. were the earliest, each contributing to the establishment
and development of this branch of commerce here. Later we find J. Worick,
M. Chaney, Wm. Clark, present Mayor, and others of lesser note engaged
in this business. No town in the West can boast of more fair or enterprising
dealers in this branch than AMES.
In the spring of 1867, Dr. S. J. Starr and Ben. Breneman opened a
small drug store in AMES near where the livery stable now stands. In 1868
they removed their stock to a commodious new store which they erected on
the south side of Onondaga Street. They here established a large and profitable
trade and continued to occupy this store until the fire in June, 1875,
when their building and stock were utterly destroyed, since which they
have been engaged in other pursuits.
The first pine lumber offered for sale here was brought by A. D.
Rainbolt and L. Q. Hoggatt, in the spring 1866 -- two cars. Mr. Rainbolt
shortly sold to L. Irwin and Hoggatt & Irwin were succeeded by Wheeler
and Matthews, and they in turn by Giles Cook, afterwards, in 1869 Cook
& Stewart, and they two years later by A. D. Markham.
In the fall of 1869 a branch lumber yard of C. Lamb & Son, of
Clinton, was started here with C. D. Norman manager. In 1873, A. D. Markham
sold to Lamb & Son, and the two yards were consolidated. This is the
only lumber firm since doing business here. Their trade is quite large
as will be manifest when the fact is stated that they handle about 250
car-loads, or near 2,000,000 feet of lumber per year.
The foregoing comprises a nearly accurate list, and brief mention
of the early established dealers here in the several mercantile branches.
In a supplementary statement will be found a list of firms, and members
of the different trades, professions and other callings at the present
Civic Societies - Masonic
Arcadia Lodge, No. 249 A. F. & A. M. was organized U. D. in
November, 1868, with twelve members, and received its charter in June,
1869. The present membership of this lodge is thirty-four. Regular communications
are held on Thursday evening on or before the full moon. This organization
is in a very healthy and promising condition, counting among its membership
many of our most prominent and influential citizens. Its present officers
are, A. Duckworth, W. M.; A. J. Graves, S. W.; Cal. Giddings, J. W.; H.
P. Lods, Treas.; D. A. Bigelow, Sec'y.
As early as 1867 a lodge of this order was organized here, being
for two or three years successful and popular in its work. Owing however,
to the introduction of some discordant elements, it was thought best in
the fall of 1870, to suspend its labors, and soon after its charter was
surrendered. No effort was made to revive the work of the order here, until within the last year. The time
being deemed at length propitious, application was made to the Grand Lodge
of the State for a charter, which was granted, and on the 15th of January
last, Good Will Lodge was organized. Its work had been fully up to the
expectations of those who were active in its institution, and its future
prospects at present seem flattering.
The membership of this lodge is at present fifty. It meets in Grange
Hall, which is also occupied by Arcadia Lodge, A. F. & A. M., and Ames
Grange. The following are the present officers of this lodge: W. D. T.,
I. B. Frazee; W. V. T., Mrs. McElyea; W. Sec. Mrs. I. T. Miller; W. F.
Sec., S. H. Goble; W. Treas., H. Wooders; W. C., Ira Bixby.
Ames Grange, No. 121
Although the membership of this organization is to some extent distributed
through Washington and Franklin townships, there are many reasons for classing
it among the institutions of our town. It was organized in the fall of
1871, and has ever since been one of the most active and healthy Granges
in Story county. The meetings are held in Grange Hall, on the afternoon
of the first and third Saturdays in each month. The present membership
is sixty-five. The officers for the present year are A. J. Graves, W. M.;
Richard Marshall, W.O.; D. G. Ferguson, W. S.; H. Christman, W. Sec'y.;
C. S. Giddings, W. Treas.; C. E. Turner, W. L.; John E. Davis, W. C.
The Press of Ames
No historical notice of our town would be complete if it did not
embrace an account of newspaper enterprises here. The weekly INTELLIGENCER
was established in AMES in April 1869 by A. McFadden by whom it was edited
and published up to the fall of 1874. Mr. McFadden was a man of large experience
as a newspaper publisher and gave to our citizens a paper of which any
locality might be proud. No local paper in the State has been more ably
conducted than was the INTELLIGENCER under Mr. McFadden, its teachings
always pure both in politics and morals. Failing health made it necessary
for Mr. McFadden to be relieved in the fall of 1874, and C. E. Turner had
editorial charge of the paper for near a year, conducting it in a very
able and satisfactory manner. In August 1875 W. O. Robinson bought a half
interest in the INTELLIGENCER, which was run by McFadden and Robinson,
until the death of Mr. McFadden in January, 1876. The paper continued in
charge of Mr. Robinson from that period until April last, when it was purchased
by the present proprietors, Messrs. Watts & Alexander. Under this management
there has been a marked improvement both in the editorial and mechanical
character of the INTELLIGENCER. They are young men of good ability, both
practical printers, steady, industrious, and Mr. Watts of large experience
in newspaper work. We predict for THE INTELLIGENCER a future of great prosperity
The first representative of this profession in Ames was D. W. Gage
Esq., who came in the fall of 1868 from Cleveland, Ohio. In the spring of 1869 C. E. Turner Esq., settled here and engaged
in the practice of his profession in company with N. A. Rainbolt, under
the firm name of Turner & Rainbolt. Dan McCarthy, an old resident of
AMES was admitted to practice the same year.
In 1871 Turner & Rainbolt dissolved their business connection,
both parties remaining here in practice. During this season, J. L. Lucky
Esq., of Rochester, N.Y. settled here in the practice of the law continuing
about one year when he returned to Rochester where he still resides.
Two years later Mr. Gage left here and returned to Cleveland. In
Nov. 1863, John L. Stevens, a young Att'y from Benton County associated
himself with Mr. McCarthy and the firm of McCarthy & Stevens continued
until the spring of 1876 when they took a third partner in the person of
George A. Underwood, a graduate of the class of 1875 of the law department
of the University of Wisconsin. The firm has since this event been McCarthy,
Stevens & Underwood.
During the spring of 1876 Mr. Rainbolt took as a partner Geo. H.
Barnes, a graduate of the law department of the Simpson Centenary College.
The foregoing is a full list of the lawyers who have engaged in practice
here to this date. A recapitulation shows that the profession is now represented
here by Rainbolt & Barnes, C. E. Turner Esq., and McCarthy, Stevens
& Underwood. Mr. McCarthy, the senior member of this latter firm gives
little attention to their business or practice, devoting his time and energies
to other pursuits. Mr. Stevens and Mr. Underwood are young men of fine
ability and strict professional integrity, and of more than ordinary promise.
During his business experience here Mr. Stevens in conjunction with his
partner Mr. McCarthy has established a large and lucrative practice, and
very much of the success of the firm in this regard is due to the enterprise
and energy of the first named gentleman.
Mr. Turner has the advantage that age and long experience in the
profession gives, is a man of culture, with fine literary tastes, a ready,
fluent and forcible speaker and stands high in the respect and consideration
of our people.
Mr. Rainbolt, of the firm of Rainbolt & Barnes has been a resident
of AMES ten years, and is well and favorably known to our citizens. He
is noted for his strict attention to business and energy in his profession.
Mr. Barnes is a young man of good education, and fine promise. We feel
fully justified in the declaration that the members of the legal fraternity
of AMES may safely challenge comparison with those of any other locality
in the State, surely so if ability, energy and integrity are made the standard
of professional merit.
The pioneer in the practice of medicine in Ames, was one Dr. Phipps,
who moved here at the time of the first settlement of the town. Dr. Phipps
never claimed a thorough medical education, and his practice and residence
here were of short duration.
In the spring of 1866 Dr. L. Carr, formerly of Kentucky,
settled in AMES, and continued in practice here about four years. Dr. Carr
was a man of thorough medical education, of large experience and a very
successful practitioner. In the spring of 1870 he abandoned a very extensive
practice here and returned to his "old Kentucky home" where he is still
in the practice of his profession, a hale and vigorous old man.
The next in order, is Dr. S. J. Starr, who came to AMES during the
early part of the year 1866, and at once commenced medical practice. He
soon received not only a flattering practice but the respect and confidence
of citizens of town and country. In 1875, owing to failing health, the
consequence of fatigue and exposure incident to pioneer practice, Dr. Starr
was obliged to retire from his profession. He will long be remembered by
our people as a devoted and self sacrificing physician. Dr. Starr is still
a resident of Ames.
In the summer of 1868 Dr. James Bradley a graduate of the Chicago
Medical College of the class of 1868, settled in Ames and commenced the
practice of his profession, as partner of Dr. Carr. This connection was
continued until the removal of Dr. Carr from AMES, when Dr. A. Richmond
became associated with him, this business relation continuing until the
summer of 1872. Dr. Bradley's medical career in AMES has been a continuing
success, as his host of friends and patrons abundantly testify. He still
resides here in the practice of his profession.
In the spring of 1870 Dr. Albert Richmond, of Vermont, and a graduate
of the Medical Department of the University of Vermont, came to AMES, and
engaged in the practice of medicine, associating himself with Dr. James
Bradley with whom he continued during his residence here, which terminated
in the summer of 1872. Dr. Richmond in addition to a finished general education,
was thoroughly read in his profession, and was very successful and popular
in his practice. He went from here to his native town in Windsor Co., Vermont,
where he is engaged in a very extensive practice. He is still remembered
by his many friends in this vicinity as a finished gentlemen and kind and
sympathizing medical attendant.
One of our most popular and skillful physicians is Dr. D. S. Fairchild,
a native of Vermont and a graduate of the class of 1868 of the Albany N.Y.
Medical College. He located in AMES in July 1872, and at once took high
rank in the medical profession here. Dr. Fairchild is deservedly popular,
being not only thoroughly read in his profession, and a constant and devoted
student of its literature, but beyond this an intelligent and social gentleman.
He still resides here in the enjoyment of a large and lucrative practice.
The oldest medical practitioner in AMES both as relates to years
of life and years devoted to the profession, is Dr. Geo. Stitzell. Dr.
Stitzell graduated at the University of Pennsylvania in the year 1855 and
at once engaged in medical practice which he has continued until the present
time. During the late rebellion he served as surgeon of the 56th Pennsylvania
Volunteer Infantry two years in a very acceptable manner. Dr. S. has been
a resident of Story County thirteen years, eleven years at Nevada,
and the last two years at this place. His reputation, as a successful practitioner
is second to none of the fraternity at this point.
Last in the list of members of the medical fraternity of AMES, as
well as the youngest in the profession is Dr. Geo. A. Meredith, a graduate
of the class of 1872, of the Medical Department of the University of Michigan.
Dr. Meredith first settled at Ontario, in this county, from whence he moved
to AMES in August 1874, where he continues to practice. Dr. Meredith has
all the qualifications for a first-class physician and is rapidly winning
favor with our people and distinction in his profession.
In conclusion of this subject it may truthfully be said of the medical
fraternity of AMES, that they have ever sustained themselves and the profession
they honor in a very creditable manner before our people, and those practicing
here enjoy in an eminent degree the confidence and respect of our community.
Although within two hours ride of our State Capital it is a rare thing
indeed, that medical council is sought from that point where some of the
most noted of the profession in the State reside. Beyond this it seems
proper to state that representatives to the State Medical Association,
and the International Medical Congress have been from time to time selected
from the members of the profession here.
These facts confer a high deed of praise upon members of the fraternity
at AMES, and afford an unmistakable index of the estimation in which they
are held at home and abroad.
Special prominence should be given to the educational advantages
of our growing city. Until April, 1871, we were known as Sub-District No.4
of Washington township. Since that period we have been known as The Independent
District of AMES. At the time of our independent organization we found
ourselves with an enumeration of 226 scholars, supporting two teachers
with an average attendance in our schools of 145. We were near $2,000 in
debt, with but one school building, and that of limited capacity, besides
being inconveniently situated as related to near one-half the scholars.
But our people have every fully realized the important benefit to be derived
from popular education, and have manifested a commendable zeal in their
efforts to provide ways and means for the promotion of this vital interest,
and it is a source of congratulation that these efforts have been fruitful
in results. We have to-day two school houses of tasteful appearance and
convenient arrangement, with five large rooms, where near three hundred
scholars are daily taught in the rudiments of education.
The Iowa State Agricultural College,
May properly be classed among the educational agencies of AMES.
It is situated one mile west of the city, on a fine elevation overlooking
the surrounding country in every direction. The College farm was purchased
for the State in 1859, the act for the establishment of the Agricultural
College having been passed by the legislature in 1858. Up to 1862 little had been done in furtherence
of the enterprise -- if we except the purchase of the farm and the organization
of the Board of Trustees. But the act of congress in that year "donating
public lands to the several States and Territories which may found colleges
for the benefit of agriculture and the mechanic arts," placed this institution
upon a firm basis and secured to it an endowment fund which now affords
a yearly revenue to the College of about $40,000. While this institution
is the property of the State, our people regard it with special pride and
interest, and set it at the head in the list of our local advantages. Here
tuition is free to such of our children as desire to avail themselves of
teachings in the higher branches of knowledge and science, and the college
is so near as to be easy of access, pupils boarding with their parents
at their own homes. This privilege can hardly be overestimated, and many
of our youth avail themselves of it yearly, their efforts being cordially
seconded by the College Faculty.
The central position of AMES on the map of our State cannot fail
to strike the observed as likely to afford her marked advantages over other
inland towns as relates to probable railroad connections. This was seen
and appreciated by our first settlers when the C. R. & M. R. R. R.
was completed to this point, and hence the active and persistent efforts
of our people in behalf of a railroad connection with the State Capital
which were at length crowned with success in the building of the D. M.
& M. R. R. from Des Moines to this place While this road, which here
connects with the C. & N. W. R. R. is in itself of vast advantage to
us, bringing us, as it does into near business and we may say social relations
with a large and enterprising city, we yet regard it of far greater importance
as giving promise of other north and south roads from beyond us at the
northeast and northwest, which roads seem destined from natural causes
to converge to this point. The Northwestern must ever remain, as it today
is, the chief of all the east and west trunk lines traversing our State.
It is not the legitimate object or province of this work to give statistical
data touching the standing or comparative traffic of this line of road.
It may not however be out of place to state that with a first class road
bed and track, with all needed rolling stock, it is at many seasons of
the year taxed to its utmost capacity in doing all the business offered,
and the building of a second track has been from time to time earnestly
discussed - the managers of the road seeing the necessity for this improvement
in the near future. At this time, of all the points contributing to the
carrying trade of this road west of Cedar Rapids, AMES, with two exceptions
The coming crop will add largely to the surplus agricultural products
of our county all of which must be moved toward a market by this road,
and the call for shipping facilities from AMES is likely to be largely
in excess of any former year, and this steadily growing demand can only
be met in the coming year by the greatly enlarged carrying capacity of
the mad. At present nearly one-half the shipments from Story county are
made at Ames, and when we consider that the D. M. & M. Road is of narrow
gauge, and that other contemplated lines, which will be feeders of the
Northwestern will be of same construction, necessitating here a transfer
of all shipments over them, Ames assumes a prominence as a prospective
railroad center second to that of few towns in the State.
The following summary and addenda will show the present condition
of AMES as relates to material industries and interests. We have here four
firms dealing in General Merchandise, to-wit: Bigelow Huntington &
Tilden, Monroe Soper & Thomas, H. Rothschild & Co. (New York Store,
I. E. Hirsh, Manager,) and the Skandinavian Store, Christensen & Jacobson
proprietors. The three first named firms carry large and full stocks of
dry goods, groceries, hats, caps, clothing, boots and shoes, carpets, &c.,
&c. The latter named carries a full but lighter stock in all lines
mentioned. In the line of Hardware we have three firms, all doing a prosperous
business. Boyd Brothers, in addition to their general hardware and stove
trade deal 1argely in farm machinery and agricultural implements. Wright
& Littte carry a large and full stock of general hardware, stoves,
&c. They also deal in agricultural implements and farm machinery. Bingham
& Barroll is a new firm in this line, dealing in general hardware,
stoves, pumps, and house furnishing goods. They are enterprising young
men and carry a very fine and full stock of goods.
In the line of Groceries and Family Supply Stores, we have Chaney
& Co., and Wm. Clark. These firms have each a large and prosperous
business, and keep full and perfect stocks of groceries, vegetables, green,
dried and canned fruits &c., &c.
In the Drug Trade we have John J. Bousquet & Co., and Tilden
& Eddy. They each carry full stocks of drugs, paints, oil and glass,
patent medicines, books, paper, wall paper and notions. Bosquet & Co.
have the advantage of long experience here, but Tilden & Eddy are young
men of rare probity and enterprise and have already a large trade, which
promises a steady increase.
H. P. Lods deals in ready made clothing, boots and shoes, gentlemen's
furnishing goods and notions. He carries a large and full stock.
We have two Jewelry Stores, either of which would be a credit to
a much larger town than Ames. W. W. Booth was the first established, but
I. B. Frazee is after him in all kinds of enterprise known to the trade.
They are both young men who understand their business and attend to it
in al1 its details.
The Intelligencer, a weekly newspaper, is published here by
Watts & Alexander. Also during each college year, The Aurora,
by the college literary societies.
Hotels. Ames boasts of two No. 1 Hotels, The West House, kept by
Wm. West, and the New York House, J. A. Bain proprietor. Traveling men
testify that no superior and few as good Hotels as those of Ames are kept
on the N. W. R. R. in Iowa.
In custom Boot and Shoe making we have L. Z. DeLorme, C. Johnson,
and Bonebrake & Hulett. They are all busy - good evidence of the excellence of their
We have two Harness Shops. Wm. McMichael, and H. S. Goble. Both these
concerns, are reliable and well patronized and their stocks comprise everything
in their line.
Of Furniture Stores we have two; B. J. Blaney and P. B. Butler. Mr.
Blaney has been a resident of Ames near ten years and is noted for his
"good works." Mr. Butler is also an old resident, carrying a large stock
and does a large business.
The only special dealer in farm machinery and agricultural implements,
is Cal. Giddings. He does an extensive business and is a reliable man.
As before noticed there is but one Lumber Dealer in Ames. C. Lamb
& Sons, of Clinton, Iowa, represented by C. D Norman Agent. Their supply
of lumber and building material in their line is large and complete.
Of the Professions of Law and Medicine, Ames has the following representatives:
Attorneys; Cyrus E. Turner, McCarthy Stevens & Underwood, and Rainbolt
& Barnes; Physicians; James Bradley, Geo Stitzell, S. J. Starr, D.
S. Fairchild and G. A Meredith.
As a practical Dentist, Dr. E. D. Andruss has no superior in the
State, as his numerous patrons will testify.
Banker, Wm. D, Lucas. Mr. Lucas does a general banking business and
is in every respect a reliable business man. He is the treasurer of the Agricultural College, and is also the
owner of the Ames Steam Flouring Mill which has three run of stones and
is a No. 1 mill. Ames has also a Steam Saw Mill owned by Maxwell &
Jones. We have two Meat Markets, Ben Read, and Jacob Winter & Co. Ben
was here before the flood -- of immigration. Winter & Co. area later
established institution, both are first class and flourishing. One Livery
Stable in Ames, run by Nichols & Maxwell. No better in the State. Tripp
and Walker, W. K. Barnes and the Ames Manufacturing Co., represent the
Blacksmithing interest in Ames. The latter concern is also engaged in the
manufacturing of first class Wagons and Buggies. Maxwell & Jones have
also a Wagon shop for manufacturing and repairs. The Ames Steam Elevator,
a brick structure of 15,000 bushels capacity also deserves special mention.
A. H. Thayer runs one of the most perfect Restaurants in the State; also
in connection a first class bakery. He also deals in flour, green and canned
fruits, fancy groceries, tobacco and cigars, candies, nuts, oysters, etc.,
etc. J. Blaine also runs a restaurant, and in its connection a bakery.
S. S. Peterman and E. Haskins are professors of the tonsorial art in Ames
-- both first-class workmen. In the Millinery line we have the Misses Sweeney
and Mrs. Hayward. The former have been here in business some 8 years, the
latter is a late comer. Both firms are reputed a No. 1 by their patrons.
Ames has also two Picture Galleries, a large number of Masons, Carpenters,
Painters, Dress Makers &c., &c.
With the foregoing exhibit the history of Ames on the Fourth of July
in the first Centennial year of our country is concluded. It may be relied
on as nearly accurate and fully truthful