Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
and Company, 1887-1889 and 1999. Virtualology.com warns that these 19th Century
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AMES, Oakes, manufacturer, born in Easton, Massachusetts, 10 January 1804; died in North Easton, Massachusetts, 8 May 1873. He was the eldest son of Oliver Ames, a blacksmith, who had acquired considerable reputation in the making of shovels and picks. After obtaining a public-school education, he entered his father's workshops and made himself familiar with every step of the manufacture. He became a partner in the business, and with his brother, Oliver, Jr., established the firm of Oliver Ames & Sons. This house carried on an enormous trade during the gold excitement in California, and again a few years later in Australia. During the civil war they furnished extensive supplies of swords and shovels to the government. In the building of the Union Pacific railroad they were directly interested, and obtained large contracts, which were subsequently transferred to the Credit Mobilier of America, a corporation in which Oakes Ames was one of the largest stockholders. In 1861 he was called into the executive council of Massachusetts. He served continuously in congress from 1862 to 1873 as representative from the 2d Massachusetts district. His relations with the Credit Mobilier led to an investigation, which resulted in his being censured by a vote of the House of Representatives. Subsequent to his withdrawal from political life he resided at North Easton, where he died of apoplexy.
*His brother, Oliver, manufacturer, born in Plymouth, Massachusetts, 5 November 1807; died in North Easton, Massachusetts, 9 March 1877, was a member of the Massachusetts state senate during 1852 and 1857. He was largely interested with his brother in the development of the Union Pacific railroad, and was its president pro-tem from 1866 until 1868. He was formally elected president of the company on 12 March 1868, and continued as such until 8 March 1871. He was connected with the Credit Mobilier, and in 1873 succeeded his brother as the head of the firm.
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