World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Oliver Ames

Oliver Ames
35th Governor of Massachusetts
In office
January 8, 1887 – January 4, 1890
Lieutenant John Q. A. Brackett
Preceded by George D. Robinson
Succeeded by John Q. A. Brackett
33rd Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts
In office
January 4, 1883 – January 8, 1887
Governor Benjamin F. Butler
George D. Robinson
Preceded by Byron Weston
Succeeded by John Q. A. Brackett
Massachusetts Senate[1]
In office
Town of Easton
School Committee[1]
Personal details
Born (1831-02-04)February 4, 1831
Easton, Massachusetts
Died October 22, 1895(1895-10-22) (aged 64)
Easton, Massachusetts
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Anna Coffin Ray
Profession Financier

Oliver Ames (February 4, 1831 – October 22, 1895) was a U.S. political figure and financier. He was the 35th Governor of Massachusetts (1887–1890). He was the son of Oakes Ames (1804–1873), a railroad baron and United States Congressman who was censured in the Credit Mobilier scandal, and the nephew of Oliver Ames, Jr..


  • Life and career 1
  • Family 2
  • Honors 3
  • See also 4
  • References 5
  • Bibliography 6
  • External links 7

Life and career

Ames was born in North Easton, Massachusetts on February 4, 1831, to Oakes Ames and Eveline Orville (Gilmore) Ames. His father was the owner of a shovel factory, which became the largest such business in the country. Ames was educated in the local schools, and then attended private academies in North Attleborough and Leicester. He was briefly employed in the family's factory before enrolling in Brown University.

Ames then entered the family business, where he learned all aspects of its manufacturing processes and worked as a traveling salesman. When his grandfather died in 1863 he became a partner in the business. During these years his grandfather, uncle, and father greatly expanded the business, investing in railroads and other industrial concerns. For ten years, Ames superintended the mechanical business of the establishment, and on his father's death assumed control of his numerous financial trusts, including shares in the Union Pacific Railroad.[2]

As his father's heir, Ames spent several years in paying off the obligations of millions of dollars incurred by the Union Pacific Railroad and other undertakings. He entered public life avowedly to vindicate his father's memory: he was lieutenant-governor of Massachusetts 1882-86, in 1883 obtained the vindicatory resolution he sought, and from 1886 to 1888 was governor.[3]

Together with his brother Oakes Angier Ames, Oliver created many important buildings and landscapes in North Easton with architect H. H. Richardson and landscape designer Frederick Law Olmsted.


His son Oakes Ames (1874–1950) was a well-known American botanist and orchid expert.


Ames was elected an honorary member of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia music fraternity in 1917, by the fraternity's Alpha Chapter at the New England Conservatory in Boston. He is the only known honorary member known to be elected after his death.

The Easton, Massachusetts public high school is named Oliver Ames High School (OAHS).

He is the namesake of the small community of Oliver, Nebraska.[4]

See also


  1. ^ a b Clarke, James W. (1885). "The Bay State Monthly A Massachusetts Magazine of Literature, History, Biography and State Progress Vol. II". Boston, Massachusetts: John N. McClintock and Company. p. 187 
  2. ^  Wilson, James Grant; Fiske, John, eds. (1900). "Ames, Oakes".  
  3. ^  Rines, George Edwin, ed. (1920). "Ames, Oliver (son)".  
  4. ^ Fitzpatrick, Lillian L. (1960). Nebraska Place-Names. University of Nebraska Press. p. 87.   A 1925 edition is available for download at University of Nebraska—Lincoln Digital Commons.


  • Clarke, James W.: The Bay State Monthly A Massachusetts Magazine of Literature, History, Biography and State Progress Vol. II, Boston, Massachusetts: John N. McClintock and Company, (1885) p. 187.
  • "Ames, Oliver". American Biography: A New Cyclopedia, Volume 2

External links

  • Official Commonwealth of Massachusetts Governor Biography
Political offices
Preceded by
Byron Weston
Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts
Succeeded by
John Q. A. Brackett
Preceded by
George D. Robinson
Governor of Massachusetts
Succeeded by
John Q. A. Brackett
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.