Frank W. Ames


Frank W. Ames, carrying on general farming and stock-raising on sixty acres of fine land in Franklin township, was born in Cattaraugus county, New York, on the 23d of August, 1856. He is a son of Alphonso and Matilda (Wheeler) Ames, the former born in Gennesee county, New York, September 23, 1833, and the latter in Erie county, that state, in April, 1837. In early life the father worked as a river lumberman and, possessing great ability in the handling and controlling of men, made a success of that occupation. Later he used this ability as the manager of large gangs of workmen engaged in railroad construction in Pennsylvania. He afterward turned his attention to carpentering, contracting and building, trades in which he had served an apprenticeship, and in 1872 he came west to Iowa, intending to make a permanent location in the southwestern part of the state, However, he never carried out this plan, dying one month after his arrival here. He had been twice married, his second wife having been Mrs. Dorlesca (Hinman) Wilcox, widow of a veteran of the Civil war. She also passed away. By that union were born two children: Alphonso Ames had also two children by his first marriage, the subject of this review being the elder and the only one now living.

In the acquirement of an education Frank W. Ames attended school in Cattaraugus county, New York, studying in the public schools of Little Valley and afterward in those of Hardin, Allamakee county, Iowa. He began his independent career at the early age of fourteen years and working for some time as a farm laborer before and after coming to Iowa. He was later engaged in railroad constructions, but at the age of twenty-three rented land in Floyd county, beginning the development of this property on the 1st of September, 1879. After three years he went to Monona township, Clayton county, where he had previously purchased land, and at the end of a similar period of time rented another farm in the same township. Eventually he removed to Chickasaw county and then to Oelwein, Fayette county, remaining in the latter locality for three years. He afterward spent six years in Luana and then bought the farm where he now lives. He cultivated it successfully for two years and then returned to Luana where he remained for six years, coming back to his farm at the end of that period. Upon this place of sixty acres of highly cultivated land he engages in general farming, success steadily rewarding his well directed labors and practical methods. From 1904 to 1913 he served as rural mail carrier and he is well known throughout this section of Iowa, holding a high position among the respected and able citizens.

On the 21st of June, 1879, Mr. Ames married Miss Allie Wilcox, who was born in New York, August 14, 1858. She is a daughter of Hiram and Dorlesca (Hinman) Wilcox the latter of whom became the second wife of the father of our subject. Hiram Wilcox was a native of Pennsylvania and at an early date came to Iowa, settling near Monona, from which section he enlisted for service in the Civil war, dying in an army hospital in the south. His first service was in Minnesota, when, as a member of the Twenty-seventh Iowa Volunteer Infantry, he fought against the hostile Indians. Mr. and Mrs. Ames have a daughter, Edna, who was born June 25, 1880. She is now in the tenth consecutive year of her service as a teacher in the public schools, having acted in this capacity in Luana, in Guttenburg and in Hardin, where she is now employed.
Mr. Ames gives his political allegiance to the republican party and has rendered his township excellent service as constable and as road supervisor. He devotes most of his attention, however, to his farm, which he has made the equal of the finest in his part of the county, its excellent condition gaining for him a high place among progressive and able agriculturists.

-source: Past & Present of Allamakee County; by Ellery M. Hancock; S. J. Clarke Pub. Co.; 1913
-transcribed by Diana Diedrich

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