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Ames, Oliver, son of Oakes and Eveline (Gilmore) Ames, was born in Easton, Bristol County, February 4, 1831. He passed the usual public school course of his native town, and prepared for college in the academies at No. Attleborough and Leicester. His college course—a special one – was taken at Brown University, Providence, R. I.
He began business life as an employee in the shovel works of Oliver Ames & Sons. He afterwards went on the road as traveling agent for the firm, of which he soon became an active partner.
While engaged in the never-ceasing round of cares that are incident to the carrying on of immense manufacturing establishments, Olive Ames has always found time in which to serve his fellow-citizens in public matters, whether state, county, municipal or social.
He has been twelve years a member of the Easton school board; two years in the state Senate (1880 and ’81); four years lieutenant-governor (1883 to ’86), and governor of the Commonwealth three years, 1887, ’88, and ’89.
Governor Ames has served in the Massachusetts volunteer militia as 2d lieutenant, adjutant, major and lieutenant colonel. He has been for many years president and director of various railroad, manufacturing and mining corporations and banking institutions. He is actively connected with a number of benevolent societies and has a membership in many social and political clubs.
Governor Ames was married in Nantucket, March 14, 1860, to Anna Coffin, daughter of Obed and Anna W. Ray, and adopted daughter of William Hadwen of Nantucket. Of this union are six children; William Hadwen, Evelyn, Anna Lee, Susan Evelyn, Lilian and Oakes Ames.
Governor Ames’s summer residence is at North Easton. In winter he resides in Boston, dispensing royal hospitality at his palatial residence on Commonwealth Avenue.
Massachusetts is indeed fortunate in the possession of a long, unbroken line of chief magistrates, all conspicuous to a greater or less degree for ability, rare executive management, polite culture, and all, fortunately for her fame, men of unblemished personal integrity. Governor Ames has worthily maintained the high prestige enjoyed by his predecessors, and has by his judicious appointments, unfailing urbanity and faithful attention to the details of his office, proved the wisdom of the great body of his fellow-citizens who have insisted upon his retaining so long the position he has so signally honored, both at home and in other cities where he has been called upon to represent the dignity and character of the Old Bay State.