Ames began as two communities. At its founding in 1864, Ames Station, on the Chicago & North Western Railway’s main line, lay two miles east of Iowa Agricultural College, across the Squaw Creek. When the Ames & College Railway joined the college to the town in 1891, a cooperative spirit emerged that exists to this day. A rich history of achievements and colorful characters marks Ames’s 150 years. One founding father commanded the 20th US Colored Infantry in the Civil War, while a Confederate veteran served as commander of the Iowa State College corps of cadets. Physicists at Iowa State College developed the uranium refinement process for the first atomic bomb and established the Ames Laboratory, the smallest US Department of Energy National Laboratory. Companies like Collegiate Manufacturing made material for the soldiers in World War II, and Kingland Systems now stands among global leaders in reference data software. Ames’s businesses, citizens, and institutions, past and present, have created a rich community heritage for a vibrant, 21st-century city.
About the Author
Historians Gloria Betcher and Douglas Biggs tell Ames’s story with photographs from private citizens, the Farwell Brown Photographic Archive, Iowa State University Special Collections, and the Iowa Department of Transportation Library.
Table of Contents
1 Solid Foundations, 1864-1893 9
2 Business and Boosterism 25
3 Roads, Railways, and Forward Progress 39
4 People and Institutions 49
5 Daily Life and Leisure Pastimes 65
6 The City, the State, and the Nation 77
7 Local Events of Note 89
8 One Community, 1964-2014 105