Mr. Ames graduated from Exeter Academy and entered the class 1855, at Cambridge, in its Sophomore year. At college he was a well-known and popular man, though by no means conspicuous. He was a fair student and graduated well. He entered the great Ames' works at North Easton immediately after leaving college. Beginning at the very bottom as an ordinary clerk, he worked his way up quickly and in 1863 he became a member of the firm. He showed great business ability and in 1876 was made treasurer of the corporation, and this position he held till his death. Mr. Ames was always much interested in railroads and at the time of his death he was connected officially with more than forty. He was identified with many charitable instiution, including the Home for Incurables, Children's Hospital, and McLean Insane Asylum. He was not interested in politics though he once occupied a seat in the State Senate.
He was much interested in flowers and had long been a prominent member of the Massachusetts Horticultural Society. He gave largely to the Arnold Arboretum, the greatest of his gifts being $25,000, which he gave only last year for a new building. He also gave largely to the Botanic Gardens, giving in 1884 the sum of $1600 and the next year $5000. In 1887 he gave $10,000 for the Physical Laboratory and as much more to the Medical School. He has in all given the University over $60,000 in the last ten years. In 1888 Mr. Ames succeeded Francis Parkman as a Fellow of the Corporation.