City Bosses in the United States: A Study of Twenty Municipal Bosses

By Harold B. Zink | Go to book overview
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CHAPTER XIX
"THE GENIAL DOCTOR" ALBERT A. AMES

The career of political boss has not frequently attracted professional men, for of the twenty leaders with which this study has to do only three followed professions. Two of the three were lawyers and one, Doctor Ames, represented medicine. In contrast to a considerable majority of this particular score of city bosses, Mr. Ames was not a native of the place over which he held sway, but this may be partially explained by the fact that Minneapolis had not yet come into being at the year of his birth. Albert Alonzo Ames was born in Garden Prairie, Illinois, on January 18, 1842. In 1851 he moved with his father, Alfred Elisha, and his mother, Martha A. Ames, to Fort Snelling, Minnesota--now a part of the city of Minneapolis. His antecedents were strictly American, with an ancestral line of some prominence running back to colonial days. In Massachusetts, New York, Ohio, Illinois, and Minnesota the Ames family have achieved considerably above the average.1

Albert Alonzo's father, Doctor Alfred Elisha Ames, emigrated to the middle west from New England as a pioneer physician. First of all he practiced in Illinois and then moved to Minneapolis where he is chronicled as the first physician to locate on soil now occupied by Minneapolis. Records show that he staked out the seventh homestead claim and for years boasted the most pretentious house in the settlement.2 He is described as being somewhat of a Puritan in spite of primitive associations and made for himself a place as "one of the most highly respected and

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1
See Minneapolis Journal, November 17, 1911, p. 27, and Minneapolis Morning Tribune, November 17, 1911, pp. 1, 2. Much of this information has been secured for the author by Mr. F. L. Olson from Dr. W. E. Rochford of Minneapolis, a son-in-law of Mayor Ames.
2
Minneapolis Journal, November 17, 1911, p. 27.

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