February 4, 1851

Governor Oliver Ames (Feb. 4, 1831 - Oct. 22, 1895)

Governor Oliver Ames

Tues Feb 4  Had my morning work done about nine Oclock just

as A A Gilmore & wife came to pass the day.  About eleven

we called to see Simeon Randalls house.  This afternoon

called at Mr Torreys and at Mr Peckhams.  While

we were at tea Mr Torrey called to talk about letting his

house to Augustus.  Received a letter from O Foss.

Passed this evening with Sarah W in the other part

of the house finished another pair pantletts  Pleasant

Evelina’s nephew, Alson “Augustus” Gilmore, and his wife, Hannah Lincoln Gilmore, came to North Easton today to search for a house to rent.  A young couple with one child, Eddie, they were expecting a second child in July, although they may not have shared that information with their aunt.  Even if they had, she would never have spoken of it.  The increasingly prim culture of the day forbid it, but the high rate of infant mortality, too, caused many expectant parents and their relatives to downplay “the blessed event.”  Evelina carried Augustus and Hannah around to look at available properties.

Although Evelina doesn’t mention it, today is the birthday of her middle son.  Oliver Ames (3) turned 20 today.  Like his older brother, Oakes Angier, and his younger brother, Frank Morton, Oliver worked at the shovel shop, learning the business in the expectation that he would one day help run the company.  He had attended school at Leicester Academy and had hoped to go on to college, as his cousin Fred Ames was planning to do, but his father had insisted that he return home to work. Oakes Ames was no fan of formal education, having despised learning in his own youth.

The eldest son, Oakes Angier, naturally stood first in line to superintend the shovel business, but Oliver (3), would be a partner. Like his father, he was ultimately slated to travel as the company’s salesman.  Third son Frank, on the other hand, would be given an auxiliary administrative position in a related family-owned business, the Kinsley Iron Works Company in Canton.

But on this day, those occupations were in the future, as was Oliver (3)’s more memorable service as Governor of Massachusetts from 1886 to 1889. On this birthday, he was a brand-new twenty year old who worked hard all day, read alot, and enjoyed attending “sings”.


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