Ames, Oakes, 1804–73, American manufacturer, railroad promoter, and politician, b. Easton, Mass. With his brother Oliver he managed the family's well-known shovel factory at Easton. The business grew under demands from the expanding Midwest frontier and the Western gold diggings. Active in founding the Republican party in Massachusetts, Ames served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1863 to 1873. Interested in the construction of the Union Pacific RR, Ames secured control of the Crédit Mobilier of America after ousting T. C. Durant, its founder. The financial scandals of that company brought upon Ames in 1872 public disgrace and the censure of Congress.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
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