Also see [Railway Officials in America 1906]
The subject of this sketch was born in Westminster, Vt., in the year 1823. His parents died when he was quite
young, when Alfred found a home with an uncle, Ebenezer McIlvain, an old soldier of the Revolution. From this scarred
veteran, on his mountain farm, the lad listened to tales of battle and adventure until he became imbued with a
passionate longing for excitement and change. Naturally, when the uncle passed away, the nephew, then eighteen
years old, started- for the West, arriving in Charlotte, Eaton Co., Mich., in September, 1841. He bought government
land and made some improvements on it, but becoming disheartened by sickness he sold it. In December, 1843, young
Ames found himself in New Buffalo, Berrien Co. The next August he purchased a piece of wild land at what was then
known as Clay Banks, now a part of Chickaming township.
In October, 1844, he returned to Charlotte and married Mary Fisher, who was also a native of Vermont, and was an
old schoolmate. In May, 1845, they removed to their forest home on the shore of Lake Michigan, where Mr. Ames resided
until his death, which occurred in 1864. During this time Mr. Ames held several offices of trust in the township
of New Buffalo, and also in Chickaming after it was set off as a separate township. He died of smallpox. In an
obituary notice a neighbor who knew him well, spoke of him thus: "Mr. Ames was the pioneer of the Clay Banks,
having settled here in 1844. He was an affectionate husband and kind parent, and universally esteemed as a neighbor
History of Berrien and Van Buren Counties, Michigan
With Illistrations and Biographical Sketches
of Its Prominent Men and Pioneers.
D. W. Ensign & Co., Philadelphia 1880
Press of J. B. Lippincoff & Co., Philadelphia.