Interesting Facts About Ames

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A Few Interesting Facts About Ames

Ames was platted as a city and was established in 1864 to serve the Cedar Rapids and Missouri River Railroad. Cynthia Duff, an early Ames settler, was instrumental in helping to secure land for the railroad. Throughout the year 2014, the Ames community celebrated its 150th anniversary with festivals, speakers, events, and activities.

The railroad president, John Blair, named the town after his friend Oakes Ames, a railroad promoter and congressman from Massachusetts, who never lived in Ames.

In 1870, the town was incorporated with a population of 844. It was platted by Charles Irish, a railroad engineer. Ames consisted of 12 blocks and extended from the railroad right-of-way north to Ninth Street and was bounded on the east by Duff Avenue and on the west by Burnett Avenue.

That year also began the establishment of the first of the state and federal institutions which have influenced Ames’ growth. Iowa Agricultural College and Model Farm was established as a Land-Grant College. The first term enrollment included 77 men and 16 women. Today, as Iowa State University of Science and Technology (ISU), it serves over 36,000 students from all over the world.

The Iowa Department of Transportation, formerly known as the Iowa Highway Commission, was created in 1913.

Ames has a Partner City agreement with:

  • Koshu City, Japan, which was established by resolution number 93-353 as a partner city on September 14, 1993.

The current Ames population is estimated at 58,965 (2010 Census)

This includes student enrollment at ISU.