WILLIAM LAFAYETTE AMES was born April 4, 1857 in Oregon, Dane County, Wisconsin, son of John Norton Ames and Mary Ann Ball Ames. He died June 15, 1951 in Oregon.Will Ames was a farmer for 50 years. He was interested in the Farmer’s National Congress, serving on the executive committee for 10 years, as treasurer for eight years, and finally president by acclamation. He had much to do with the separation of the oleomargarine and dairy interests, the promotion of rural free delivery and parcel post, promotion of better training for intensive agriculture through agricultural colleges, election of U.S. senators by direct vote, direct marketing of farm products and the fight for prohibition.

He was the co-organizer of the Farmers’ National Life Insurance Company of Chicago, and was a director and vice-president of the Dane County Agricultural Society and Fair. He was also a trustee on the village board for many years, three years president of the board, and a county supervisor.

Julia, Norton T. & W.L. Ames

Julia, Norton T. and W.L. Ames
In the summer, he worked a half acre garden, raising fruits and vegetables. Will kept a daily diary, which he kept up for 72 years. Will was responsible for the building of the underpass on South Main Street in Oregon.

He married Julia Travis in February 27, 1891. Julia was born in September 27, 1859, in Fitchburg, Dane County, Wisconsin. Julia studied for a short time at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She left school when she was needed at home after the death of her mother. She then became the head of the Travis home. She died October 21, 1934, and Will died June 15, 1851, at Oregon, WI. They both are buried at Prairie Mound Cemetery in Oregon on the Ames lot.

Julia and Will had one son, Norton Travis Ames, born September 10, 1895 in Oregon.

Ref. Erfurth, Shirley A. (1991). The Ames Family 1520 to 1991, p. 61. On file at the OAHS.