Comprised of thousands of records, the David Ames Papers span the first half of the twentieth century detailing David Ames, Sr.'s home life, business career, and enlistment in the United States military during World War II.

Biographical Sketch

The David Ames, Sr. Papers are a subject of the Ames Family Collection. David Ames, Sr. was born in North Easton on January 26, 1912 to John Stanley Ames, Sr. and Nancy McKinley (Filley) Ames. After graduating from Harvard University in 1934 and Harvard Business School in 1937 he joined the family business, the Ames Shovel & Tool Company working at the Parkersburg, West Virginia Plant.

In May 1940, David was commissioned an Ensign in the United States Navy and stationed in Washington, D.C. That same year he married Elizabeth Motley on December 21, 1940. The couple would make their home in Washington, D.C. On December 7, 1941, David was on 24-hour duty in Washington, D.C. and decoded the tapes that detailed the military losses at Pearl Harbor. It fell upon him to deliver the news to the ranking admiral on duty and accompany him to deliver the new to the White House. His wife, Elizabeth, was home in Boston awaiting the birth of the couples first child David Ames, Jr., born on December 19, 1941.

In January 1943, David was assigned to the newly commissioned USS Anthony DD515 and served in the South Pacific. He also served on a destroyer squadron staff, rising to the rank of lieutenant commander.

Discharged from the Navy, David and his family settled in his hometown of Easton, which included a second son, William Motley Ames, born on August 10, 1943. A daughter, Nancy Ames, was born to the couple on November 17, 1947 and another son joined the family on April 28, 1952.

After the war, David continued his involvement in the family’s shovel business but focused primarily on banking. He served as the president and director of the First National Bank of Easton from 1948 to 1958, when he merged the bank with the First Machinist National Bank of Taunton. After the merger, he served as chairman of the board, a position he held until 1971.

In addition to his work in banking David served as a member of the Board of Directors of the Mass Hospital Life Insurance, Co., Ganteaume & McMullen, Inc., and vice president of Brockton Hospital. A strong supporter of education, he served as a member of the Easton School Committee from 1948 to 1954, as well as Stonehill College’s board of advisors and trustees. In 1978, David received an honorary degree in business administration from Stonehill. He was also a member of many civic and other organizations.

Martin Institute – 2nd floor, room 208

The Archives and Historical Collections Department hosts collections that document the history of Stonehill, Southeastern Massachusetts, and/or support the mission of the College.