Fisher Ames, leading lawyer of San Francisco, has been practicing in California for over thirty years, during which time he has not only risen to a prominent place at the bar and among his associates but has been a public-spirited citizen and foremost in advancing public enterprises in his adopted city. He is a man of unusual capability, broad-minded and in sympathy with the higher life, and in his home, and place of business, and before the public eye, holds a place of dignity and affection and is honored and esteemed everywhere.
Five generations of the Ames family have resided in and been leading factors in the community life of New Hampshire and northeast Massachusetts. Mr. Ames was born in Holderness, New Hampshire, February 8, 1844, a son of Thomas Jefferson Ames, a native of Guilford, New Hampshire, and of Louisa (Ellison) Ames, of Holderness, New Hampshire. He received his early education in the common schools of Campton, New Hampshire, during the fifties, and then went to Plymouth Academy and Kimball Union Academy at Meriden, New Hampshire, where he prepared for college. He entered Dartmouth College in 1865, and was graduated in 1869. This excellent educational equipment was largely self-acquired, for while in academy and in college he taught school for eight terms in his own state and in Massachusetts, in order to gain funds for his next course. He had taught a term of school before he was seventeen years old.
From Dartmouth College Mr. Ames entered the University of Albany, where he was a student in the law course, and was graduated in 1870. In the same year he was admitted to practice in all the courts of the state of New York, but did not choose to remain in the east for his professional career. He came to California in 1870, and began practice in San Francisco. In 1872 he entered the office of the city and county attorney, and in 1874 was appointed special counsel for the collection of delinquent taxes. In 1875 he was elected a member of the board of education, and held office for two years. He was chosen a member of the second board of freeholders for the framing of a charter for the city and county of San Francisco, and during six and a half years was a member of the board of fire commissioners.
September 20, 1870, Mr. Ames was married at Campton, New Hampshire, to Miss Emilie Narcissa Morrison, a native of Plymouth, New Hampshire. A daughter was born to them, but she died in 1875. Mr. Ames is a member of the Alumni Association of Dartmouth College and of the Delta Kappa Epsilon Association of the Pacific Coast.