The Carlson and Ames families are an interesting chapter in the history of the Village of Riverside. Ames, of course, is familiar because of Ames School.
Albert Flintoft Ames was the fourth of six children born to the Rev. William and Hephzibah Ames of Ontario, Canada. Albert F. Ames became a professor at the Collegiate Institute of St. Thomas in Ontario, where one of his students was a Daisy Belle Carder who was to become his bride.
She was 19 and he was 25, and both of their families had come to Canada from England. Professor Ames came to the Chicago area around 1886 after having met Col. Parker headmaster of the Francis Parker School in Chicago.
Soon after that the village of Riverside selected Ames to be the superintendent of schools, a position he would retain for 43 years. He was known as an innovator in education. A tall, slim man he was recognized by the community as a man of integrity and known for always wearing a hat and carrying an umbrella. In 1925, he was earning a whopping salary of $6,000 a year.
Daisy and Albert resided in Riverside at 315 Longcommon Road and had seven children, six of whom were born in Riverside. The couple was proud of their ancestry, including John and Priscilla Alden and some who arrived on the Mayflower. Daisy was civic-minded and in 1928 organized Riverside’s first Fourth of July celebration (that answers that question), writing a song “Riverside, my Riverside” to the tune of “O Tannenbaum.”
Needless to say, education was important in the Ames household. Their fourth daughter, Harriet Helen Ames, born in 1895, graduated from DeKalb Teachers College. While teaching in Hibbing, Minnesota, she met and married Arthur Carlson, a mining engineer.
They moved back to the area with their daughter, Harriet, and son, Thomas. Another daughter Dorothy was born in Hollywood. That is part of the story of the Carlson/Ames families, according to Harriet Carlson, who you may know as Harriet Kweton, wife of the late Elmer Kweton. She resided in Riverside for 70 years and is now in Lombard, but we know she still thinks of Riverside as “home.”
This little bit of history should be a must read for the students at Ames School and, as usual, sometimes 400 words is not enough space to tell the story.