Part of the mystery of Floyd Ames, the Bachmann's brick signer, has been solved. In 1908 he autographed and dated one of our exterior bricks. Almost 108 years ago to the day, I can tell you a little more about this person.
First, I must let you know I love history and finding out the stories that make each of us unique . Since the bricks are filled with signatures, I am now on a quest to learn about every person who scribbled on them so long ago. I like forging connections to the past and honoring the lives of those who came before.
So, who was Floyd Ames?
He was born in 1891, one of three kids. His dad, George Washington Ames, was a produce buyer, according to the 1900 Census. In 1910, Floyd listed his occupation as a produce buyer as well, so it looks like he intended to follow in his father's footsteps. Sadly, Floyd's dad died in May of 1909, so I'm guessing Floyd just carried on with his dad's occupation.
In 1915 Floyd Hiram Ames ENLISTED in the army as World War I was heating up in Europe, but way before the United States became involved. He served for four years. and was listed in the 1920 Census as a corporal stationed at Fort Amador near the Panama Canal. Remember, the Panama Canal was completed in 1914, so for a young man from Central Lake, this would have been quite the adventure.
Over the next several decades, it appears he worked as a mail carrier in the Detroit area. He married and raised a son. His wife Martha Irene Rushton was a local girl.
Here's a detail I particularly like: His World War II draft registration card lists him as having red hair and blue eyes. His brother John Wesley Ames had red hair and blue eyes as well. Love those redheads!
Floyd Ames died in 1979 and is buried down the road from Bachmann's in Central Lake's Southern Cemetery next to his wife and parents.
Bless his heart.