Mayors of Ames: Parley Sheldon

Lifespan:              1844-1932

Profession:            Farmer, Postmaster, President of Story County Bank

Term as Mayor:    1884-1886

Interesting Facts:

  • Served in the 175th Ohio Volunteer Infantry during the Civil War
  • Served as a councilman for one year prior to his first term
  • Narrowly won the election over H. B. Hawley
  • Appointed Postmaster in 1885

Term as Mayor:    1890-1894

Interesting Facts:

  • Civil War veteran
  • Two-time Ames Postmaster
  • Promoted the installation of Ames’ first sewer system and gas street lights on Main Street
  • Supported the Ames and College Railway’s efforts to lay tracks from downtown to the Iowa Agricultural College (IAC)
  • Oversaw the City’s annexation of  IAC and surrounding lands in 1893. Annexation raised Ames’ population above 2,000 and made Ames a city of the second class.

Term as Mayor:    1902-1908

Interesting Facts:

  • Appointed the first Library Board
  • Laid groundwork to bring headquarters of Iowa Highway Commission to Ames
  • Iowa State College Main Hall destroyed by fire in August 1902, leading to increased housing of students off campus in Ames
  • Ames & College Railway sold to the larger Fort Dodge, Des Moines & Southern Railway, which electrified the service in 1907

Term as Mayor:    1910-1916

Interesting Facts:

  • Welcomed Theodore Roosevelt to Ames on his whistle-stop tour in 1910
  • Women in Ames voted for the first time in a school election
  • Partnered with H.L. Munn in building the Hotel Sheldon-Munn
  • Laid cornerstone for new Ames’ Municipal Building (420 Kellogg Avenue)
  • Construction began on a new street named after the Mayor: Sheldon Avenue
  • The Times noted in 1916 that each time he served as Mayor, Sheldon spent several times his annual Mayoral salary on city business