Ames is a city of Iowa in the United States. In 2006 there were 54,181 people living in the city. It is was built between Skunk River and Squaw Creek, 35 miles north of the state capital, Des Moines. The town was first settled in 1864 as a railway town at a spot where the Skunk River could be crossed easily. It was named after Oakes Ames, a member of the US Congress who supported building the railway.