Samuel Augustus Ambrose, plasterer, Dayton, was born near Pleasant Unity, Westmoreland Co., Penn., Nov. 23, 1838. His ancestry on his father's side was German and English, on his mother's English and German. Peter and Susanna Ambrose, his father and mother, were in humble circumstances, and having a large family of ten children to provide for, the services of all the children, as they became of sufficient age to render any assistanace toward the support of the family, were required. Samuel, the fifth child born born to them, was accordingly called upon to assist in the support of his younger brothers and sisters, while yet a mere boy, consequently his opportunities for study and education, as far as achool education is concerned, was very limited and much neglected. Thus his early boyhood pased till 1854, when with his parents he emigrated to Ohio, then the far West, and in December of the same year landed with his father's family in the city of Dayton, Montgomery Co. The industrious habits formed during his boyhood, before he came to Dayton, still prompted him to an active life, and, looking around for something to do, he sought employment and was engaged as a clerk for Messrs. Filton, Wilt & Filton, grain dealers and commission merchants, with whom he remained about one year, when a good opportunity offered for him to learn a trade. He left his employers and engaged to learn the plasterer's trade, at which he served his full time and then worked as a journeyman plasterer until by the most rigid economy he had saved enough to pay his way through a collegaiate course of study, and for that purpose he entered the prepratory department of the Ohio Wesleyan University, at Delaware, Ohio. In school, as at his trade, he was never satisfied unless he stood among the first in his class, and by his former habits of close application, industry, energy and natural ability, succeeded in keeping his name on the roll of honor during his school life at the university. He was one of the prominent members of the Zetagathean Literary Society of the above institution, and in the frequent discussions and debates in the society always took an active part, and was always selected to champion the cause of the weaker side, and generally proved a full match for his antagonist. Having entered the school with a fixed purpose he made rapid progress in his studies, when the "war for the preservation of the Union" broke out and arrested him in his scholastics pursuits. He enlisted as a volunteer and served sixteen months, when he received an honorable discharge, and was mustered out of service at Todd Barracks. He returned to Dayton again, and while home married Miss Cornelia Anne Wolf youngest daughter of Dr. W.W. Wolf, May 15, 1865. He then began work for himself as a contractor and bulder, and since that time has been one of the largest contractors in this city. As monuments of his ability, he points with pride to Grace Methodist Episcopal Church, the palatial residences of C.L. Hawes, Eugene Barney, T.T. Legler, and many others. The breaking out of the rebellion made him an outspoken and fearless Republican, and the same principles remain with him to this day.  In 1872 he was elected member of the City Council by the Republicans of the Fifth Ward, and proved himself a valuable member of the body. Hardly a meeting passed that he did not get into an animated discussion with his colleagues upon some measure before the Council, and as he had a peculiar way of presenting his facts like so many points sticking out on every side, his position was generally invulnerable, and he very rarely lost a cause whose interest he espoused while in his two years' term with the City Fathers. He was again elected a member for 1881-82 and is now an honored member of that body. He wields a caustic pen, and in writing for the press presents his thoughts in a very plain, forcible manner, and is regarded a writer of much ability by those who know his non de plume. He is in the prime of life, and, as he comes from a long-lived race, has many years in store in which he can succeed in carving his name high upon the roll of honor, if he will use the same energy and talent which characterized his early life.


The History of Montgomery County, Ohio.; by W. H. Beers & Co., pub 1882