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Not to be confused with his uncle, Joseph Ament, to whom Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain) was apprenticed in 1848; Joseph Pettus Ament, Jr. was born to William Dudley and Amelia M. (Robbins) Ament on June 6, 1852, in Muscatine, Muscatine County, Iowa. He was the first of seven children born to the couple.
On March 24, 1875, Joseph was married to Abigail C. Martin, also in Muscatine. Abigail was the daughter of Elijah Cody and Elizabeth (Tingley) Martin. Joseph and Abbie had six children: Grace A., Mabel Elizabeth, William Dudley, Bessie, Helen and Vernon. In 1894, Abbie petitioned for a divorce. On January 16, 1898, Abbie received absolute control of the children. By 1900, Abbie and two of her children were living in Chicago, Illinois.
Throughout much his life, Joseph's occupation was that of a carriage and wagon manufacturer, as well as a dealer in farm machinery. In 1876, he was a buggy box maker with Ament & Bro. On the 1880 census, he was listed as a carriage maker. His business was listed in the Muscatine, Iowa Directory in 1891, 1892 and 1893. It was located at 412 to 418 E. Third Street.
Joseph remarried on July 8, 1896, to Mrs. Nina E. (Walker) Knox in Knox County, Illinois. After his marriage to Nina, Joseph was found enumerated on the 1915 Iowa State Census in Davenport, Scott County. His occupation was recorded as a second hand dealer. In 1925, he and Nina were still living in Davenport. There was no occupation recorded.
On January 30, 1927, Joseph died in Davenport. Nina outlived him. Joseph was buried on February 1st in the Greenwood Cemetery in Muscatine, Muscatine, Iowa.