John S. Amick. It is a strong augury of success for a young man to have a variety of experiences in practical matters before he assumes professional work. Especially if he is a lawyer, his substantial future is far more assured in the West than if he possessed a greater fund of professional knowledge and less ability to judge of persons and things in a common sense way–which comes only with actual experience, and often of the hard kind.
Such remarks as the foregoing hold true in the career and progress of John Amick, a young lawyer of Lawrence who had already been county attorney for two terms and proved a strong factor in the advancement of the city’s interests and the protection of county affairs. He was born in Grundy County, Missouri, on December 17, 1879, and is a son of Peter and Lydia Ann (Saylors) Amick, who came to Kansas in the early ’80s and located at Edgerton. There the father operated a store for a short time; then moved with his family to Ottawa, and thence to Wellington. In 1893 the entire household was transferred to Oklahoma, when the scramble for lands was at the height of its vigor, and the parents eventually died there.
John S. Amick obtained his early education in the public schools of Kansas, and in 1888 graduated from the Wellington High School. He taught for three years in Oklahoma, and for six years was employed as assistant cashier in a bank at Jefferson. In 1907, with a good general education and a thorough bank training, he became a student in the law department of the University of Kansas, from which he was graduated in 1909. During the following two years he was employed both by the National Bank of Commerce in Kansas City, and the American Cement Plaster Company, and in 1911 began the continuous practice of his profession at Lawrence.
Mr. Amick so impressed citizens with his practical ability that they elected him to the office of county attorney for two terms, 1913-14 and 1915-16. The most important litigation which he handled for the county, during that period, was that in connection with the three bridges which spanned the river. The great $200,000 re-enforced concrete bridge over the Kaw, which was building during the last year of his administration as county attorney, was not completed until January, 1917, and it was largely through his legal exertions during the first stages of its construction that it finally progressed to completion.
Mr. Amick had reached a high station in Masonry, being identified with the thirty-second degree, Scottish Rite. His main social life, however, is centered in his home, over which presided his wife–formerly Miss Lotta Bryan, daughter of Samuel I. Bryan, a citizen of Lawrence.