James H. Amick

James H. Amick of Shell Rock, is the owner of valuable property interests in the town and also of two excellent farms in the county. His possessions are the visible evidence of his life of thrift and industry, and it has been through determined purpose and unfaltering labor that his possessions have accrued. Mr. Amick is a native of Summerville, Nicholas county, West Virginia. He was born March 21, 1852, a son of Gideon and Emily (Stuart) Amick, the former a native of Monroe county, West Virginia, and the latter of Greenbrier county, of the same state. The paternal grandfather, John Amick, was a native of North Carolina and  was of German descent. He was a powder manufacturer and also engaged in teaching school. Emigrating to West Virginia, he married Martha Hage, who was a native of Germany. They had nine sons and three daughters, the family including Gideon Amick, who wedded Emily Stuart. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Gideon Amick
were born ten children : Rebecca, who became the wife of Daniel Wahl and is now deceased ; Minerva, who became the wife of Bert Hibbs and has also passed away ; William, living in San Francisco, California; Ira S., a resident of Shell Rock township; James H. ; Isabella, who is the widow of Lovett Sherwood and resides at Shell Rock; Mary Elizabeth, who died in Linn county, Iowa, in 1867; John Henry, living near Seattle, Washington; Perry, who died in 1861; and Emily, who died in infancy, soon after the mother's death. The mother died in October, 1861, when her son, James, was but nine years of age. She was of Scotch lineage and her last days were spent in Waterloo, Iowa. It was in 1852 that the family removed from West Virginia to Elkhart, Indiana, where they remained until the fall of 1855 and then came to Iowa, settling
in Linn county. There they resided until March, 1861, when they became residents of Waterloo. The mother died soon afterward but the family continued to reside there until August, 1867, when they came to Shell Rock, where the father passed away six years later, or in 1873. He was a stone cutter, following that trade throughout his entire life.

Since 1867 James H. Amick has resided in Shell Rock with the exception of two years spent in California. He worked at
the stone cutter's trade, which he learned under the direction of his father, but after following that pursuit for three years he turned his attention to farming and was actively connected with the tilling of the soil until 1895, since which time he has made his home in the town. He is still the owner of two farms in Shell Rock township, one comprising two hundred acres and the other eighty-eight acres. This is valuable property and returns to him a gratifying annual income. In addition he owns the opera house which was built in 1888 by a stock company, of which Mr. Amick was one. Gradually he acquired the interests of the other stockholders and is now sole proprietor. His attention is given merely to the supervision of his business investments, which are now large and bring to him a gratifying return.

Mr. Amick has been married twice. On the 14th of April, 1874, he wedded Ella Hitchcock, who died August 18, 1877,
leaving one child, Mabel, who is now the wife of Harvey Metzger, a farmer living near Shell Rock. On the 14th of June, 1883, Mr. Amick wedded Addie Bowen, and they have five children: Blanche, the wife of Forest Shipman of Bremer county ; Mamie, the wife of Launie Bisplinghoff, of Shell Rock; Arnold, Lawrence and Mildred, all at home.

Mr. Amick 's political position has never been an equivocal one. He has always supported the democratic party since age
conferred upon him the right of franchise, his first vote being cast for Samuel J. Tilden for president. He has served on the
city council for six years and has been a member of the board of education for the past fifteen years. He is a strong temperance man and is one of the oldest members of the Odd Fellows at Shell Rock, having joined on the 5th of January, 1878. His influence is always on the side of right, progress, reform and improvement, and his sterling worth is recognized by all with whom he has come in contact so that the circle of his friends has been a constantly growing one.