top of page
< Back

Samuel B. Amidon

Year(s) of Service:


Samuel B. Amidon

Samuel B. Amidon Wichita Resident: 1896 - 1936 of the house that is still there Born in Perry, Ohio May 3, 1863, Samuel B. Amidon graduated from the Cleveland Law School in the spring of 1886 and was admitted to the bar through the supreme court of Ohio, and the following fall located in Wichita, Kansas. In 1893 he married Alice Noyes, daughter of a prominent dry goods merchant in Wichita. He practiced law alone for the first three years, having his office at the corner of Douglas and Market. In 1889, he formed a partnership with Sanky & Campbell which continued until 1892. He practice alone until 1894, the entered into a partnership with J.F. Conley, their offices were in the Bitting Block. In 1890, Mr. Amidon ran as candidate for county attorney on the Democratic ticket, but was defeated by Wesley Morris. Entering the race in 1896, against John Davis, he was elected, and in 1898 was reelected over Joseph Brubacker by a larger majority than was ever before received by a county attorney in Sedgwick County. Mr. Amidon was chairman of the Democratic county central committee and took a keen interest in state politics. He declined the nomination for attorney general at the Fort Scott convention in 1900, feeling that he should not leave his law practice. He and his partner practiced general law, employing one assistant and two typists. Although he is best remembered as a criminal attorney, criminal law accounted for only 10% of his practice. Mr. Amidon was vice-president and one of the principal owners of the Colwich State Bank, Colwich, Kansas, a director in the Mount Hope State Bank and the Clearwater State Bank. He was also a director in the Fourth National Bank, Wichita, Kansas. Fraternally, he was the exalted ruler of Lodge No. 427 B.P.O.E., he was a charter member in 1889 of Lodge No. 189, Knights of Pythias, he was a member of I.O.O.F, and a thirty-second degree mason and had taken the Scottish Rites degree. Biographical Record of Leading Citizens of Sedgwick County Kansas and A Compendium of National Biography K BB Se2b One of the things for which Mr. Amidon is best known is as the prosecutor of Carrie Nation. He was county attorney of Sedgwick County at the time she did her first smashing. As county attorney he conducted the prosecution following which she was convicted of maliciously destroying property. Topeka Capital May 9, 1925. Sam Amidon's "hobby" was in helping friends he felt were worthy of his aid. Nearly a score of Wichita men owed their prosperity to him, he took chances on character when banks refused and had a reputation for never going back on his clients. Kansas State News May 14, 1925 In 1902, Mr. Amidon began his annual Christmas Dinner for the underprivileged and newsboys. Thousand of people with no where to go were fed, the only requirement was a hearty appetite. In December, 1922 (the dinner's 20th year), the mammoth banquet was held in the main dining room of the Scottish Rite Temple. 2,000 people were fed, 140 turkeys served, ten barrels of cranberries and 30 bushels of potatoes were used to feed the hungry. Music was furnished by the Midian Shrine band and the Consistory quartet. The Topeka Capital December 24, 1922 The tradition of his Christmas Dinner continued after his death, given by Mrs. Amidon in memory of her husband. Upon her death, Mrs. Amidon set aside a trust fund of $30,000 in the First National Bank, the income from would be used to insure that the Amidon Christmas Dinners would "continue forever". Wichita Eagle October 8, 1936 Mr. Amidon purchased the house from Martin Luther Garver in 1896 and lived here until his death on May 8, 1925. He was working alone in his office in the Fourth National Bank Building, when he felt sudden, sharp chest pains. He phoned his physician, saying he feared he was suffering a heart attack. He died at 6:20 PM on May 8, 1925, just 5 minutes after his physician arrived. He is interred in Maple Grove Mausoleum. In 1963, the City of Wichita and City Manager Russell E. McClure honored Mr. Amidon by naming the Amidon Bridge for him, built where McLean Boulevard and Amidon Avenue meet. He remains one of Wichita's most colorful and famous citizens. Wichita Beacon, December 16, 1963

bottom of page