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  Amagon in Jackson County:
Interestingly quiet and unpretentious little community
Written by: Tracy Crain
Sunday, October 29, 2000

A person doesn’t need perfect eyesight to see that there’s a lot more to the little town of Amagon than just a straight and narrow road.

They’d only need a human heart to share the camaraderie here.

Perhaps that is why Louise Vahn describes this rural paradise as her hometown and the type of a place she would never want to leave.

“The people in this community are very special kind of people. I’m glad that I’m here,” she said.

Amagon is located in the northeastern part of the state in Jackson County. It has an interestingly quiet, unpretentious culture.

The residents are friendly and courteous, yet reserved and hardworking.

Farming is a very serious business here. That’s something which is easily recognizable from the miles of wheat, rice and bean crops that run alongside Arkansas 14.

Vahn, who is a rural contract courier for the post office, believes moving to Amagon was the best thing she ever did.

“This is a very nice community,” she said “I don’t think I could really describe what it is like. There truly are no words.”

Vahn and her husband, Charles, moved to Amagon 20 years ago because of a special calling.

“My husband has about 15 different jobs, but the two primary responsibilities he holds includes serving as pastor of Amagon Baptist Church and working as a criminal investigator with the Jackson County Sheriff’s Department,” she said.

“We used to live in Cross but we felt like we’d be of more service if we lived here because the church needed us. For that reason, we sold our place and moved. We’ve never regretted it.”

Although Amagon has only 108 residents who live within its rural confines, being small has its advantages.

For instance, community members know each other very well--primarily a result of the many gatherings conducted here.

“We hold events at the Richwood Fire Department located in Amagon,” Vahn said. “There are also auctions, benefits and a variety of other gatherings where the people come together in support of the projects that we have. Those events help the people in the community. That’s why we all participate.”

At one time, Amagon was considered part of the Richwood community. The community, however, broke away to establish itself independently. Although most people don’t realize it, Amagon was named after the first postmaster who lived there, A.M. Ragon.

According to library records, there were 126 people who lived in Amagon in 1980. Even though the population doesn’t seem to be increasing, area residents have no reason to be concerned.

Improvements are described as being “right on the mark,” when it comes to bettering quality of life and area facilities.

For instance, the small town strip is seeing some new expansion.

“There is a new store over there. We had one before, but it closed down,” Vahn said. “We also have two new cafes and the Helena Chemical Building. We’ve seen a lot of improvements as far as area clean up projects are concerned, too.”

Community members in Amagon all work together to keep the area free of litter.

“We’ve cleaned a lot of it up, but there’s still room for improvement,” Vahn said.

Overall, this quiet, clean, little southern town is a peaceful place. There is little crime, a lot of friendly farmers and plenty of community events to keep people entertained.

“Occasionally, something might happen, but it’s trouble-free for the most part,” Vahn said. “That’s why I like Amagon so much. The people here really care about their community. I hope we are always here.”

Joan David, who has lived in Amagon since her husband, Wayne, finished his enlistment in the armed services in 1955, is happy living in Amagon.

“We farm and that’s what we do. I wouldn’t have it any other way,” she said.

In addition to being a farmer, Wayne is also the fire chief of the Richwood Fire Department, which serves Midway, Amagon, Bach, Pennington, Algoa and Remmel.

“Vahn is right when she says that the people here are very giving. When we have our fundraisers at the fire department, we always succeed more than what we expect,” Joan said. “It’s not incorporated, but Charles Vahn used to be the mayor and the assistant Fire Chief of our community. I don’t think you could ask for better people than the ones who are here.”

With just one visit, it’s easy to see that the folks in Amagon care about more than just themselves. They have built the type of community worth living in and that truly is something rather noteworthy in this day and age.

(Amagon is located in Jackson County. This article has been recently revised and is an excerpt from Road Trips; a weekly feature of small towns in Arkansas, which was written by Tracy Crain and published by the Arkansas Democrat Gazette in 2000.)