Residents of Campbell Station in Jackson County are hoping for commercial expansion
Written by: Tracy L. Crain
Arkansas Democrat Gazette
Sunday, February 18, 2001

On the other side of Newport, in Jackson County, the rather unusual community of Campbell Station is located along U.S. 67 North, near the 157 junction.

The heart of the community or town square, as many seem to reference it, is comprised of an estimated 10 houses, circularly positioned along the outside of Keeter Circle.

Located in the center of the housing area, on a square of well-kept green pasture, there is a white brick city hall building, a Baptist church and a park for the children who reside in the area.

There's a few other buildings and facilities, along with a cabinet shop, auto shop, and flea market that comprise much of the commerce in Campbell Station.

Ronnie Royer and his wife, Carolyn, originally from Wisconsin, have ample reasons for moving to this small community, but note the peaceful surroundings as one of the things they like most about Campbell Station.

"There's no trouble here, and nobody bothers anyone. It's a nice, quiet town and a great place to live," he said.

Although the town sign indicates a population of 247 residents, Royer believes the numbers are a little different.

"I'd be surprised if there were more than 100 people who lived here," he said.

As for the town's origination, one of the oldest buildings in the area, the Baptist church, was founded in 1956. Although it is known that the town was in existence before that time, there is no record of how or when it was founded.

Royer's grandmother was one of the earlier residents of the community.

"She chose this as her place of retirement," Royer said. "She loved living in this area. She's one of the reasons I moved here."

He likes it here because it's so rural.

"We're off the beaten path," he said. "There's no schools and about the only community gatherings we have are the weekly meetings at city hall. It amazes me, however, that when a natural disaster happens, all the people come together and help each other out."

When he speaks of natural disasters, Royer is making reference to a tornado that came through the area in 1997.

"There was a lot of damage, and a couple of houses were destroyed. Everybody had to help everybody rebuild," he said. "There are some really good people that live here. Most of them work at the nearby factories and a few others work in the Newport area."

The community of Campbell Station is hoping to see some commercial expansion sometime in the future.

"Within the next five years, I'd like to see them build something here, maybe a little store so that we don't have to go to Newport to do the shopping," Royer said. "Tuckerman, the town located next to us, is only a little bigger than we are, and they have a dollar store. That's a lot more than what we've got."

Being a small community can certainly have its advantages, though.

"There's no crime here. I'd say no problems, whatsoever," Royer said.

Some of the peculiarities that can be found in the town, Royer says, relate to the area's geographic position.

"Our phone number has a Newport prefix and our house a Tuckerman mailing address," he said. "The kids here are also impacted by the location. They have their choice of either attending school in Newport or in Tuckerman."

When asked about activities in the town, Carolyn Royer says there is a lot to do. "We go to the park and the kids play basketball. We also exercise," she said.

Her husband continues, "We love it here. I want to stay here for the rest of my life. It's everything we could want in a community."

(Campbell Station is an excerpt from Road Trips; a weekly feature of small towns in Arkansas written by Tracy Crain and published by the Arkansas Democrat Gazette.)