a Pecan Shell
listing for Amphion in the Handbook of Texas states that "Some have
claimed that Amphion was the first county seat [of Atascosa
County]. A replica of the county's 1856
courthouse now occupies a place across the street from the current
County courthouse in Jourdanton.
Although a post office was opened in 1881 (closed 1916), no one seems
to remember the origin of the town's name. The town had two cotton
gins and a store by 1887 and by the mid 1890s, the number of residents
was around 100 and town businesses included a hotel. Amphion had both
a school and Masonic lodge prior to 1900. The school had 72 students
taught by two teachers by 1904 and Amphion's future looked rosy. But
when the Artesian Belt Railroad bypassed the town in 1909, the writing
was on the wall. The population remained at 100 for a few years, but
as businesses moved to Jourdanton,
the decline became evident. Enrollement shrank and the town settled
into a long decline. The town managed to keep the school open through
the Great Depression but after WWII
and school consolidation, Amphion was labeled a ghost town by the
its beginning to the establishment of Atascosa
County's first courthouse which is believed to have been constructed
near this site at the county seat of Navatasco in 1857. Amphion,
thought to have been named after a figure in Greek mythology, was
located within the 17,000-acre ranch of Jose Antonio Navarro, a prominent
local rancher and signer of the Texas Declaration of Independence.
Amphion was at one time a thriving community with several general
stores, a hotel, post office, blacksmith shop, cotton gin, tannery,
churches, fraternal lodges and a school. Amphion Cemetery was established
about 1870 at this site on land donated by Roy Jenkins and Frank Lozano.
Although the earliest recorded gravesite is that of Laura Underwood
(d.1891) there is a gravestone with the year 1800 inscribed on its
surface that local tradition claims marks the grave of a young boy
killed by indians. This cemetery contains the graves of at least two
veterans of the American Civil War.
When railroad lines were built through Atascosa
County in 1907 and 1927 along routes that bypassed Amphion, business
activity declined and the community eventually dissolved. Virtually
all that remains of the former town of Amphion is this cemetery.
there is no cemetery marked Amphion on the Atascosa
County map, the name Amphion appears surrounded by four nearby
cemeteries (Rodriquez, Alvarado, Herrera and Willborn).
|A replica of
the first Atascosa County Courthouse
(1856 at Amphion) in Jourdanton
Photo Courtesy Terry
Jeanson, October 2004
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