John Agan

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John Allison Agan

(Louisiana educator, historian, journalist, and author)​

Historian John Agan.png

Born June 3, 1958​
Shreveport, Louisiana

Resident of Minden
Webster Parish, Louisiana

Died May 19, 2020 (aged 61)​

Resting place:
Gardens of Memory Cemetery in Minden

Political Party Democrat[1]
Spouse Never married​

Parents:
​ John C., Jr., and Juanita
Louise Murphy Agan
Alma mater:
Minden High School
Louisiana Tech University

Religion Southern Baptist

John Allison Agan (June 3, 1958 – May 19, 2020) was an historian, historical preservationist, educator, professor, lecturer, reference librarian, journalist, and author from his native Minden in Webster Parish in northwestern Louisiana.

Background

Agan was born in Shreveport[2] to John C. Agan, Jr. (1918-1989), a long-time salesman for the Ford Motor Company,[3] and the former Juanita Louise Murphy (1923-2008), who wrote the weekly sentimental column "Cameos" for The Minden Press-Herald,[4]. After graduation from Minden High School in 1976, he earned two degrees from Louisiana Tech University in Ruston. He was an associate professor of history at Bossier Parish Community College in Bossier City, west of Minden.[5]

Agan was a long-time member of the First Baptist Church in Minden, for which he served as a deacon, Sunday school teacher, and member of the Church Heritage Committee. His Facebook page quotes him: “I just want to do what I can to help others and let the love of Jesus show through me. I want people to realize that Christ is all about love and we should all try to make the world a better place for everyone.”[6]

Career

The Press-Herald published weekly Agan's historical column entitled "Echoes of Our Past," which present expansive historical information not previously uncovered. He wrote eleven books centering upon Webster Parish history, mostly through Arcadia Publishing of Mount Pleasant, South Carolina. Some of the titles are Lost Minden, Minden 1933, Webster Parish, Minden: Perserverance of Pride, Remembering Minden: Echoes of Our Past.[7] The Webster Parish Police Jury named him the "official Webster Parish historian. "[6]In 2018, he was named "Minden Man of the Year."[2]

Agan assisted in the development of the Dorcheat Historical Association Museum at 116 Pearl Street downtown. Museum director Schelley Francis said that Agan had been invaluable in assembling historical materials for inclusion in the museum. Francis said, "museum would have never taken off like it has without the knowledge of this man. He has helped us to get the stories told. I would not have the knowledge of our history and I dare say neither would most of you without him."[6]

Death and legacy

Agan was hospitalized six times prior to his death and was under dialysis. He is survived by an older sister, Suzanne Agan Jameson, the wife of Robert D. "Bob" Jameson, and three nephews, John Jameson and wife, Faith, of San Diego, California; David Jameson of Grand Rapids, Michigan, and Paul Jameson of Minden.[5]

He died fifteen days before his 62nd birthday. He is interred at Gardens of Memory Cemetery in Minden.[2]

Publisher David Specht, Jr., expressed sadness on learning of his friend Agan's death:

... I knew John as a friend who would always be honest with me, even when we didn’t agree. John and I were often on opposite sides of the political spectrum, but we always had great respect for one another. His liberal tendencies versus my conservative tendencies often turned into some wonderful conversations whether in person or via text or Facebook Messenger.

John’s love of history and the accuracy of remembering it was a gift to all of us. It is something we have truly lost. No one will ever know the full story of how much work John put into chronicling the history of our community. But, one thing is for sure. There is a void left by his departure....

John’s passing means the end of an era of covering the history of our community. But for a lot of us, it means the passing of a dear friend, a confidant, a teacher, and a fine human being. Rest in peace, John Agan. You are already being missed.[8]

On June 4, 2020, the occasion of what would have been Agan's 62nd birthday, "John Agan Day" was observed in Minden. Among the speakers for the occasion, his brother-in-law, Bob Jameson, said that Agan "had a lifelong love for his hometown. He thought Minden, Louisiana, was the only place in the world to be from. He couldn’t imagine being from anywhere else."[9]

Banker Tracey Campbell said that Agan "spent the greater part of his life ensuring that the history of Minden and Webster Parish is documented for future generations. Through his writings, and later his eleven books, John taught us a lot about our local history. He helped us understand Minden’s rich German heritage. He provided a glimpse into the lives of Minden’s founders. He shared with us stories that weren’t always pretty. Stories of economic hardship, of street duels, social injustice, slavery, and segregation[9]

Democratic former state Representative Gene Reynolds said that Agan "taught me about political perspectives [and] political history. Trends over the past fifteen to twenty years, and how to run a campaign. And not only how to run a campaign, but how to run a class campaign. Where you treated everybody with respect, and their ideas with respect."[9]

References

  1. John Agan. Mylife.com. Retrieved on May 21, 2020.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 John Allison Agan. Findagrave.com. Retrieved on May 21, 2020.
  3. John C. Agan, Jr.. Findagrave.com. Retrieved on May 21, 2020.
  4. Juanita Louise Murphy Agan. Findagrave.com. Retrieved on May 21, 2020.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Jolhn Agan obituary. The Shreveport Times (May 20, 2020). Retrieved on May 21, 2020.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Will Phillips (May 19, 2020). Webster Parish Historian John Agan has passed away. Minden Press-Herald. Retrieved on May 21, 2020.
  7. Books by John Agan. Amazon.com. Retrieved on May 21, 2020.
  8. David Specht, Jr. (May 19, 2020). John Agan was more than a community treasure, he was my friend.. Minden Press-Herald. Retrieved on June 4, 2020.
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 Will Phillips (June 4, 2020). John Agan Day celebrated in front of Minden Civic Center. Minden Press-Herald. Retrieved on June 10, 2020.