Monroe Co KY History of Fountainrun

History of Fountain Run KY

(Taken from posts made by Sandi Gorin to the South-Central-KY list.)

Taken from "Fountain Run, Yesterday and Today, on the 100th anniversaary
1855 to 1955, Lucy Goad Albright.

"FOUNTAIN RUN, a small town of some four hundred souls, is located in the
southwestern end of Monroe County, Kentucky. Specifically, according to the
National Archives and Records, it is located three miles north of Barren
River and three miles west of Indian Creek. We have no available proof to
show when the first early settlers came to this territory but landmarks,
old grave stones, and tradition reveal to us that around 1800 thee was a
slow migration of people from Virginia and North Carolina, who, filled with
the hope of establishing homes in a land to the west, came in groups and
settled near the waters of Barren River which abounded in fish, and as
surrounded by a wilderness in a natural state heavily timbered and teeming
with wild game, a truly great land of natural beauty and potentialities
where they could live and raise their families.  Tradition does not claim
these early settlers were saints but they were generally characterized by a
sobriety of habit and judgment that counted that "man does not live by
bread alone," and we have every reason to believe that they were God
loving, God fearing people, for one of the first buildings on record was
the Meeting House for the United Missionary Baptist Church which was
organized in 1829. These early pioneer setlers were mostly of English and
Scotch descent with a sprinkling of Irish, and it has been said, which
statement we neither confirm nor contradict, that the purest strains of
Anglo-Saxon blood in the United States flows in the veins of the people
from Barren River through the territory to the north of Lexington, Kentucky.

"Jim-Town, or Jamestown, was the first name given to the community which
began coming to life about 1820, which name was later changed to Fountain
Run. Tradition tells us that a trading center was set up conveniently
located for the settlers and JIM DENTON began buying and selling so people
would go to Jim's town to trade a little, to visit with each other and
sometimes to get something to drink, so thus it wore its name of Jim Town.
The Kentucky History lists it more than once as Jamestown and although
there was no post office there, mail addressed to Jim Town came through at
irregular intervals from Glasgow. By 1847 Jim Town had grown to a thriving
little village with its tobacco center, its general stores, harness shop,
blacksmith shop, country doctors, its church, coffin making establishment,
grist mill, subscription school, and a dozen or more homes so application
was made for the establishment of a post office here. There was already a
Jamestown, Kentucky, so another name must be proposed. Nothing tends to
more describe the personalities of the people who have lived in and around
the town for six or seven generations than the poetic lilting words of
Fountain Run. They did not seem to wish to perpetuate the name of a great
statesman or hero, but rather to present a picture of a fountain of water,
running sweet and fresh from nature's pure folds to refresh the traveler,
and sustain its people and from which would always flow waters of kindness,
hospitality, and friendliness that have tended to immortalize the words of
its public spring that "Whoever drinks of these waters will always return."
Here is the hospitality that forever indicates heroes."

"Although it is not authentic, the credit of naming the town Fountain Run
points to Dr. James R. DUNCAN who became its first postmaster.

Although early pioneer life was crude, many who came from Virginia and
North Carolina brought a certain amount of cultural background with them,
and heirlooms of fine pieces of china and other treasured things have been
handed down from generation to generation. Ambrose BARLOW is the only known
veteran of the Revolutionary Waar who lived and died and was buried at
Fountain Run, but many of the early settlers were only one step from the
Revolutionary War, and at least two of them were veterans of the War of
1812. They were John AUSTIN and Thomas CARUTH who engaged in the Battle of
New Orleans. Tradition tells us that the early settlers underwent many
harrowing experiences in making the trip westward to Kentucky and were at
times attacked by the Indians. In one of these skirmishes the wife of
Thomas CARUTH was scalped, and in the words of the old timers, "They melted
silver and put her head back together and she lived for many years

These early settlers were a practical farming people seeking virgin fertile
lands, still their life was peppered generously with adventure. The
migration of the Virginians and North Carolinians was soon followed by
people from East Tennessee, and as they gradually moved into the center of
Fountain Run it became a melting pot of strait-laced, puritanical blood,
joke-loving Irish with a sentimental vagabond and gambler now and then, and
when brewed all together produced a people with individdualistic traits all
their own that make them enjoy sparkling conversation, a story well told, a
hearty laugh, a sermon with depth, good food, a good book, any type of
gathering, independence, a little leisure time, music, a well-earned
dollar, and over and above all these an almost reverent love of home. As
many as eight generations have been nurtured from this land which was first
seen by the pioneer settlers almost a century and a half ago.

The first available census records the population of Fountain Run as 188 in
1910. As of the year of 1955, the slogan is, "Home of four hundred friendly
people," which is a comparatively small gain.

There are many factors involved in the slow growth of the town. It is an
inland center fifteen miles from a railroad, and fourteen miles from
Kentucky's main highways. It depends almost altogether on the land around
it for its sustenance with practically no public enterprise. It is not a
county seat and in sparsely settled counties it is rare for any town other
than a cuonty seat to make wide gains in population. We are of the opinion
that no resident ever visualized Fountain Run a metropolis, but rather
preferred it to be a first rate, thriving little country village.

Fountain Run's growth and prosperity has been greatly thwarted by financial
filures and fires that set it back many years. An early major catastrophe
was the failure of the Jim-Town Tobacco Company around 1885. The principal
stockholders in this company were Clay FRANKLIN, John SEAY, George STONE,
Dr. Marion STONE, M J (Babe) GOAD, and James NEAL. This company furnished
the principal market for all the tobacco raised in Monroe County and
adjoining Kentucky counties and two or three counties in Tennessee. We
understand that this company handled more tobacco than any other market in
southern Kentucky. Over $200,000 was involved in the collapse of the
business. The second major financial catstrophe the town suffered was the
failure of the Bank of Fountain Run in 1923. This bank, which was
established around the turn of the century, served the surrounding
territory around Fountain Run for a quarter of a century. It was the second
bank to be located in Monroe County. The universal depression followed fast
on its heels in the thirties. Just when the town was rising slowly from its
throes, on September 21, 1838, around six P.M. a thirsty, ravaging fire
starting of undetermined origin in the basement of B. W. DOWNING Drug
Store, tore its way madly with whirlwind velocity through the main section
of town and completely destroyed thirteen places of business before it
could be checked by a bucket brigade. One only thousand dollars of
insurance covered these damages due to the exceptionally high rate based on
casualty risk of frame buildings with no public water system. Adding to
these catastrophes the destruction by fire of three hotels, a church,
school building, SHORT Bros. store and T. V. DOSSEY Produce, it is amazing
that it has continued to increase in both population and dollars. This fact
reveals that thrift, ingenuity, ambition and love of community exists in
Fountain Run, coupled with the heritage of the good land which through
misfortune and calamities stands ready to give to her people from the
abundance of her bowels. Home ownership is one of the key words of the
community. The heart of everyman is in harmony with Walt Whitman when he
said, "A man is now whole and complete unless he owns a house and the
ground it stands on. Men are created owners of the earth. Each was intended
to possess his piece of it." Of Fountain Run's 110 homes ninety per cent of
them are self owned.

Fountain Run is laid out in a most attractive manner surrounded by acres
and acres of rich, rolling, fertile land. Its main street where ninety-nine
percent of its present places of business, its bank, funeral home, post
office, five of its six churches, and its cemetery are located, runs almost
north and south with five highways leading into it. Three highways from
Glasgow, Scotsville and Tompkinsville are blacktopped and good graveled
roads extend from Akersville and Browns Ford, and all the streets in town
are blacktopped. The homes located in more or less of a circle around main
street are attractive and well kept and are in keeping with the financial
status of the community. The Funeral Home is outstanidng for a town the
size of Fountain Run, the six churches are also above the average in
appearance, and the well kept, lovely ground of the cemetery is most
complimentary to the living. The business section offers the public good
merchandise at reasonable prices, and with the hopes of a modern new graded
school building in the near future, we feel as of this year that the
community presents a very pleasing picture.

"For many yers Fountain Run was incorporated with a municipal form of
government with a town judge, a town board, a town marshal (the most
celebrated of whom was Granger CONKIN who served in that capacity for many
years), and a calaboose to confine the lawbreakers. This form of government
was maintained by the levying of a town tax (collector for which for many
years was Will LANE). Due to financial adversities the town voted to do
away with the incorporation and it has since been governed by the officers
of the county. During the years of incorporation concrete sidewalks were
built along all the main streets.

One of the most colorful figures that enter into the early history of
Fountain Run was John Jacob (Jake) GOODMAN, comparable to Abraham of old
whose seeds were numbered as the sands of the seashore, as he began
thirty-two children. He was born in North Carolina and settled in Monroe
County, Kentucky, in 1801. He married Margaret (Peggy) HAGAN May 4, 1811,
and fourteen children were born to this union. Their names and dates of
birth wre Solomon, Apr 4, 1812; Polly, June 1, 1813; Elizabeth, Nov. 20,
1814; Hagan, Aug 24, 1816; John Henderson, Aug 1, 1823; Joseph Alexander,
June 28, 1818; Lindy, Aug 19, 1819; Sarah, Sept 7, 1821; Margaret Ann, Oct
16, 1829; Benjamin F, April 14, 1831; Peggy, Nov. 27, 1833. After the death
of his first wife John Jacob Goodman married Nancy Hunt Dec. 17, 1839. To
this union eighteen children were born, four of whom died in infancy. Their
children were: Mary Jane, Oct 23, 1840; Martha Ann, Dec. 11, 1842; Melissa,
Jan 10, 1843; Melinda Smith, Aug 16, 1844; Nancy Jane, Mar 26, 1846; James
Andrew, Oct 3, 1847; Kitty Ann, Feb. 28, 1848; Adeline, July 4, 1849;
Joanette, Sept 20 , 1851; Eliza Bitt, Aug 24, 1856; Eli H, Feb 15, 1858;
Louise, July 3, 1859; Jacob Gillenwaters, Nov 27, 1861; Wm. T, Apr 20,
1862. This early pioneer, who wa born Oct 20, 1784, fathered his last child
at the age of seventy-eight. Jacob Goodman was the son of Jacob Goodman who
came from England and fought in the Revolutionary War. His mother was of
Dutch descent. He owned much of the land upon which Fountain Run now
stands, and engaged in various businesses and is reported to havae almost
the strength of Atlas. He gave the grounds for the building of the United
Missionary Baptist Church of Fountain Run. In addition to the graveyard
which carries his name and in which he and many of his descendants are
interred, his name is also perpetuated in the name of a stream which
circles Fountain Run and which ran through his land and was named Jakes
Branch. Since man first settled at Fountain Run, children of each
generation have waded in the waters of Jakes Branch and have fished for
minnows from her shores. At the age of ninety-six on Christmas Day this
early settler died but his descendants go on and on.

Thompson (Tomps) GOODMAN, son of Jacob and Margaret HAGAN Goodman, was born
Jan. 10, 1825. His indelible colorful history was only slightly surpassed
by his celebrated father. He was the father of Jeff, Joe, Dudley and Kitty
(AUSTIN). Thomps Goodman was twice married but there were no children of
the second marriage. Though his second wife, Aunt Katie, was blind she
assisted him greatly as proprietors of a hotel that was famous throughout
southern Kentucky an dnorthern Tennessee for its fine food served on a long
dining table that ran the length of the dining room. When a customer would
ask for a piece of pie the waitress would chant out in rhythm, "Open-faced,
closed-face, criss-crossed, or kivered." After the death of Tomps Goodman's
daughter Kitty, wife of Harmin Austin, he took his three grandchildren,
Fannie, Lucy and Walter, into his home and reared them. Lucy married Sam
MORROW, Walter married Minnie FRANCIS, and Fannie, Bill SMITH, who with her
daughter Kate, lived for many years at the hotel with Uncle Tomps and Aunt
Kate and added much to the warmth of its hospitality.

Joe Goodman, a Methodist preacher, was the father of Tompie Goodman who
married Annie HAGAN, daughter of Harve and Melissa HAGAN. Tompie Goodman
was a fine school teacher and a believer and adherant of Christian
principles. He used teachings of the scriptures in connection with his
pedagogical work. He died at quite an early age.

Dudley GOODMAN, son of Thomps Goodman, married Frances AUSTIN, daughter of
Bill AUSTIN and Adeline MILLS AUSTIN. He was very devout in hs religious
beliefs and practices. Dudley and Frances Goodman were the parents of Alice
who married Arthur DOTSON, Ed who married Iva (Sister) HOWARD, Charlie who
was twice married, first to Clara FRANKLIN and then to Florence REDFORD, Jo
Lewis who married Sarah BLACK, Will who married Lucy TAYLOR, Burton who
married Aldredge DOWNING, Dero who married Mattie YOUNG, and Henry who
married Verd WILBURN. The descendants of Dudley and Frances Goodman are
multidinous and are endowed with a great love of family. They make an
annual pilgrimage to the Fountain Run Cemetery where they visit with each
other, spread their dinner on the grounds and decorate the graves of their
loved ones. (We are indebted to Alice Goodman Dotson for the names and
dates of birth of the children of Jacob Goodman).

Margaret Ann Goodman HUFFMAN was the daughter of Jacob Goodman. She was the
mother of Tom HUFFMAN who married Josie GREGORY, Addie who married Jim
JORDAN and was the great-grandmother of Elmer JORDAN who was one of
Fountain Run's sons who gave his life in World War II. The third child of
Margaret Goodman Huffman ws Kate who first married Powel McINTYRE and was
the mother of Lee McIntyre GIBBS and Claud McIntyre and after the death of
Powell McIntyre she married Peter STEENBERGEN and they were the parents of
two daughters, Zola and Zaye STEENBERGEN.

James Andrew (Jimmie) GOODMAN, a son of Jacob Goodman and Nancy HUNT, was
born Oct. 3 1847, married Darathula AUSTIN, daughter of Bill AUSTIN and
Adeline MILLS AUSTIN. They were the parents of Mattie who married Jim
HUGHES, Minnie who married O. V. (Viv) HUGHES, and Jennie who married
Euclid GIBBS. Jimmie and Darthula Goodman were consecrated members of the
Baptist Church, were great friends of Bro. and Sister SPILLMAN. Jimmie
Goodman at one time owned much land around Fountain Run and late in life
operated a grocery. Uncle Jimmie Goodman was said to be everybody's friend.

Hagan GOODMAN, son of Jacob and Margaret HAGAN GOODMAN, was born Aug. 24,
1816. He was a consecrated member of the Baptist Church, serving as church
clerk for many years.

Louise GOODMAN (COOK) better known as Lou, was born July 24, 1860, and died
Jan. 16, 1898. She was the daughter of Jacob and Nancy HUNT Goodman. She
was married to Will COOK. They were the parents of four children. Edgar
married Alice GIBBS, Carson who married a Miss BOWMAN, Eva who married Dee
SPILLMAN and Nannie May unmarried. Lou COOK died of a heart attack at the
age of thirty-eight and was one of the first persons to die of a heart
attack in this section of the country.

Ed GOODMAN, son of Dudley and Frances Goodman was the only member of his
family who lived his entire life in and around Fountain Run. He was married
to Iva HOWARD. They were the parents of Fowler who married Iva DOSSEY,
Mallie who married Luther DOWNING, Mary Levy deceased, Fannie Clay married
Wallace ARTERBURN, Nellie who married Eddie DUNCAN, and Billy who married
Catherine CALVERT. Ed Goodman was a kind, gentle, Christian man and lived
on a large farm with his family. He died in his middle years. His widow has
continued to live on the farm, and at present her son Billy and family live
with her.

Lindy GOODMAN JORDAN, daughter of Jacob and Margaret HAGAN Goodman, was
born Aug 19, 1819. She was married to Wm. JORDAN and they were the parents
of fourteen children. Jake, Solomon and Jim JORDAN and Jane who married
Robert LANDRUM and Ann (FLOWERS). Wm. and Linday Jordan owned an acreage to
the north of Fountain Run which was owned for many years by Virgle LANDRUM
where his widow now resides.

Mary Ann GOODMAN FAULKNER, daughter of Jacob Goodman, married Benjamin F.
FAULKNER. They were the parents of five boys and six girls, one of whom was
Wm. Harvey Faulkner who owned a farm of 234 acres of fine land around
Fountain Run. He possessed a patriotic spirit and enlisted in 1861 in Co.
A, Ninth Kentucky Infantry. He married Angelina FRAIM, daughter of John and
Permelia FLIPPIN FRAIM. Harvey and Angelina Faulkner were the parents of
seven children, three of whom were John, Aldredge and Annie Finn (HAGAN).

Elisha FORTUNE played a major part in the early life and settlement of
Fountain Run. He was a native of Nelson County, Virignia, and settled in
Monroe County, Kentucky, around 1825. He was married to Eliza LOVING, a
descendant of Wm. PENN. Elisha FORTUNE owned much of the land to the north
and west of Funtain Run and lived in a house on grounds now owned by G. C.
(Cal) DOSSEY. Elisha and Eliza FORTUNE were the parents of two children,
George and Eliza. Eliza married Willis WOOD of Virginia. Elisha FORTUNE
gave sevesral acres of land located about a mile to the north of Fountain
Run to his daughter Eliz WOOD upon which the community of Wood now stands.
Willis and Eliza WOOD are interred in the graveyard that bears their name
along with many of their descendants. A rural school bearing the name Wood
was located there but after the consolodation it is now used for religious
services. Descendants of Elisha FORTUNE have been multitudinous, stemming
from his daughter Eliza WOOD and her husband Willis WOOD. Their children
were George who married Jo Ann STEEN, Billy who married Crickett HAGAN, Abe
who married Lou WHEET, Emmett who married Lou CRISP, Elissha who maried
Molly GREGORY, Melissa who married Harve HAGAN, Dona who married John
GIBBS, Jimmie who married Lottie SLAUGHTER, Laura who married Hayden
BISHOP, and Pet who married Crittedon THOMAS. Great love of each other and
family reunions is a strong characteristic of this large family of people.

Melissa WOOD, granddaughter of Elisha FORTUNE, married Harve HAGAN. They
were members of the Methodist Episcopal Church and helped much toward the
building of the Methodist Church in Fountain Run. Tradition states that
Harve HAGAN furnished much of the timber for the building. They lived on a
large acreage at the outer edge of Fountain Run and were the parents of
Callie who married Avery CHISM, Mossie who married Mike CHISM, Annie who
married Tompie GOODMAN, Etta who married Boyd BUNDAY, Lonnie who married
Evo COOK and after her death married Ina McINTYRE, Sam who married Ree
STEPHENS, Logan, Delix who married Hallie MINNICKS. Harve and Melissa HAGAN
were solid, sturdy citizens and after his death she lived for many years
and was recognized by all as a sweet Christian woman.

Dona WOOD, daughter of Elisha FORTUNE and Willis WOOD, was married to John
GIBBS who was a harness and saddle maker by trde. They were the parents of
Euclid who married Jennie GOODMAN, Alice who married Edgar COOK, Maude
COMER, Effie DOOLIN, K. J. who married Lee McINTYRE, Meredith who married
Annie MORROW, Fannie who married Elzie JACKSON, and Quay who married Edith
JACKSON. John GIBBS was paralyzed for the last twelve years of his life.
Dona GIBBS, a widow for many years, was recognized as a most kind woman.
They were members of the Church of Christ.

The DOWNING clan of this section which number in the hundreds are
descendants of Benjamin Sr. and Sarah GRAY DOWNING. Benjamin Sr. was of
English parentage and it appers he and his brother Samuel immigrated from
Ireland to the colonies before the Revolution and settled in Maryland.
Samuel enlisted in the War for Independence and served three years, being
granted a pension May 8, 1820. Benjamin DOWNING Sr immigrated to Kentucky
about 1794 and settled near Covington. Later he moved to Green County,
Kentucky, where he was killed in the manufacture of gun powder. Descendants
of Benjamin Sr and Sarah were Rachel, Sarah, Sophia, James, Benjamin Jr.,
Elizabeth, Mary and Nancy. After the tragic death of Benjamin Sr, his
widow, Sarah DOWNING, purchased fifty acres of land in Allen County, on
Barren River where she and her family settled. Benjamin DOWNING Jr was born
Apr. 9, 1789, in Maryland. After having moved to Allen County with his
mother he married Isabella CAMPBELL, daughter of James CAMPBELL, who fought
in the Revolutionary War, and Jane SAMPLE CAMPBELL. James and Jane CAMPBELL
settled near Fountain Run and endured all the privations of early pioneer
life. Four sons were born to Benjamin and Isabella Campbell Downing, James
C., Daniel E., Wm. R., and Benjamin; they were also the parents of four
daughters, Sarah, Jane, Isabella and Adeline.

Wm. R DOWNING, born May 6, 1821, was the son of Benjamin and Isabella
Downing. He married Melinda SEAY, born Mar. 22, 1818, in October, 1840. By
this union seven children were born, five of whom lived to be grown; James
W., Dewitt C., John S., Benjamin A., and William Edward. Wm. R. Downing
owned 450 good acres of land in the Flat Woods vicinity, near Fountain Run.
He lost seven negroes in the war. He had two sons to serve in the Ninth
Kentucky, one of whom gave his life. He died at the age of seventy-nine on
Nov. 16, 1900. Milinda SEAY Downing, a devoted member of the Methodist
Episcopal Church for about fifty years, died June 27, 1887, at the age of
sixty-nine. They were buried on their home place in the Downing Graveyard.

Ben A DOWNING was the only child of Wm. R. and Melinda SEAY who settled in
Fountain Run. His biography will be found under post masters. Benjamin
DOWNING, seventh of four sons and four daughters of Benjamin and Isabella
(CAMPBELL) DOWNING, was born Oct. 18, 1826. He was reared on a farm and in
August, 1850, married Lucy A DUNN, daughter of John A. and Margaret BRIGHT
DUNN, natives of Kentucky of German descent. To this union the following
children were born, John M., James H., Sarah (JOHNSON), Benjamin, Wm. E.,
Geore, Joseph, Aldridge, Samuel C. Benjamin DOWNING owned 600 acres of good
land. He served as Justice of the Peace of the county for eight years.
Benjamin and Lucy A DOWNING were among the leading members of the
Missionary Baptist Church of Fountain Run.

Wm. Erskine (Ack) DOWNING was born March 31, 1863, to Benjamin and Lucy
DUNn DOWNING. He married Patsy DUNCAN, daughter of John Mills and Nancy
SAUNDERS DUNCAN, natives of East Tennessee, and to this untion five
children were born: Edd, Lilla who married Maxey TRACY, Jewell who married
Cecil BRITT, Sanford who married Lucille LAYNE, and Bob who married Edna
PATTERSON. Ack DOWNING lived to be ninety-one years of age. He was a good
judge of fine stock. He belonged to the Missionary Baptist Church for more
than seventy years. He was a member of the Masonic order for seventy years
and was a charter member of Fountain Run O.E.S. Patsy DUNCAN DOWNING came
of a line of school teachers and was a most refined, cultured woman. She
also was a member of the Baptist Church.

Samuel C DOWNING, son of Benjamin and Lucy DUNN DOWNING, was born Aug 3,
1873, married Maggie DUNCAN, daughter of John Mills and Nancy SAUNDERS
DUNCAN, natives of Tennessee. Sam and Maggie DOWNING were the parents of
Laura who married Hugh GROOMS, Lucy Mae who married Fred GROOMS, Henry
DOWNING, Victoria who married Paul BLAKEY, Elizabeth who married Rex BUSH.
Maggie DUNCAN DOWNING, a lovely woman, died at the early age of forty.
After he death, Sam DOWNING married Minnie HIX, daughter of Captain HIX, a
prominent Barren County family. Sam and Minnie DOWNING wee the parents of
Sarah Hix DOWNING who married Lefty ROBINSON, and Sam Jr. Sam DOWNING's
third wive was a Mrs. Lillas FERGUSON GOODALL, member of an old pioneer
family in Monroe County. Samuel DOWNING is endowed with a fine mind and
pleasant personality. He is an extensive landowner. (We are indebted to his
retentive mind for portions of this history). He was a Baptist.

Aldredge Dunn DOWNING, son of Benjamin and Lucy DUNN DOWNING, was born May
8, 1871, and married Lizzie ALEXANDER, great-granddaughter of Harden
CELSON, a pioneer settler of some note. To this union were born five
children, Aldredge married to Burton GOODMAN, Ben who married Minnie
HUGHES, Edna who married Harry AUSTIN, Gilbert who married Chloe McKENNIE,
and Jack who married Elizabeth HEDGEPATH. Aldredge, known as Al, was an
extensive landowner and active in the Masonic Fraternity. He was a member
of the Baptist Church. Lizzie DOWNING was very active in O.E.S.


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