The name of FOUNTAIN has long been closely and honorably associated with agricultural interests in Marshall county and central Illinois. The paternal grandparents of our subject were William and Jane (McGINNIS) FOUNTAIN, who were early settlers of Peoria county. The former was born in New Jersey and the latter in Ohio and their marriage was celebrated in the Buckeye state, but soon afterward they came westward to Illinois and made their home in the vicinity of Yates City, in Peoria county. About 1851 they removed to Marshall county, settling in the northwestern part of Whitefield township, where they spent their remaining days, being worthy and respected representatives of the farming interests of the locality. The grandfather died November 3, 1891, at the age of eighty-three years, while his wife's death occurred December 17, 1891, when she was seventy-nine years of age. His home farm, consisting of four hundred and eighty acres, was kept under a high state of cultivation and many modern equipments were added to the place. He also invested in lands in Dakota and in Kansas and at his death was enabled to leave a goodly patrimony to each of his children. His political allegiance was given to the republican party from its organization until he passed from the scene of earthly activities. He practically lived retired from 1876 and during his last years was an intense sufferer. In their family were seven children, which number included Edward Walter FOUNTAIN.
He was born near Yates City, Peoria county, Illinois, November 7, 1849, and was therefore less than two years of age when brought by his parents to Marshall county, where he resided until his death. The lessons of industry and enterprise which were instilled into his mind in his early youth bore rich fruit in later years and he succeeded in acquiring a handsome property.
Edward Walter FOUNTAIN was reared to farm life and was married January 21, 1869, to Miss Elizabeth SHURTS, a native of Hunterdon county, New Jersey, who at the age of eighteen months was brought by her parents, Peter and Effie (TIGER) SHURTS, to Bureau county, Illinois. They made a settlement about a mile northwest of Whitefield, where they continued to reside until death, the mother passing away February 6, 1881, and the father November 29, 1888. On the 9th of March, 1869, Mr. and Mrs. FOUNTAIN settled on what became the homestead farm and there he carried on agricultural pursuits until his death on the 8th day of May, 1890. He was greatly esteemed by all who knew him and had many warm friends. In politics he was a stanch republican and served as road commissioner and as school director, yet was never a politician in the sense of office seeking. He belonged to the Modern Woodmen of America and to Telegraph Grange. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Edward W. FOUNTAIN were born seven children: William, Georgie, Florence, Fannie, Robert Bruce, Harry and Orlando. Fannie is now the wife of Jasper Newton YOUNG. The mother and nearly all of the children are members of the Methodist Episcopal church.
Robert Bruce FOUNTAIN acquired his education in the district school at Whitefield Corners and in his youth worked as a farm hand for others. He also spent much time in aiding in the further development and improvement of the old homestead farm, where he now resides. The place comprises ninety-two and a half acres which he has cultivated and the land is under a high state of development, owing to the care and labor which he bestows upon it. He is practical in all that he does and in his business is meeting with excellent success.
In 1900 Mr. FOUNTAIN was married to Miss Mary JENNINGS, a native of Indiana and a daughter of Thomas and Martha JENNINGS, farming people of this county. There have been two sons born of this union, Cecil, whose birth occurred February 1, 1902, and a son, who was born May 15, 1906, and died June 6, 1906. The young couple have the warm regard of many friends and are highly esteemed throughout the community. Mr. FOUNTAIN is a member of Whitefield camp, No. 1652, M. W. A., and he holds membership in the Methodist Episcopal church. In his political views he is a stalwart republican, having supported the party since age conferred upon him the right of franchise. He has always lived in Whitefield township and is known as one of its representative young farmers.
Extracted July 2011 by Norma Hass from Past and Present of Marshall and Putnam Counties Illinois, 1907.