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FOUNTAIN, Edward Walter

Edward Walter FOUNTAIN, deceased, was a well-known citizen of Whitefield township, who stood high in the estimation of his fellow-men, and was a devoted son, loving husband and indulgent father. He was born near Yates City, Peoria county, Illinois, November 7, 1849, and was a son of William and Jane (McGINNIS) FOUNTAIN, the former a native of New Jersey, and the latter of Ohio. They were married in the latter state and soon afterward removed to Peoria county, Illinois, and about 1851 came to Marshall county, locating in the northwestern part of Whitefield township, where both died, the father, November 3, 1891, at the age of eighty-three years, and the mother, December 17, following, at the age of seventy-nine years. Of their family of seven children, five are yet living – Orlando, the oldest, resides at Santa Rosa, California; Elizabeth is the wife of Willard PROCTOR, of Grand Rapids, North Dakota; Martha is the wife of Oliver PEARSON, of Wabash, Indiana; Henry grew to manhood, and during the dark days of the rebellion, enlisted in the army, and gave his life to his country; Milton resides upon the old farm; Edward W. is the next in order of birth; James also lives on the old homestead.

William FOUNTAIN was a hard-working, industrious man, and during his residence in Marshall county succeeded in acquiring a handsome property. His home farm, consisting of four hundred and eighty aces, was kept under a high state of cultivation, and the improvements made thereon were such as to show that its owner thoroughly understood his business. He also invested in lands in Dakota and Kansas, but made no improvements in either state. At his death he left each member of the family in good, comfortable circumstances, with sufficient means to enable them to properly live. In politics he was a republican, with which party he became identified on its organization. From 1876 until his death, he practically lived a retired life, and for some years was an intense sufferer from a cancer which eventually caused his death.

The subject of this sketch continued under the home roof, doing his duty faithfully as a son until his marriage, January 21, 1869, with Miss Elizabeth SHURTS, a native of Huntington county, New Jersey, who, at the age of eighteen months, removed with her parents, Peter and Effie (TIGER) SHURTS, to Bureau county, Illinois. They made a settlement about one mile northwest of Whitefield post office, where they continued to reside until their death, the mother passing away February 6, 1881, at the age of seventy-six, and the father, November 28, 1888, at the age of seventy-six years. Their family of five sons and one daughter are yet living.

On the 9th of March, 1869, Mr. and Mrs. FOUNTAIN settled on the present farm, which was a part of the old homestead. The farm consists of one hundred and twenty acres, which he cultivated in connection with a part of that retained by the father. He was ambitious to succeed and toiled early and late for that end. As already stated, his father was for some years an invalid, and in consequence required a great deal of care, and Edward devoted much of his time in trying to alleviate his sufferings. This he continued to do until his own health was shattered, and after a short illness, his spirit departed this life, May 8, 1890, and strange to relate, his father survived him about eighteen months.

Edward W. FOUNTAIN was a man greatly esteemed by those who knew him, and he had many warm friends. Like his father he was a strong republican, and while having neither time nor inclination for office, he served his township for some years as road commissioner and also as school director, the duties of which office he discharged with conscientious fidelity. He was not a member of the church, though having the utmost respect for the Christian religion and its true professors. Fraternally he was a member of the Modern Woodmen of America, and of Telegraph Grange, and was active in each organization. His death was a sad loss to his family, and the community where he had so long resided.

To Mr. and Mrs. FOUNTAIN seven children were born as follows: William, Georgie, Florence, Fannie, Bruce, Harry and Orlando, all of whom yet remain at home.. Fannie is now the wife of Jasper Newton YOUNG, and they make their home with Mrs. FOUNTAIN.

Since the death of her husband, Mrs. FOUNTAIN has carried on the farm with the aid of her children and hired help. She has shown herself a good business woman, and has made a number of improvements in the place, having erected a neat and commodious barn, set out a new orchard, and has done other work of a beneficial character. She has given her children good educational advantages, which have been improved by them, one daughter, Florence, being a successful teacher as well as a skillful musician. Fannie has also decided musical ability. The mother and nearly all the children are members of the Methodist Episcopal church, earnest and steadfast Christians.

Extracted April 2011 by Norma Hass from The Biographical Record of Bureau, Marshall and Putnam Counties, Illinois, 1896.

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