A Clarification – Re: Fountain Run

From the late CC Simmons: “The little village of Fountain Run is only a short 2 miles from the Barren-Monroe county line. As this community was originally in Barren county I can not forego the urge to include what little I have learned from research relating to its early history.”
Simmons goes on to report from Barren County Court records, dated 1816, of the establishment of the town by application of Jacob Goodman, Sr., and also his naming of Trustees and law enforcement for said town. “It is further ordered that the said town established as aforesaid be known by the name of James Town…” Tradition gives that the town was named thus because many of the neighborhood pioneers had the given name James.
Simmons continues: “Research has failed to reveal just when the name of the little town was changed from Jimtown to Fountain Run. The latter name is intriguing and affords speculation for the inquisitively inclined. Again I shall quote a tradition. A small ravine runs parallel with main street through the town. A small stream, or Run, fed by springs along its course flows at the bottom of the ravine. It is claimed that during extended rainy periods these springs assume fountain proportions, gushing several inches above the surface of the earth. Whether the fanciful dream of a later citizen is unknown, but I still contend it is intriguing.”
Intriguing is an understatement when it comes to Mr. Simmons’ work. He had a distinct and rich vocabulary, considering the simple man he was. He became a pioneer in local Oral History and every Sunday afternoon in the 1930s and early 40s, he and his wife Mataleen could be seen in their Hudson traveling some byway in search of “old ones” to chat with and glean fountains of information from. On his Sunday excursions he heard oral history in its purest form, and sometimes he was witness to very guarded family papers, Bibles, and all sorts of heirlooms.
I tell everyone I have five Bibles – two for spiritual nourishment of the King James and the Catholic variety. The other 3 are as follows: two are local cemetery books, recording all known and located burials in this county and a neighboring one. The other book is Clyde Clayton Simmons’ published writings, “Historical Trip Through East Barren County, KY.”
There were many local historians of this bygone era that, if they had not taken this interest in the early history of Barren County and those parts that went into the forming of Allen, Monroe, and finally Metcalfe counties, then most of this information would have vanished. I am very grateful to these men and women who have given me a proper education, and a deep reverence for our roots.
Getting into a car and driving into some of these remote areas even today can be quite a daunting task. I deeply admire Mr. and Mrs. Simmons’ fortitude to have done so at a time when most of these byways were nothing more than dirt tracks.
But, oh the joy that comes from these excursions into areas that time has forgotten! When you turn off a country lane and go back 50 years, or 100 now. Where our pace of life is slower, more relaxed. There’s more “Yes, Ma’am!” and “No, Sir!”
Where you are always invited to sit-down dinner, and you’d best say “Yes, Ma’am! Thank you, Ma’am!” lest you offend the cook. There are Biscuits and gravy with fried chicken. Fried taters or mashed ones (real potatoes, not the boxed ones!) that stick to your ribs. Green beans and corn, fresh from the garden. Iced tea that may be sweet, or it may not, but it’s still good! And banana pudding, or fried pies.
And you totter away from the table, and retire to the front or back porch to while away the afternoon in a cane bottom rocker, listening to tree frogs, cicadas, or the baying of some neighbor’s hound dog down the road that’s treed a ‘coon. Then, when it’s time to part and return back to the 21st century, you usually get a “Y’all come back now, yah hear?”
And you know you’ve been privileged just to share a taste….


About Gclee

I am a long time genealogy and local history hunter from Barren Co., KY. I have many stories to share that may be of interest to other local genealogists and history buffs. I enjoy this as a hobby and hope I can be of encouragement to others. I also hope everyone enjoys my stories as much as I have enjoyed learning about them.
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One Response to A Clarification – Re: Fountain Run

  1. Charles R Arterburn says:

    The name change almost certainly occurred, at least formally, when the post office was established in Jamestown/Fountain Run, 1857. Jamestown in Russell County already existed as a USPO and county seat.

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