Charles Beauregard FontaineGeneology
|Reference to Papa in 1915
Letter written in 1916 to daughter Ruth.
Newspaper article 1920
To the right: C.B. Fontaine as a youth
C. B. Fontaine, Commonwealth
Attorney, Meade Co., Ky. 1886
Real estate promotion, 1922.
"Home Coming" by Charles
From a newspaper clipping, probably the Meade County Messenger shortly after July 8, 1920
After thirty-four years absence from Meade county, I was fortunate enough to be at Brandenburg, July 8, 1920 and attend the "Home Coming."
I was raised in Meade county, was County Attorney there thirty-eight years ago and knew
intimately nearly every man and woman in the county. Those were the days of
hospitality. Our amusements were visiting, hunting, fishing, music and
courting. That was before the day of shows, movies, automobiles, etc.
Brandenburg, the county seat, was quite a business and social center, being a fine shipping point. People hauled produce and live stock from Breckinridge and Grayson counties to ship or sell.
So on the 8th I came with my daughter, Mrs. Ruth Scott, through the heart of Meade county to Brandenburg. I found the county much improved; the gullies filled up and sown to grass and clover.
While coming to Brandenburg, the roads were filled with cars and buggies. The closer to town they began taking out their horses and tieing them to trees, posts, etc. The Kentuckian always feeds and waters his horse at noon. When we got to the Howard Corner at the top of the hill, streets and by-paths were filled with people and cars, and I began to shake hands with old friends. They called me "Charlie" and my dignified "C. B." was but a memory. My thirty years in the West were forgotten - I was again the Kentucky boy - my friends seemed boys and girls again.
We marched on down the street, passed Mr. Casperke's, Wittelshofer & Yeakel. By this time it was a struggle to go any farther on the sidewalk, in the street, any old way to go. The crowd grew denser. We at last reached the court house yard.
I there met men that had gone in their young days to Mississippi, Arkansas, Kansas, Colorado, California and all points south and west. They had come home to play and seamed to be looking for someone to play with. They had made their pile and wanted to rest. They all had a pleasant word. No envy, no jealousy bothers the heart of a true Kentuckian. If you are rich, they rejoice with you; if you are poor, they love you just the same. Their loyalty to their state is a joke out West - meet one where you will, no matter how long there, he is always proud to say "I am a Kentuckian."
"Come dinner." The court house yard was solidly covered with the best that could be had. Little walks ran between the spreads of linen and all were as a welcome as a brother. I saw no distinction made. We had no program - it was just friend meet friend to talk over bygone days, and in their stories and reminiscences, I hardly think they lost by the telling - the sky seemed the only limit there.
The one sad thought that crossed my mind, was of friends that had gone to meet their reward. I saw few Dottos. The Fontaines were scattered to the corners of the earth, the Moremans were few in number, the McGehees seemed nearly all gone. While talking with friends there was a sudden hush. I looked and saw men helping the once stalwart Chris McGehee into the court house yard. I could hold my tears no longer. He was but a wreck of a once vigorous manhood.
"Goodbye, Chris." I wish I could appear before the judgment bar of God with as clean a record as yours, and when you shall finally sleep with your fathers, may it be said of you, " A just and honest man has gone to his reward."
I asked for Mrs. Grinnell. She was not there. Miss Hattie, I wanted to tell you that more than a thousand miles to the West have I heard, "And you knew and went to school to Miss Hattie." They pronounced the word, "Hattie" like a benediction - that was enough - that completed the circuit. Oh, Miss Hattie, I was there. You little knew when you poured out your great fund of inspiration, wisdom and goodness how far to the ends of the earth they would reach.
And Tommy Stith was there, waiting in his innocence and goodness for the
last call to those who had kept the faith. Abram Ditto was there, with the same
cheerful smile, 'though past four score years of age. The vicissitudes of life have
not embittered him. His goodness of heart sees only the virtues of his friends, and
they are legion. Judge Clint Fairleigh was there, but I could not find him, neither
could I find Warren Richardson, 'though I looked for him.
Do you ask, " Was the Home Coming a Success?" I truly believe it to be a period to date from. Us old fellows will be heard asking, " Was that before of after the great Home Coming at Brandenburg?" The old men will say, "That was the last time I saw Bill from Kansas." The women will say, "That was the first time I took my baby to Brandenburg." The boys will say, "That was the time I asked would she marry me."
Lives there a man so poor in loyalty and love that can question the success of the "Home Coming." Let's all subscribe for the "Messenger" and keep in touch with each other. It will make life all the sweeter. We never know the value of friendship 'till we lose it. C. B. FONTAINE. Fort Smith, Ark.
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Sister: Toka (pronounced Tokey) Fontaine McGhee m. Chris McGhee
1. Boss McGhee
1. Davis McGhee
1. Chris McGhee
2. Sue Virginia McGhee m. Galvin
2. John McGhee
Sister 2: Anne Fontaine Phillips
Supporter of Phillips Memorial Baptist Church, Brandenburg Ky.
Sister 3: Kate Fontaine Mercer
(Uncle Fletcher was Fletcher Mercer Scott)