Friday, February 28, 2014

Fountain Land Thompson (1854-1942), Fountain Fox Beattie (1878-1956)

From the Turtle Mountain Star, November 25, 1909.

   Having a name that conjures up images of a mystical land populated with fountains, Fountain Land Thompson gained the distinction of representing North Dakota in the United States Senate for a two month period between 1909 and 1910, owing to the death of a previously sitting senator. Prominent in business circles in the city of Cando, North Dakota both prior to and after his brief senate term, Thompson was a native of Illinois, being born near the village of Scottville on November 18, 1854, a son of Leonard Joshua and Phoebe Salina Thompson. Fountain began his primary schooling in the nearby town of Girard and would later graduate from that town's high school. He married at age nineteen on June 18, 1874 in Girard to Fannie Walker (1853-1920), later becoming a father to three sons, Harry H., Lester J. and Roy Towner Thompson.
   The son of a merchant, Fountain L. Thompson followed the example of his father and established a general store in the Girard area, whilst also doing business in the neighboring settlement of Palmyra. He took an interest in local politics, serving as Girard's treasurer and was later elected to the Macoupin County, Illinois Board of Supervisors. In 1887 he relocated to Cando, North Dakota with his family and once settled engaged in real estate, establishing the Thompson Realty Company. He served as the president of that realty company and occupied the same position at the Cando Elevator Co. Thompson also took an active interest in financial affairs of Towner County, being the vice president of the First National Bank of Cando and the president of Rock Lake, North Dakota's First National Bank.
  Fountain L. Thompson continued involvement in politics after relocating to North Dakota, serving on the Cando school board, was judge of Towner County from 1890-1898 and in 1902 won election as Mayor of Cando. After leaving the mayor's office in 1906 Thompson returned to his business dealings, and in November 1909 was appointed to a vacancy in the United States Senate. This vacant senate seat had been occasioned by the sudden death of Martin Nelson Johnson on October 21, 1909, only seven months after being elected. 

A notice on Thompson's senate appointment, from the Jan. 3, 1910 Daytona, Florida World News.

  Thompson's senate appointment received wide press in newspapers of the time, some as far away as Daytona, Florida. The Wenatchee Daily World's January 17, 1910 edition published a short snippet on Thompson' s public life, noting that:
"In a recent interview Senator Thompson said that, while he had always been a Democrat and had held local political offices, he had never sough political preferment. As to politics, he declared that the manner in which it had been conducted in recent years had cultivated in him a distaste for it."
   In the days after receiving his senate appointment, many pieces of period literature lauded Thompson, noting his extensive business dealings in Cando, as well as his previous stints as mayor and county judge. However, Thompson's senate career ended as quickly as it began, as he resigned from office on January 31, 1910, two months after taking his seat. The Ward County Independent reported on his resignation, noting that soon after traveling to Washington D.C. Thompson's health took a turn for the worse, suffering a "number of hemorrhages".  Out of concerns for his health Thompson resigned, and after leaving the senate journeyed South in the hopes that his health would be restored. 
   Thompson eventually recuperated and returned home to Cando, continuing to be involved in business dealings in that area until 1921, when he moved to Los Angeles, California. He resided here until his death at age 87 on February 4, 1942, having attained the distinction of being the oldest living ex-senator at the time of his decease. He was interred alongside his wife Fannie at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery in Los Angeles.

Fountain L. Thompson, from the Wenahatchee Daily World, January 17, 1910.

From "The History of South Carolina, Volume 3", 1920.

   Born into a distinguished Greenville, South Carolina family, Fountain Fox Beattie's birth occurred in Greenville on July 29, 1878, a son of John Edgeworth Beattie and Mary Mays, the former being the president of the First National Bank of Greenville. Fountain Beattie attended Furman University, the University of Michigan and the George Washington University at Washington, D.C., graduating from the last named school in the class of 1902 with his degree in law
  Shortly after attaining his degree Beattie returned to Greenville to begin a law practice, and in November 1905 was elected to the South Carolina House of Representatives at the age of just 27. He served in the legislative term of 1906-1908 and later married Jane Cobb Arnold (1888-1983) and had three children: Fountain Fox Jr. (1913-2001), Dannite Mays (1917-1994) and Janell Arnold Beattie (birth-date unknown). 
  Following the death of his father in 1916 Fountain Fox Beattie succeeded to the Presidency of the First National Bank of Greenville, serving in this post for a number of years. He died aged 78 in Greenville on July 29, 1956 and was survived by his wife and three children. Both Beattie, his wife, and two sons were are interred at the Christ Episcopal Church Cemetery in Greenville.

1 comment:

  1. Fountain Fox Beattie is my Great Grandfather, my Grandfather is Fountain Fox Beattie Jr. He was the most amazing Grandfather and my hero.

    He was a full bird colonel in the U.S. Military and served in WW2, Korea and Vietnam.

    He passed away on 14Oct2001 at Tripler Army Medical hospital. I sat by his side for 3 days until he passed.
    He had a military burial with all the honor he deserved.

    His wife my Grandmother Eva M Beattie who he had placed in their resting place after her death on Sept 24th, 1997. (DOB Sept 24th, 1921).

    Both Fountain Fox Beattie Jr. & Mrs Eva Beattie are resting at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific (Punchbowl) in Hawaii.

    My mother Ellen Beattie sent a portion of his ashes to her sister Ann so he could have a headstone with the rest of his family in the Greenville family plot.