W. T. Fountain has leased the building now occupied by Mr. J. B. Pace, on Howard Street, and will open a first-class dry goods, dress goods and gents furnishing store therein on September 1. Mr. Fountain will carry a complete line of fine goods, and it is predicted that he will do a splendid business from the beginning. He possesses extensive experience, is a man of the strictest integrity and is regarded as one of the very best salesmen in the Delta. THE ENTERPRISE bespeaks for him that splendid success in his business venture, which he so truly deserves.
From the Greenwood Enterprise, June 13, 1902
Only a few finishing touches and Fountain's magnificent new store will be ready for occupancy. Fixtures are all in place and being polished up. The big plate glass windows are here and being installed. Mr. Fountain has been in the East buying for the past five weeks. He is expected home the first of next week and when he gets here he will find his new store ready for him. The building is a handsome three story structure and is fitted out with every modern convenience and has fully three times the floor space of Fountain's present quarters. The building has both electric passenger and freight elevators, and is heated with the latest approved heating system and the store will never be cold or chilly at any time. All of these have been completed. The water pipe fire protection system was installed in the building while it was being put up. This makes the building practically fireproof and reduces the insurance rates to $3.50 per $1,000. A ladies restroom and parlor with all conveniences to out of town shoppers. The store is complete to the smallest detail. Nothing has been overlooked; it is as complete as pains taking care and money can make it and will cost complete about $37,000.00. It is going to take a world of goods to fill it and an enormous trade to sustain it. It is a credit to Greenwood, would be a credit to any city, an enterprise that is worthy the backing, not only of this City and community, but of the entire Greenwood trade territory for a radius of fifty to a hundred miles. You will have to see this new store in all its' completeness to realize what Mr. Fountain is doing for the mercantile business of Greenwood.
From the Greenwood Enterprise, August 14, 1914
Many an eager shopper standing Thursday morning before the splendid expanse of plate glass which forms the lower front of the great department store of W. T. Fountain, sought to get a glimpse of the beauties there concealed by the heavy curtains which were so arranged as to hide them until the doors were opened for the formal opening of this wonderful place.
Eager were these beauty-seekers because of the well- established reputation of the firm's decorator, Mr. W. R. Chandler, who never fails to build within his windows pictures well worth seeing, the component parts of which are made up of the finest fabrics, graceful figures and all the dainty details of the toilette of well dressed men, women and children, which draw the beauty lover with unfailing regularity, and keep him or her enthused with the pleasure of view, and turns and enters into this paradise of shoppers there as to stay as long as duty allows, delight persuades, or purse permits.
During all the weeks of this early fall since moving into his metropolitan department store, Mr. Fountain and his army of assistants, have filled this great store with materials of such rich worth, and stock of such rare beauty, that every day has been an opening day for them and a holiday for their friends. Therefore, theirs was a task, indeed, to so arrange yesterday as to give the friends aught worthy interest. But this they did. And the pleasure their friends enjoyed, when at nine o'clock the doors of his magnificent store opened up on the brilliant panorama of fashion's fabrics and style's chic accessories more than repaid them for their efforts and thoughts.
First, the building proved itself a monumental consummation of the progressiveness, stick-to-it-ivness, and the general ability of it's genial owner, a credit to the "Queen city of the Delta", as well as a reflection upon the growth and prosperity of the county and state. Three stories of brick with pretty rough shale brick facing, with every interior appointment and accessory conceivable for the later day department store, lends its most delightful complexion to the get up of the little city in the Magnolia State.
And yesterday morning it lent a more suspicious impression than ever when throngs poured through its front to feast their eyes upon the artistically arranged interior. In the center of the first floor, the intensely interested guests found themselves in the hands of the genial superintendent of the store, Mr. P. L. DeLoach, who with Mr. Fountain makes all the purchases for this mammoth concern. The splendid arrangement of this floor, and of the building, was the following of the suggestions of Mr. DeLoach and Mr. Fountain, and Mr. Fountain is fortunate to have the services of so thoroughly capable a manager of his stupendous business. In this center aisle the shoppers found themselves first in the presence of the affable Mrs. Maud Hodges, who has charge of the handkerchiefs, ladies neckwear, jewelry and stationery. Next they passed the notions, purses, handbags, etc., over which department the dainty Miss Myrtle McCorkle presides. Further they came to the hosiery department where Mrs. Jena Duggan is found with her characteristic loveliness. This aisle is concluded with the knit underwear for ladies and children, where Miss Zilpali Cain pleases the shopper with her charming courtesy.
To the right as you wind back to the entrance, Miss Edna Morgan has charge of the silks, velvets and white goods and sends away many a pleased customer. Mr. Wade Reeves' department, piece goods, is just across the aisle, and next to the toilet goods, ribbons, art goods, gloves, and patterns, where Mrs. J. T. Hodges exercises such splendid taste. The department of Mrs. Ethel McMahon, who is so popular with her tasty selections, are button and dress trimmings. To the left as you enter this big busy store you find yourselves in the hands of Mr. B. A. Walker, who before you leave, gets a sale on his umbrellas, parasols and gents furnishings, which stock he has charge. Mr. J. I. Price has special charge of the large assortment of shoes, while Mr. O. S. Coleman assists Mr. Walker with the stock and has in charge the boys' clothing department.
In the rear of the first floor is found the bookkeeping department and Mr. Fountain's office. Mr. W. C. McBee has charge of this department and is assisted by Miss Mary Wilkins. This office is handsomely appointed and could hardly be improved upon. The general color effect of the first floor, golden oak mission fixtures and cream tinted walls is carried out in the offices.
As you forget the elevator and "trip" it to the second floor, you pass through the pretty rest room and toilette for the ladies on the mezzanine floor, which is a most necessary adjunct in modern shopping, and was one of Mr. Fountain's first thoughts when he contemplated the erection of his new store. To the left of the rest room is the cashier's office in the charge of Miss Teresa Casey, who is the general cashier, and is assisted by Misses Teresa Harris and Lula May Upshur.
In this department all sales of the first floor are handled by baskets, and on the second floor, Mrs. Morton is the cashier, where all goods are checked, wrapped and sent down by the handy dumb waiter. A splendid system has been installed and every minute details of this important end of the business perfected.
But as you go on to the second floor, the interest of Milady is accelerated, for there is to be found a collection of ready to wear evening duds and accessories, almost incomparable. Almost, it seems as if there had been gathered there a mass of foamy clouds through the smoky film of which the cerulean blue brilliantly shines, or, through lighter films a darkened mass made harmonies of hue. Here and there in this heaped up mass of fluffy beauty, there shone a touch of the rose without which no costume seems complete, and together the effect was as perfect as though nature had designed the scheme. The myriad charms of these departments tempts the visitor and the scribe to linger indefinitely discovered immediately after the second floor is reached, but it was a difficulty throughout the day to get a good view of the chief attractions because of the throngs of interested ladies who were all day gathered in the millinery, suit and other departments.
On the left side of this floor is found the millinery department, this season offering creations and adaptations from the tasty Mrs. John Bond, and indeed it was a rich display, with milliners such as Mr. Fountain has secured in Mrs. Bond, and her assistant, Mrs. Pid Wright and Misses DeLyle Elliott and Sadie Taylor, our people may be fully assured of a continuance of the opening day's splendid display and willing service. There, on pretty forms and frames were shown the latest confections in the millinery line, with trimmings of distinguished beauty and richness. The millinery department of the French room, work room and display booths, which show off these exquisite creations to their real advantage.
The large ready-to-wear department could not be placed in cleverer nor more capable hand than in Miss Annie Hobson, Mrs. G. S. Pate, Miss Pattie McGlathery, who are assisted by Misses Sadie McNamara and Janette Ferguson. At the south end of this floor are the corsets and braissiers, sweaters, waists, domestic underwear for ladies and children and the infant department. A snug corset try-on nook adds interest to the make-up of this section. From this, on to the rear of the south wing of this floor, are the displays of the handsome, ready-to-wear doll-ups. In coat suits, cloaks, negligee, evening dresses, reception gowns, street dresses, skirts, and all ready-to-wear for the ladies and children are found everything possible to fashion's demands. Beginning with the inexpensive but admirably tailored suits for the busy girl who goes about her daily duty always trim and chic, all the way up to the most splendid visiting toilette of the woman in society, is found everything and exactly what our women want. Indeed the stock is so extensive and the quality so varied as to make one wonder, as he stands before the well-packed cases and booths, if it is really Greenwood in which all these marvels of the trade are displayed. On this floor, French gray with blue gray tinting forms a lovely color for the setting of Milady's eye- feastings.
On this floor is also to be found the alteration department under the charge of Miss Naomi Taylor, who has given this department so much genuine satisfaction since her connection, and is so ably assisted by Misses Vashti Matlock and Mary Coombs. To the other side of the alteration department is the drapery department.
The center of the top floor finds a splendid assortment of trunks, bags, blankets, toys, and general house furnishings over which Miss Bettie Casey and Mr. Fred L. Fountain have charge. Here are also found Japanese china, aluminum, glass and chinaware and general bric-a-brac of every imaginable kind. To the right of this floor is the general supply of all stocks always carried in large quantities and ready to replenish the wares on display on various floors. To the rear of the top floor is the department of window trimmings, decorations and advertising under the able supervision of Mr. W. R. Chandler, who is quite an invaluable attach`e of this house. Between this department and the elevator entrances is the receiving room, for all merchandise to be opened, marked and distributed, and also a sample room for displays from which portions of Mr. Fountain's stocks are displayed, quite a consideration for the drummers with whom Mr. Fountain is such a favorite.
In all, Mr. Fountain has 22,500 feet of selling space, and has 80 feet of front window display. Two elevators, passenger and freight, installed by the Otis Elevator Company, make shopping a keener pleasure at his store. In the rear, he has converted a covered concrete driveway for deliveries and auto shed room. In fact, throw your lamps all over the place, and it will take some thinker to find anything the least noticeable by its absence.
On this delightful opening day, Mr. Fountain had a dedicatory service, which was auspicious and appropriate. The services were presided over by Dr. Jos. Rennie, who delivered the able dedicatory address. Most of the local clergymen took part in the exercises. Mayor G. L. Ray spoke for the City of Greenwood at large, and the best of the city churches rendered acceptable selections. Music throughout the day was furnished by the local Big Six Orchestra, selections being rendered at the dedicatory service, during the afternoon while the living models were exhibited, and during the evening when the program was happily completed. Dainty souvenirs were given to all Mr. Fountain's guests, the Jap teapots for the ladies, pencils for the men, and the indescribable balloon for the kidlets.
The attendance upon the opening was significantly expressive of the appreciation by the shopping interests of the city of the faith this popular, successful and progressive citizen has placed in the futures of Greenwood and Leflore County.
From the Greenwood Commonwealth, September 25, 1914
The beautiful new U. S. Flag, which so gracefully on top of Mr. Fountain's handsome new store building was presented to him by Mr. Ed Murden, our progressive and enterprising bill poster. This pretty flag is one of the best made, measuring 8 x 16 feet, and was hoisted last Tuesday and is admired by one and all. She was made to order by the U. S. Tent & Awning Co., and Mr. Fountain appreciates very highly the kindness of Mr. Murden in making him this magnificent present.
From the Greenwood Daily Commonwealth, September 25, 1914
John Fisher and Alberta Watson, colored, were married last Monday afternoon at 6 o'clock on the balcony in Fountain's Big Busy Store-Dr. Joseph Rennie, pastor of the First Presbyterian Church of this city officiating.
John Fisher is a faithful porter in Mr. Fountain's big store and is well thought of by the white people generally, and they unite in extending him and his bride congratulations and best wishes upon their marriage.
Quite a large crowd of both white and colored people was present to witness the wedding.
From The Greenwood Commonwealth, July 28, 1916
Mr. W. T. Fountain will construct a new addition to his store building on the south side of his present structure. The new building will be thirty five feet wide and will be a three story structure. New departments will be added to the store and will be located in this new addition.
From the Commonwealth, May 14, 1919
Greenwood's Most Universally Beloved
Citizen Died At His Home
Sunday Morning At 1:30
The death of Mr. W. T. Fountain at his home in this city Sunday morning, October 26th, 1919, at 1:30 o'clock, has cast a pall of gloom over Greenwood and Leflore County because in his passing away, the city and county have lost decidedly their most universally beloved and useful citizen.
Mr. Fountain was in the 56th year of his age, about thirty years of which he had lived in his adopted Greenwood home, having moved here from the state of Maryland, where he was born and reared-and no man ever made a more useful citizen in all the walks of life.
He was generous and big-hearted, upright and honorable in all dealings with his fellow man, sympathetic and responsive to every call from the sick, distressed and destitute-no appeal for assistance ever leaving him empty handed; his friendship was of the most loyal and sincere type; his devotion to his family and to his church was sublimely beautiful-so characteristic of his exemplary Christian life, which had endeared him to every man, woman and child who had the good fortune to know him.
Mr. Fountain was actively engaged in the mercantile business during his residence in Greenwood-beginning as a salesman, and finally rising to the prominence of being one of the leading and most successful high-class dry goods merchants in the State of Mississippi. However, the magnitude of his extensive mercantile business was never allowed to interfere with his civic, church and social duties. He had held many positions of trust in our city; was a ruling elder in the Presbyterian church; served fully twenty-five years as a superintendent of the Sunday School; always took a foremost part in every movement calculated to advance the material welfare and betterment of his city, county and state; and in all things performed those duties faithfully and effectively.
The editor of the Daily Commonwealth regrets his inability to find suitable words to adequately express how deeply we all feel the loss of this truly good and useful man.
Mr. Fountain is survived by a devoted wife and three sons, a brother and sister, and several half brothers and sisters-to each of whom we tender sincere condolences in this sad hour of their great affliction.
The funeral service was conducted by Dr. Joseph Rennie at the Presbyterian Church this morning at 10 o'clock, when the eloquent and able pastor paid a fitting tribute to the life and character of the deceased, and an appropriate musical program was rendered by the choir.
As a further testimonial of the high esteem in which he was held, the doors of every store, office and place of business of every description in the city were closed during the funeral hour and practically all of the owners and employees attended the church service. In addition to this, the volume of exquisite floral offerings was the largest ever seen in Greenwood on a similar occasion.
The church service was followed by interment at the I.O.O.F. Cemetery, the following acting as pallbearers:
Active-C. E. Wright, P. L. DeLoach. W. C. McBee, R. C.
Lipscomb, S. L. Gwin, S. R. Keesler, G. L. Ray, John Ashcraft.
Honorary-Tom Chapman, G. A. Wade, J. T. McCain, W. M.
Hamner, Dr. S. L. Brister, Dr. J. W. Barksdale, R. H.
Barrett, S. M. Wilsford
From The Commonwealth, October 29, 1919
"Santa Claus ain't got no more toys left in his work shop", one little boy exclaimed as he viewed the display in Fountain's window this morning, and gazed in wonderment at the electric trains, the fire wagons, and the other Christmas things which are attractively displayed in the window.
The window display is one of the most complete and attractive shown at Christmas time in Greenwood, and has proved a mecca for the youngsters, both boys and girls, since it was arranged yesterday.
From The Greenwood Daily Commonwealth, November 28, 1925
Greenwood people point with pride to Fountain's store- and justly so, for this store stands out distinctly-and is acknowledged by the mercantile world to be the finest and most successful merchandising store in the entire Delta.
Founded thirty-six years ago by the late W. T. Fountain as a small store located where the Barry & Brewer Insurance office is now located, this little business by the fair methods that were inseparable from the ideals of this pioneer merchant, W. T. Fountain, grew and moved into the building where Barrett's Drug Store now stands. Increases business in a few years compelled Mr. Fountain to add the buildings occupied by the Postoffice Caf`e and the Shute and Pybas Barbershop.
The sincere and honest business policies of the store had become a byword in the Delta, and Fountain's needed more room, for the policies of the store brought their own reward in continually increasing business. In 1914, Fountain's moved into their own building especially erected to serve their needs-a building which is most pretentious and commodious now occupied by any department store in any city the size of Greenwood in the South. A few years later an annex was build corresponding in appearance with the main building and which afforded needed quarters for the men's store and the Soda room.
On October 26, 1919, the founder was taken from the store, which was his pride and joy, but the business has been successfully carried on with the same high ideals by his successors. The business was incorporated in 1921, as W. T. Fountain's Incorporated, but it is still known to it's thousands of customers as Fountain's, a name that has fulfilled every promise of it's founder, and which stands at the forefront of merchandising in the Delta.
As occasion demanded, Fountain's has added department after department, until its three floors are filled with merchandise that fulfill the needs of the Greenwood trading area. It's thirty-six years of existence has brought to Fountain's a merited confidence of the buying public-and it's good will of the Delta, which joins the firm in celebrating it's anniversary.
From the Greenwood Commonwealth, June 6, 1938