A 1917 report on R.A. Fountain

Fountain & Company, General Merchandise, Cotton Buyers – Livestock Dealers

published in the Farmville Enterprise, June 8, 1917, page 6

by A. Frank Eason

This is the largest and oldest mercantile firm in town and the second largest in Pitt County. They occupy a modern, commodious building of brick construction, designed and arranged especially for their business, having moved into these quarters only a few months ago. This building affords more than fourteen thousand square feet of floor space, without taking into account the firm’s ample warehouses. A $25,000 stock is carried, which includes everything for the farm, to eat and wear, and they are doing $100,000 business per year. The business was established in 1901 and has grown up with the town of which it is now so important an integral part.

Having been in business here for fifteen years, the management of this store is well acquainted with the wants and requirements of the people of this section, and its goods are selected with the end in view of meeting these wants and requirements, with the result of general satisfaction all around. That the store has the confidence of the people to an unusual degree is proven by the fact that some of its customers of today are the same people who have been trading there since the establishment of the business.

There are five employees in the store, and one is always assured of getting courteous and considerate treatment when trading there. Besides this, it is an established fact that Fountain and Company “know no favorites,” and that a square deal and fair treatment will be accorded all who give the store their patronage. No wonder, then, that this establishment has been gaining steadily in patronage for many years, and occupies today a leading position in the mercantile houses of the county, and State. In addition to the mercantile business, Fountain and Company are cotton buyers and fertilizer dealers on an extensive scale, also livestock dealers.

R. A. Fountain, manager of the business, is one of Pitt County’s most substantial merchants. He takes an active part in the affairs of the community, and is at present on the Board of Town Commissioners. Mr. Fountain is a public-spirited citizen, keely interested in the welfare of the community and always ready and willing to actively support any movement looking towards progress and prosperity. Both he and his cousin, J. L. Fountain, the partner in the firm, are natives of Edgecombe County.

J. L. Fountain, who lives in Raleigh, has large land interests in the State, owning farms in three or four counties, and is regarded as one of our most substantial and conservative citizens.