Fountain Head

by Walter T. Durham
From Old Sumner, A History of Sumner County, Tennessee, From 1805 to 1861.
Reprinted with permission.

Settlement of Fountain Head began in the area around the farm owned by Dr. James MCKENDREE, brother of Bishop William MCKENDREE of the Methodist Church. Another prominent Methodist family located nearby was that of Abram MARTIN, formerly a Methodist minister in Virginia, who had moved with his family to Sumner County in 1809. MARTIN was actively engaged in farming and served as a local preacher. One of his sons, Dr. Peter MARTIN, whose wife was Mary WASHINGTON, daughter of Fairfax WASHINGTON of Virginia and a cousin of President George Washington, lived in the neighborhood.
Another of MARTIN's sons, Thomas, who was born in 1799 in Charlottesville, Virginia, left Sumner County in 1818 and settled in Pulaski, Tennessee. Thomas MARTIN became a close friend of James K. POLK and "was offered the position of United State Treasurer by POLK when he became President" but declined the honor. A railroad president and banker, MARTIN contributed the original $30,000 endowment to found the Martin College and was responsible for its becoming property of the Tennessee Conference of the Methodist Church. The school, originally a female college, became coeducational after the Tennessee Conference acquired it in 1909. Prior to that time it was operated by trustees elected by the First Methodist Church of Pulaski. Fountain Head's earliest settlers who include the family of Henry SARVER, who was born in Alsace-Lorraine in 1742, and who had sett! led near the MCKENDREE farm in 1805. SARVER's brother John followed him to Sumner County from Virginia three years later.

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