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photo of Jacob Fontaine

Jacob Fontaine, PICB 02905
Fontaine must be considered one of the founding fathers of Travis County's Black community. —J.J. Pickle

In 1867, after emancipation, Reverend Jacob Fontaine founded the First Baptist Church (Colored) on the same property where the Austin History Center now sits. He went on to found six churches in Central Texas and helped to organize the St. John Missionary Baptist Association. In addition to his sacred calling, he worked as a janitor, operated a grocery, a laundry, and owned a book and medicine store. He became very active in politics during Reconstruction, and in 1876, he founded The Gold Dollar, one of the first black newspapers in the South. His family continued his newspaper and church work after his death. His grandson founded the Fontaine Memorial Baptist Church in 1962, and graciously gave us copies of family papers and photos for use in our exhibit.

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