Trip to Our Father’s Home Town
It was the Sunday in our town of a big walk-a-thon to raise money for a worthy cause. But I was oblivious to all the streets being blocked off around us for the walking event. I was on the Internet searching information about a little town called Fountain Run, Kentucky. Five miles above the border with Tennessee. An area that was torn with loyalties during the Civil War. It is the area my father’s side of the family is from.
My brother and I decided it was time to visit our family gravesites in Fountain Run and maybe the overgrown cemetery near Flippin, Kentucky called the Fraim Cemetery.
We lived close to the downtown area of our town outside the outer belt of our city by maybe five miles. In the area of one of the great, growing metropolitan cities in the nation. Loudspeakers were blaring away young, hip hop music only a block or so from our home. It drew the attention of my black greyhound when I took her for our daily walk up to the little downtown park in our town. One of the largest walks for charity in the nation, I understand.
But my mind was already so much in the hills of southern Kentucky and the history of a family named Fraim in a county of Kentucky called Monroe. In the 1800s and 1900s and the 2000s. And now, October of 2019.
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The trip is a month away and I plan it to my first real so-called “pilgrimage” to the graves of my father and grandfather. This seems important for a few reasons. One is that I have never visited my father’s grave while I’ve visited my mother’s grave a number of times. It also seems important in that this side of my family seemed somewhat buried under my mother’s Berry family. In the memory of most, the Berry family (my mother’s family) is so much more documented.
The Fraim side of the family is little known. At least, little known in the minds of relatives of the Fraim family around the nation right now.
Anyway, much research on this Sunday as the walk-a-thon passed by outside. It was a day full of fascinating information and photos of old family members.
So far, all put into a PDF file just put together today. A plan for visiting the area in Kentucky my father’s side of the family is from.
Downtown Fountain Run
They lived in a type of Twilight Zone, boundary line in their time. So close to the Confederacy line in Tennessee during the Civil War. Many inhabitants of Fountain Run and Monroe County had slaves but still agree with the Union cause of Lincoln. Below, a piece of stuff I’ve downloaded on the Fraim’s in Kentucky today:
“John Fraim was born in Jackson (Clay) County, Tennessee in 1813. He moved to Monroe County 25 years before the Civil War began and had obtained about 1,000 acres of land on Indian Creek near Flippin. At the outbreak of the war he owned 30 slaves but was bitterly opposed to secession. In order to help the Union cause, he went to Indiana to get 300 rifles and offered one to every person who would fight for President Lincoln. Fraim thus recruited the Ninth Kentucky Infantry and camped the men on his farm. They named the site Camp Anderson. He took his recruits to Columbia for mustering in; there he was captured by Confederate troops and taken as a prisoner to Nashville. After being interrogated he was released and on his way, home was shot in the breast by guerillas. After falling to the ground one of the guerillas placed a revolver near his head to finish him off. But in the dark Fraim moved his head a little to one side and the shot missed. Feigning death, Fraim made his way to a house in Jamestown (Fountain Run) where he was carefully tended and, in a few days, given a Union escort to Glasgow, Kentucky by Colonel Graham. Camp Anderson was used as a rendezvous by Union forces, and as a place for drill and instruction during the early months of the war. It became a primary target for Confederate troops and was eventually taken by Colonel S. S. Stanton who captured and burned Camp Anderson in October 1861, shortly after it had been evacuated by Union soldiers. The 9th KY Infantry would eventually take part in the Battles of Shiloh, Stones River, Chickamauga, Chattanooga, & Kenesaw Mountain.”
My life so far doesn’t match the exploits of my relative above. But maybe they are similar to these in a new way, without consciously trying to do this? The closeness to the Civil War border of their town? Contributing to the psychology of the Fraim side of the family? A certain conflict between loyalties? Living within a zone between other zones. A zone yet to define itself as a zone.
See the video from our trip My Old Kentucky Home.
(The results of this first day of exploring Fraim genealogy in Kentucky. Fraim Geneology. First pass on all of this. Before our trip to Fountain Run. Not sure what will be done after this. Just a basic collection of info here. Some of the truth. Certainly, not all of it. A beginning to knowing my father’s side of the family. Something I’ve never really attempted to do before.)