Austin History Center

The Reverend I.J. Fontaine Papers

An Inventory of the Collection

Overview of the Collection

Creator: Fontaine, Rev. I.J. 1910—2003
Title: The Reverend I.J. Fontaine Papers
Inclusive Dates: 1878-2003
Bulk Dates: 1970-1995
Abstract: Correspondence, newspaper articles, newsletters, property records, photographs, flyers, church programs, sermons, obituaries, funeral programs, and other related documents that make up the collected office and personal files of the Reverend I.J. Fontaine. Some materials deal with Reverend Fontaine’s grandfather, Jacob Fontaine, while the bulk of the materials deal with Reverend Fontaine and his immediate family.
Identification: AR.2007.026
Quantity: .5 linear feet (1 box)
Language: The records are in English.
Repository: Austin History Center, Austin Public Library, 810 Guadalupe, PO BOX 2287, Austin, TX 78768

Biographical Note

Reverend Fontaine was an active community organizer and leader, and worked tirelessly for the documentation and recognition of the African-American historical legacy in Austin, Texas. He is responsible for the establishment of many historical landmark sites in and around Travis County, Texas, including several historical church sites, as well as the Clarksville Historical Marker. He was born on April 8, 1910, and died on August 19, 2003. He confessed religion under the Late Reverend J.C. Lott, and his first pastorate was in Waters Park, Texas, where he served as Pastor for St. Stephen’s Baptist Church, which his grandfather, the Late Reverend Jacob Fontaine, founded in 1890. He was best known as the Pastor Emeritus for the Fontaine Memorial Baptist Church of Austin, which he founded in 1962 and named in honor of his grandfather.

In 1983, Reverend Fontaine co-authored a book with Dr. Gene Burd of the University of Texas at Austin, entitled “From Slavery to the Greatness of the Pulpit, Press, Public Service,” which was an account of the life of his grandfather, who is perhaps best known as the founder of the First Baptist Church of Austin in 1867.

The AHC biographical file for Rev. I.J. Fontaine has been combined with the biographical file for his grandfather, Jacob Fontaine.

Scope and Contents

Correspondence, newspaper articles, newsletters, booklets, church programs, flyers, certificates, handbooks, sermons, pamphlets, speeches, funeral programs, photographs, property records, obituaries, and other related materials (1878—2003) created and maintained by the Reverend Fontaine, which describe in detail the large volume of work that he did for his church and his community over the course of his lifetime.


The collection has been divided into five series: I. Correspondence, II. Photographs, III. Property records, IV. Assorted records, and V. Printed matter.


Restrictions on Access

Open to all users

Restrictions on Use

None of the materials are fragile; however, reasonable care should be exercised while handling the materials.

Index Terms

This record series is indexed under the following controlled access subject terms.
Fontaine, Jacob, 1803-1898.
Pickle, Jake (James Jarrell, 1913-2005.
Fontaine Memorial Baptist Church.
First Baptist Church (Colored).
St. John Regular Missionary Baptist Association.
Mt. Zion Baptist Church.
New Hope Baptist Church.
Good Hope Baptist Church.
Sweet Home Baptist Church.
St. Stephen's Baptist Church.
Huston-Tillotson College Alumni Association.
The Most Worshipful Keystone Grand Lodge, A.F. & A.M. of Texas.
Sisters of the Eastern Star, Queen Josephine Grand Chapter.
Clarksville Historical Society.
Austin (Tex.)
Round Rock (Tex.)
Waters Park (Tex.)
Clarksville (Austin, Tex.)
African American Newspapers published in Austin.
African Americans.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Reverend I. J. Fontaine Papers (AR.2007.026). Austin History Center, Austin Public Library, Texas

Acquisition Information

Donor #: DO/1972/028

Donation Date: 2000

Detailed Description of the Collection


The correspondence series is comprised of letters, both hand and type written, either written by Reverend Fontaine to other correspondents, or by other correspondents to Reverend Fontaine. The subjects of these letters include political campaign support letters, letters to and from government officials concerning various historic sites, and letters of reference, written by others on behalf of Reverend Fontaine
Box Folder
1 1 Correspondence, 1960-2000
2 Correspondence, 1920s; ca. 1996


This series includes copies of photographs, either of stand-alone photographs, or of photographs associated with newspaper articles.
Box Folder
1 3 Photographs, 1916-1984

Property Records

This series is comprised of deeds of sale concerning various properties whose sale was of interest to the Reverend Fontaine, including one record which documents the sale of a land parcel owned by President Lyndon B. Johnson.
Box Folder
1 4 Property records, 1896-1945

Assorted material

Box Folder
1 5 Assorted material

Printed Material

This series is comprised of various articles concerning church history (including articles on his grandfather, Jacob Fontaine,) community and church activities, historical marker dedications, and achievement recognition, as well as articles which concern friends and family members of the Reverend Fontaine, and their various activities. It also contains a wide range of printed ephemera which documents either the activities and events of Reverend Fontaine's life, or activities and events in the lives of his family and friends. Examples include church dedication ceremonies, Masonic annual events, funerals, award certificates given to Reverend Fontaine in recognition of various acts of service, sermons, speeches, and advertisement flyers which promote these various events. This series also contains obituaries belonging to either friends or family members of the Reverend Fontaine, as well as copies of individual pages from various books that were part of the Reverend Fontaine's files.
Box Folder
1 6 Printed matter, 1878-2003
7 Printed matter, 1878-2003
8 Printed matter, 1878-2003
9 Printed matter, 1878-2003
10 Printed matter, 1878-2003