Peg Leg Bates
As our hometown hero and repeat guest on The Ed Sullivan show, Clayton “Peg Leg” Bates (1907-1998) is Fountain Inn's claim to fame. A true believer and symbol of strength Clayton Bates mangled his left leg in a cotton-seed oil mill accident when just twelve years old. After having the leg amputated on his kitchen table at home, and armed with a wooden leg carved by his uncle, Bates resolved to continue dancing, and grew to become a professional tap dancer. Bates went on to dance on with such top billed names of tap as Bill “Bojangles” Robinson, Fred Astaire, and Gene Kelley. Inducted into the Tap Dance Hall of Fame in 2005, Clayton “Peg Leg” Bates has left a legacy to be admired by all.