Rebecca Matilda Williams Fenn

was the wife of John Rutherford Fenn

Mrs Fenn has a long line of distinguished ancestors, some of whom are buried in Westminster Abby. They are also connected with the Coddingtons and Randolphs, of Virginia.  Mrs Fenn was a great granddaughter of General Nathaniel Randalph, who served on the staff of General Lafayette during the Revolutionary war, also great granddaughter of Ezekiel Ayers, who also served with distinction in the colonial army. Her grandfather, Isaac Williams, served for some time as Colonial Governor of the province of Mississippi. An uncle, Governor Henry Johnson, was governor of Louisiana and a member of the United States Senate.



Special Train Will Convey Body to Duke Station This Morning.


From the International and Great Northern depot at 8:30 o’clock this morning will depart the special train bearing the mortal body of Mrs. Rebecca Williams Fenn. The interment will occur at Duke Station and the immediate friends and relatives will form the sad party that will participate in the last and rites paid to the memory of the departed.


The following will act as pall bearers; Honorary T. W. House, W. P. Hamblin, C. P. Shearn, N. G. Kittrell, S. Taliaferro, Frank Andrews, William B. King, O. L. Cochran, Active, W. D. Cleveland, Jr., E. O. Reynaud, W. N. Brown, E. W. Armstrong, M. P. Geiselman, T. H. Franklin, C. W. Welch and Nat Ewing.


Death occurred  Friday evening at 8:05 o’clock of Mrs. Fenn, widow of the late John R. Fenn, and one of the noble and patriotic women of Texas. Her death was not unexpected, but was nevertheless a great grief to her family, all of whom were present except Joe Fenn, who is in Central America. Mrs. Fenn was born at Woodvile, Miss., July 19, 1835. Her parents were Mr. Daniel Williams and Mrs. Ann Fitz Randolph (Ayers) Williams.  A great granddaughter of General Nathaniel Randolph, a lieutenant and aide-de-camp on the staff of General Lafayette during the war of the revolution, and also a granddaughter of Ezekiel Ayers, who also served with distinction in the continental army. Her grandfather, Isaac Williams, was one of the pioneers of the province of Mississippi, of which he served for some time. She came to Texas  a girl in 1846 and was married when about 17 years old in 1852 to John R. Fenn, whose death occurred here about three years ago, shortly of the celebration of their golden wedding, which was a big event in this section of Texas. Her life was an eventful one, as was that of all the pioneers of Texas. She leaves F. M. Ottis Fenn of Fort Bend County, Mrs. J. J. McKeever and Miss Bell Fenn of this city [Houston, Texas] and Joe Fenn, now in Central America, also a brother, Ed J. Williams of Fort Bend County and three grandsons, Rutherford, John and Joseph.


The burial will take place Sunday at the old home near Duke, Station, where her marriage took place in 1852, and where now rest the remains of her late husband, to whom she was a wife in the most sacred and the fullest sense of the word. She was a member of the Presbyterian Church and fulfilled the requirements of its teachings in the most complete significance of their meaning. She was a member of the San Jacinto chapter, Daughters of the Republic  of Texas, and was entitled by ancestry to belong to several patriotic national and state organizations.


The funeral service, conducted by Rev. R. E. Vincent, will be held at the family residence, 1117 Bell Avenue, at 7:30  this morning and the remains will then be taken to the International and Great Northern depot from whence a special train will depart at 8:30 o’clock bearing the funeral party. [July, 1905]

Rebecca Matilda Williams Fenn's dad was Daniel Williams,

Her mother was Ann Fitz Randolph Ayers Williams.

Her two brothers fought in the Civil War, and both of them died in the Federal prisoner-of-war Camp at Fort Butler in Illinois. There names were Joseph Smith Williams and Johnson Coddington Williams.

Her brother Edwin Josiah is mentioned in the 1914 article to the right.

The fate of her sister Annie is not known.


The ancestery of Rebecca Matilda Williams Fenn is explained in the book A HISTORY OF TEXAS AND TEXANS, by Frank White Johnson 1799-1884 on pages 1547 & 1548, published by Chicago, American Historical Society, 1914. Click anywhere on this writing to open page 1547.

Above is an address found in the 1866 City of Houston Directory




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