JENNINGS (Fall River family). Several persons bearing the name Jennings (variously spelled) located in Massachusetts in its early settlement. Richard Jennings put himself as apprentice to Robert Bartlett, of Plymouth, in 1635, for a period of years. He is said to have lived at Sandwich, whence he moved to Bridgewater, and had a family of children. The Jennings family was long prominent and highly respected in the town of Sandwich, but in time became practically extinct there. Thomas Jennings was an early settler in Portsmouth, R. I. It is, however, the purpose to refer here to the special Fall River family of the name the head of which was the late William H. Jennings. The latter was a descendant in the seventh generation from John Jennings of Sandwich, Mass., from whom his descent is through Isaac, John, Isaac, Isaac and Andrew M. Jennings. These generations follow in the order named.
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John Jennings, of Sandwich. From the Sandwich records it is learned that Mr. John Jennings is mentioned in the list of freemen in 1702; and that by his wife Susanna his children were:
- A daughter (name illegible), born Sept. 17, 1668, who probably was Remember, who married Joseph Buck (his second wife), Sept. 20, 1686
- Anne Jennings, born 8th month, 17th, 1670
- John Jennings, born 3, 12, 1673
By wife Ruhamah
- A son (name illegible but probably Isaac), born July 3, 1677
- Elizabeth Jennings, born April 4, 1680, who died Sept. 13, 1682
- Samuel Jennings, born Feb. 28, 1684-85. (There is some speculation that John Jennings, above, was the son of Richard Jennings of Sandwich, who in 1635 apprenticed himself to Robert Bartlett, of Plymouth, for nine years; and that this Richard Jennings was the son of Thomas Jennings, of Portsmouth, Rhode Island).
Isaac Jennings, son of John, born July 3, 1677, married (first) July 10, 1700, Rose Goodspeed, who died Dec. 21, 1721, by whom he had:
- Elizabeth Jennings, born April 12, 1701, who married Isaac Howland
- Experience Jennings, born March 10, 1703, who married Josiah Ryder
- John Jennings, born July 31, 1706
- Rose Jennings, born in 1710, who married John Ellis, Jr.
- Isaac Jennings, born April 24, 1714
- Mary Jennings, born Sept. 1, 1717
- Benjamin Jennings, born Dec. 12, 1720
The father married (second) Hannah, and their children were:
- Hannah Jennings, born April 21, 1725
- Lois Jennings, born Feb. 7, 1727
- Eunice Jennings, born May 25, 1729
John Jennings, son of Isaac, born July 31, 1706, married Oct. 3, 1727, Anne Holway, and of their children, Avis, born April 11. 1730, is of Sandwich public record, and all others of Tiverton town record. The children were:
- Avis Jennings, born April 11, 1730
- Rose Jennings, March 24, 1732
- Anne Jennings, May 21, 1734
- Ruhama Jennings, May 6, 1736
- John Jennings, March 8, 1738
- Mary Jennings, Feb. 3, 1740
- Isaac Jennings, March 9, 1742
- Elizabeth Jennings, May 30, 1744
- Susannah Jennings, April 30, 1747
Of these John married Nov. 1, 1762, Deborah Stafford; and Isaac married Dec. 30, 1767, Ruth Estes. The latter was born Jan. 1, 1751, the daughter of Thomas and Elibabeth (Thomas) Estes, granddaughter of Robert Estes and great-granddaughter of Richard Estes, of Lynn, Massachusetts.
Isaac Jennings, son of John, born March 9, 1742, married Ruth Estes, and their children were:
- Daniel Jennings, who married Elizabeth Case
- Gideon Jennings
- Elizabeth Jennings, Mrs. Brownell
- Elisha Jennings, born May 11, 1782, who married Lydia Borden
- Isaac Jennings, born May 11, 1782
- Perry Jennings, born in May, 1785, who married Florana Perry
- Annie Jennings
Isaac Jennings, son of Isaac and Ruth, born May 11, 1782, married Oct. 5, 1805, Susan D. Cole. Their children were:
- Edward Jennings
- Andrew M. Jennings, who married Olive B. Chase (they were parents of Hon. Andrew J. Jennings, of Fall River)
- Elisha Jennings, who lived in California and who married and had two daughters, Emma (married George Ives, of San Francisco) and Jennie (Mrs. Seawright)
- Leonard Jennings, a sailor, who was lost at sea
- Eliza Jennings, who married Mr. Hall, of Wrentham
Edward Jennings, son of Isaac and Susan D. Jennings, married Betsey Palmer, born Dec. 6, 1806. Their children were:
- William Henry Jennings, born Feb. 20, 1831
- Joseph Jennings, who died aged four years
Family of William H. Jennings of Fall River, Massachusetts
William H. Jennings, son of Edward and Betsey (Palmer) Jennings, was born Feb. 20, 1831, in Fall River, Mass. He attended the public schools and. also a private school kept by George B. Stone, a noted teacher of the day, who afterward became the first principal of the Fall River high school. When thirteen years of age he entered the grocery store of Chester W. Greene, and in that and in the stores of Gray & Brownell and R. S. Gibbs & Co. he was occupied until the early sixties. He was then for a period in the employ of the Old Colony Railway Company, in adjusting land and other damages in connection with the extension of its road to Newport.
Believing he saw success in cotton manufacturing Mr. Jennings in 1866 organized the Merchants Manufacturing Company, securing through his efforts the $800,000 required in a couple of days, and erected what was long the largest mill under one roof in Fall River. Of this corporation he was chosen clerk and treasurer, and managed its affairs with marked success, until owing to failing health he was obliged to retire some few years prior to his death. In the meantime Mr. Jennings had become largely interested in the Globe Street Railway Company, of which he was president. He was also president of the Barnard Manufacturing Company and the Globe Yarn Mills and a director in the Wampanoag Mills, the Crystal Spring Bleaching & Dyeing Company, the Manufacturers Mutual Fire Insurance Company and the Metacomet National Bank. He had also entered actively into real estate operations, and with the late Hon. Robert T. Davis and the late Hon. Frank S. Stevens owned a large tract of land west of Broadway on which the Globe Yarn, Laurel Lake and the Sanford Spinning Mills and the Algonquin Printing Company’s plant were later erected.
The political affiliations of Mr. Jennings were with the Republican party. He served as an efficient member of the common council in 1857 and 1858, being president of that body in the latter year. Mr. Jennings united with the Central Congregational Church at Fall River and was deeply interested in its affairs. He served as a member of the building committee when the present edifice was erected. Mrs. Jennings is a member of the same church, as is her daughter, Mrs. Anthony.
On Dec. 24, 1863, Mr. Jennings was married to Annie Borden Chase, of Portsmouth, R. I., born Jan. 10, 1840, daughter of Borden and Elizabeth A. (Thomas) Chase, and to them were born children:
- Edward Borden Jennings, born Nov. 5, 1864, married Nov. 22, 1893, Anne L. Francis, and has two children, Edward Borden Jennings, Jr., born July 5, 1896, and Prescott Jennings, born Dec. 11, 1897. Edward B. Jennings is treasurer of the Samoset Company, of Valley Falls, R. I., and resides in Fall River.
- Annie Chase Jennings, born Nov. 7, 1866, married June 19, 1895, Arthur Anthony.
- William Henry Jennings, Jr., born July 15, 1868, is treasurer of the Algonquin Printing Company and the Webster Loom Harness Company
- Charles Joseph Jennings, born May 9, 1875, died March 31, 1877
Mr. Jennings through perhaps the twenty years of the most rapid growth of Fall River as a cotton manufacturing center, was actively and intimately associated with the industry, and was one of its recognized leaders, whose advice was freely sought. At the time of his death his associates on the various boards of directors of which he was a member said of him:
“His qualities of mind and character, in which energy, industry, sagacity, untiring perseverance and courage were tempered with that wise caution which restrained him within the limit of his resources – these early secured him an important position among his business associates and contributed largely to the origin and success of the important business enterprise in which he was engaged He contributed his full share to the growth and wealth of the city and to the comfort and convenience of its people.”
Mr. Jennings died at his home in Fall River, Mass., June 13, 1885.