Descendants of Captain Arthur Fenner

Sally Fenner & Phillip Angell


Sally Fenner [b ca. Dec. 1794; d 13 Apr 1840, age of 45, in Simmonsville, Johnston, Providence Co., RI] m Phillip Angell [b 27 Dec 1789 in Scituate, Providence Co., RI; d 13 Apr 1840], son of Benjamin Angell. Sally, Phillip, and four children (Benjamin, Emerly, Phillip, Sally) drowned in the flood at Simmonsville on 13 April 1840, on the Pocasset River. 

Johnston Historical Society Newsletter, Vol. 2, No. 4, March 1986: 

"Simmonsville Flood and Its Victims"
by Louis H. McGowan

Simmonsville today is a rather sleepy village, much the same as it has been for the past 140-odd years. In the 1840s, though, it was a bustling community with many dozens of people working in its textile mills. A prosperous future would have been predicted for this area, but a severe local rainstorm forever changed the fortunes of Simmonsville. On April 11th and 12th, 1840, a strong rain fell continuously for more than twenty-four hours. ... Following the steady, heavy rain, the water level rose to such a height behind the upper dam (not the present Upper Simmonsville Reservoir) that the dam gave way on the morning of April 13th. This meant a torrent of water eleven feet high was now cascading down to the smaller and much weaker lower dam. It broke through easily and the water struck the village. Several houses, a store, a block printing shop, a machine shop, and the 1822 textile mill were all destroyed. Worse than the destruction of property was the loss of life. The Whittemore family had lived in the village for only thirteen days before the storm. Eight of them drowned. Six members of the Angell family also perished. Eighteen people in all died, making this flood the most deadly of its type in the state's history.


  1. Fenner [b ca. 1814 in Scituate, Providence Co., RI]. 
  2. Tabatha Ann [b 7 May 1815; d 18 Aug. 1846].
  3. Charles. Drowned at sea.
  4. Sally Ann [b ca. 1818; d 13 Apr. 1840, in Simmonsville, Johnston, Providence Co., RI] m Abner Rogers.
  5. Phillip A. [b 8 Aug. 1820; d 13 Apr. 1840, age 19, in Simmonsville, Johnston, Providence Co., RI].
  6. William [b ca. 1822].
  7. Maria [b 17 Aug. 1826; d 26 Nov. 1836, age 10]. 
  8. Susan [b 26 Aug. 1833; d 26 Nov. 1836, age 3]. 
  9. Emerly A. [b 5 Feb. 1834; d 13 Apr. 1840, age 6].
  10. Benjamin [b 8 May 1836; d 13 Apr. 1840, age 3]. 

Arthur | Arthur | Edward | Arthur | Robert | Sally

a. A biography of Philip, including a list of his and Sally's children, is given in Genealogy of the Descendants of Thomas Angell Who Settled in Providence, 1636 (, New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2012).
b. James N. Arnold, Johnston Gravestones, 1890s (manuscript listing of all stones standing in the 1890s), R.I. Hist. Soc.
c. "Awful Calamity," Providence Journal, 14 April 1840, p. 2.
d. Richard M. Bayles, History of Providence County, Rhode Island (New York, 1891), pp. 804-806.
e. Find A Grave Memorial #20302188
f. Material from Tom Bowen, 30 June 2015.