The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 8, July 1904 - April, 1905 Page: 261
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John R. Penn.
On November 23, 1904, the family circle was broken, John R.
Fenn then being called by the All Wise Father to leave the scenes
of his eighty years of service on earth.
The last sad scenes are described by the Houston Post of Novem-
ber 25th, as follows:
As announced, the funeral services of Captain John R. Fenn were
held at the family residence, 1117 Bell avenue, with Rev. William
Hayne Leavell of the First Presbyterian church as officiating min-
ister, at 9 o'clock a. m. yesterday. The floral tributes were many
A fragrant, snowy star, from the San Jacinto chapter, Daughters
of the Republic of Texas, reposed upon the casket of the old Texas
At the conclusion of the services at the home the family and
friends drove to the depot, where at 10 o'clock, through the kind-
ness of Mr. T. W. House, a special train was secured from Mr.
Leroy Trice of the International and Great Northern railway to
convey the funeral party to and from Duke, the railroad station of
his ranch and plantation. Permission was kindly granted by the
Sugarland Railway company to run this train over their track from
Arcola Junction to Duke.
When the train arrived at Duke it was met by Mr. Fenn's friends
and neighbors, who had gathered to pay the last honors to one they
had known and esteemed so long. These friends had brought enough
vehicles to accommodate the funeral party; the family carriage and
driver having been sent overland from Houston for the widow to
occupy in this last sad journey.
Before starting to the old family burying ground, where the
mother of the deceased was buried years ago, a short halt was made
and the casket carried into Mr. Fenn's house at Duke to permit the
family servants and the plantation hands, some of whom have been
in the family five generations, to gaze once more at the placid coun-
tenance of their sleeping master. It was an affecting sight to see
these old darkies file by the casket in respectful silence, but with
tears streaming down their faces as they passed out from the dearly
loved presence of "old marse." There was also in this occasion the
widow's brother, Mr. Edwin J. Williams, and Judge W. P. Ham-
blen, who were present at the marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Fenn in
1852, and also attended their golden wedding celebration in 1902.
Arriving at the appointed spot, a short service of reading and
prayer was conducted by Dr. Leavell, after which loving hands cov-
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Texas State Historical Association. The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 8, July 1904 - April, 1905, periodical, 1905; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101033/m1/268/: accessed July 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.