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Annie Burr Jennings

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Annie Burr Jennings

Birth
San Francisco, San Francisco County, California, USA
Death
27 Jul 1939 (aged 83)
Fairfield, Fairfield County, Connecticut, USA
Burial
Fairfield, Fairfield County, Connecticut, USA Add to Map
Memorial ID
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Sometimes called “First Lady of Fairfield,” Annie Burr Jennings was a lifelong benefactress of the town, whose philanthropic and progressive spirit shaped modern Fairfield. She participated in many committees and organizations that improved the quality of life for residents of the town. Along with her brother Oliver Gould Jennings, she was instrumental in the founding of the Fairfield Memorial Library and the Fairfield Historical Society. She donated acres of land for the establishment of Jennings Beach, the first Fairfield High School (now Tomlinson Middle School), the CT Audubon Society in Fairfield on Unquowa Road, and the Fairfield American Legion Post on Reef Road. In 1921 she donated the fir tree on the Town Green that is the site of an annual town holiday celebration.

“Miss Annie,” as she was affectionately known, was born in San Francisco, CA, on 20 September 1855, a daughter of Ester Judson Goodsell and Oliver Burr Jennings, one of the original stockholders of the Standard Oil Company. Throughout her life she was keenly interested in promoting patriotism and historic preservation. She was one of 16 women who in 1894 founded the Eunice Dennie Burr Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution in Fairfield, CT. She was a granddaughter of Anna Burr and sea captain Abraham Gould Jennings, great granddaughter of Abigail Gould and Isaac Jennings, and great great granddaughter of Elizabeth Burr and Lt. Col. Abraham Gould. During the Revolutionary War, Lt. Col. Gould served under Col. Gold S. Silliman of the Fourth Regiment Connecticut Line and was mortally wounded at the Battle of Ridgefield, Danbury Alarm, on April 26, 1777.

When Miss Annie determined that something needed to be done, she did it. She was active in state and national organizations, such as the Ladies of Mount Vernon, the Colonial Dames, the CT Audubon Society, and the Fairfield chapters of the Red Cross and the National Consumers League. During World War I she paid for a flag pole on the Town Green to display an American flag, bought, equipped, and shipped an ambulance for American soldiers in France, and adopted an orphaned French girl.

Miss Annie’s Fairfield estate, which stretched from the Old Post Road to Long Island Sound, was named Sunnie-Holme. It was the site of many social affairs, luncheons, teas, and costume parties, and its rose gardens attracted thousands of tourists each summer. She wintered at 48 Park Avenue and was part of the New York City social scene, and, although she certainly enjoyed the life of independence and leisure that vast wealth afforded her, was opposed to woman suffrage, leading the anti-suffrage movement in Fairfield. A distant relative to Vice President Aaron Burr, she made large contributions to Yale University and was an avid Bulldog fan. At the time of her death in 1939 she was honorary chair of the Tercentenary Committee, organized to celebrate the 300th anniversary of the founding of Fairfield.
Contributor: Jeanne Stevens (47795852)
Sometimes called “First Lady of Fairfield,” Annie Burr Jennings was a lifelong benefactress of the town, whose philanthropic and progressive spirit shaped modern Fairfield. She participated in many committees and organizations that improved the quality of life for residents of the town. Along with her brother Oliver Gould Jennings, she was instrumental in the founding of the Fairfield Memorial Library and the Fairfield Historical Society. She donated acres of land for the establishment of Jennings Beach, the first Fairfield High School (now Tomlinson Middle School), the CT Audubon Society in Fairfield on Unquowa Road, and the Fairfield American Legion Post on Reef Road. In 1921 she donated the fir tree on the Town Green that is the site of an annual town holiday celebration.

“Miss Annie,” as she was affectionately known, was born in San Francisco, CA, on 20 September 1855, a daughter of Ester Judson Goodsell and Oliver Burr Jennings, one of the original stockholders of the Standard Oil Company. Throughout her life she was keenly interested in promoting patriotism and historic preservation. She was one of 16 women who in 1894 founded the Eunice Dennie Burr Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution in Fairfield, CT. She was a granddaughter of Anna Burr and sea captain Abraham Gould Jennings, great granddaughter of Abigail Gould and Isaac Jennings, and great great granddaughter of Elizabeth Burr and Lt. Col. Abraham Gould. During the Revolutionary War, Lt. Col. Gould served under Col. Gold S. Silliman of the Fourth Regiment Connecticut Line and was mortally wounded at the Battle of Ridgefield, Danbury Alarm, on April 26, 1777.

When Miss Annie determined that something needed to be done, she did it. She was active in state and national organizations, such as the Ladies of Mount Vernon, the Colonial Dames, the CT Audubon Society, and the Fairfield chapters of the Red Cross and the National Consumers League. During World War I she paid for a flag pole on the Town Green to display an American flag, bought, equipped, and shipped an ambulance for American soldiers in France, and adopted an orphaned French girl.

Miss Annie’s Fairfield estate, which stretched from the Old Post Road to Long Island Sound, was named Sunnie-Holme. It was the site of many social affairs, luncheons, teas, and costume parties, and its rose gardens attracted thousands of tourists each summer. She wintered at 48 Park Avenue and was part of the New York City social scene, and, although she certainly enjoyed the life of independence and leisure that vast wealth afforded her, was opposed to woman suffrage, leading the anti-suffrage movement in Fairfield. A distant relative to Vice President Aaron Burr, she made large contributions to Yale University and was an avid Bulldog fan. At the time of her death in 1939 she was honorary chair of the Tercentenary Committee, organized to celebrate the 300th anniversary of the founding of Fairfield.
Contributor: Jeanne Stevens (47795852)


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