Marlborough st

The William G. Browning House


In 1879 William G. Browning purchased a lot of land 104 ft. deep and 84 ft. wide along the west side of the street and built the house at 41 Marlborough Street. This large house measures 38 x 24 ft. and is 3 stories high, with an impressive row or bay of 6 windows across the front. The building was originally a 2-family house, but after 1910 the Sanborn atlases show it simply as a dwelling. Today it is an apartment house and has 18 rooms and 1,884 sq. ft. of living space.

William Greene Browning (1840-1894), was the son of Samuel Kenyon & Mary (Greene) Browning of Richmond, RI. He was named after his grandfather William W. Greene. He married Phebe Arnold (Fitts) Browning (1848-1901) daughter of Levi Nathaniel & Phebe (Arnold) Fitts. William & Phebe had four sons who lived to adulthood: William Arnold Browning (1872-1929), Walter Greene Browning (1874-1957), Howard Fitts Browning (1878-1926), and Frederick M. Browning (1888-1971). Frederick served in World War I and II, as a captain in the Infantry. The Browning family is probably best known in EG history as the owners of “Brownings” an upscale home furnishings store, first at 112 Main St. (in a building they erected), at the corner of King St., and later at 50 Main Street. My wife and I still have an end table which we bought there in the 1970s. William died in 1894, and in 1906 his widow Phebe sold the Marlborough St. house to their 2 older sons William and Walter and their wives.

William A. Browning married Isabel (Sprague) Browning (1869-1950) daughter of Ethan Russell & Ann (Redfern) Sprague. Walter G. Browning married Abby Peora (Taber) Browning, daughter of Amasa Peleg & Peora T. (Jencks) Taber. In 1910 William is the proprietor of a hardware business. The same year Walter was a buyer at a department store in Denver, CO. The two brothers and their wives sold the house in 1906 to Clarissa D. Kenyon.

Clarissa Danford (Nichols) Kenyon (1832-1916) was born in East Greenwich, the daughter Charles S. & Eunice (Spencer) Nichols. The Spencer and Nichols families were both among the original settlers of East Greenwich in 1677. She married John Russell Kenyon (1834-1899), born in Richmond, RI, son of Thomas E. & Elizabeth N. (Austin) Kenyon. John was a farmer in 1870 and 1875. Clarissa died in 1916 but left no will. Her heirs-at-law were her surviving children: John H. Kenyon (1858-1937), Frank Thomas Kenyon (1860-1931), Eunice N. (Kenyon) Walton (1862-1930) and Solomon Hoxie Kenyon (1866-1932). These heirs sold the property in 1923 to Frank L. & Margaret Stanton.

Frank Leonard Stanton was born at Clarksville, NH in 1880, the son of Charles Hiram & Lunviva (Smith) Stanton, (sometimes called Luna). He and his sister Frances were twins. They had a brother 2-years-older named Fred, which must have caused some confusion with 3 such similar names. Frank married Margaret Stanton (1883-1957) who was born in England and emigrated in 1888. They had no children. Frank worked in East Greenwich as a pressman at a color factory in 1910, and a laborer at the chemical factory in 1920. The Stantons owned the property from 1923 until 1962, nearly 40 years. In the 1951-52 school census Arthur W. & Beatrice S. Plumley, both born in 1921, were the only residents in this large house, no doubt renting an apartment. Arthur was a World War II veteran and served in the Pacific on the aircraft carrier USS Hornet (CV-12). 

Frank Stanton survived his wife Margaret and sold the property in 1962. The owners since 1962 have been: Peter J. & Patricia R. Sutherland, 1962-1971; David F. & Merle L. Giuliano, 1971-76; Bruce Ahmadjian, 1976-84 (Bruce also purchased and remodeled the old Main Street Garage at 333 Main Street); Novius Associates (Deborah Ann Malachowski and Richard A. Iannazzi, General partners), 1984-95 (Novius Associates also was involved in the late 1980s and early 1990s with the initial remodeling the old Elms Tavern Building at 378 Main St.); East Greenwich Academy Foundation, 1995-2003); Westbay Community Action, Inc., 2003-17, and the current owner, the East Greenwich Housing Authority since 2017.

Bruce MacGunnigle is the East Greenwich Town Historian. He can be reached at His book “Strolling in Historic East Greenwich” is available at the Green Door, 130 Main Street.


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