10 Porter Road

Architectural Description: 

Craftsman style -

Historical Narrative: 

10 Porter Road – Towle House

The property was purchased by Margaret Grindell Towle, wife of John A. Towle on Oct. 8, 1906. The house was built in 1907 and a second lot adjoining was purchased on May 14, 1909. The corner lot at Porter & Hidden Roads contained five acres.

AT – May 10, 1907 – Scotland District – A gang of Italians are at work on the foundation of the house being built by Mr. Towle of Haverhill, on the Abbott estate, Porter Rd.

AT- July 12, 1907 William Knipe has been awarded the contract for the plumbing in the palatial residence in course of construction for John A. A. Towle on Porter Road.

The landscaping plan May 1907 was done by the Olmstead Brothers of Brookline, MA. The 1920 Valuation Schedule lists John A. Towle – Porter Rd. House $16,000, barn $2000, 5 acres $5000 = $23,000 assessment.

The carriage house was completed by 1910 and is now the home at 33 Hidden Road. The design followed the same Prairie School style of architecture as the house. Popular from 1890-1930, this architectural style was more commonly found in the mid-western United States. Only a few examples exist in Andover.

John Alfred Towle was born August 8, 1859, a twin to Annie L, in Kingston, NH, son of Alfred & Susan Maria Gale. John entered the shoe manufacturing business in 1892 with the Gale Bros. Inc. of Exeter, NH, makers of women’s McKay shoes. Gale Brothers, Inc. had a business office in Boston at 215 Essex St, with factories in Exeter, NH, Haverhill and Chelsea, MA. John married on Dec. 14, 1882 in Portland, ME to Margaret Grindell b. April 13, 1863 in Bucksport, Maine. They lived in Haverhill, MA prior to building their home in Andover. John & Margaret had three children of which only Gerald b. April 21, 1896 in Haverhill, survived. Margaret spent the August and September of 1914 in France and England, helping for relief of English soldiers. She returned in the summer of 1920 to do the same, co-operating with Lady Stanley in her relief work.

John Towle died in Andover on March 19, 1932. Margaret remained in her home and died on Oct. 22, 1960. Their son Gerald married Margaret T. Ashley, lived in Cambridge and worked for the U.S. Government. Gerald died in August 1944 in Cambridge, MA. All are interred in Mt. Auburn Cemetery, Cambridge, MA. The Towle family owned for 53 years.

The Merrimack Valley National Bank were the trustees of Towle estate in Aug. 22, 1961. The property was sold for $45,000 to architect and developer C. Lincoln Giles on May18, 1962.

C. Lincoln Giles subdivided the property at 10 Porter Road. Individuals bought lots and built homes within the 4 acre site bordered now by Lantern Road, Hidden Road and Alden Road. The carriage house was subdivided from the main house and Giles converted it to the residence at 33 Hidden Rd. This makeover of adaptive reuse was a trademark of Giles.

Giles sold the Towle house to the Hillery Realty Trust, Robert P. & Janet M. Hillery on July 26, 1962. The Hillery Trust held just two years then the property experienced a few short ownerships until purchased by George F. & Phoebe Kwass on Feb. 18, 1966. George Frank Kwass b. Feb. 16, 1933 in Brooklyn, NY, son of Albert & Elsie (Strauss) Kwass. George graduated from Abraham Lincoln High School in Brooklyn in 1950, became a physician and did his internship at Boston City Hospital. George married in 1957 to Phebe Schnure b. June 2, 1935. Kwass had two children; Jeffery b. 1960 and Jill A. b. 1961. George was a medical examiner and in 1980s work at Pathology Associates, Inc. in Lawrence. The property was placed in the Porter Road Realty Trust on Dec. 1, 1992 with Geo. F. & Phoebe Kwass as trustees. The home remained with the Kwass family for 51 years. The property was purchased by Kristin L. Lewis on Oct. 25, 2017.


Essex Northern Registry Deeds, Lawrence, MA
Andover Directories
Andover Maps, 1888, 1906
Plan #1460
Plan #4556 – July 1962 – C. Lincoln Giles
Plan # 5015 – May 1964 - lots A & B

Elizabeth B. Bailey, wife of Samuel H.- land
Margaret Grindell Towle, wife of John - Oct. 8, 1906 - b. 238 p. 249 - parcel 1
Margaret Grindell Towle - May 14, 1909 - b. 542 p. 129 - parcel 2
Margaret Grindell Towle estate died Oct. 22, 1960
Merrimack Valley National Bank, Trustee of Towle estate - Aug. 22, 1961 - Probate
C. Lincoln Giles - May 18, 1962 - b. 958 p. 323 - $45,000
Hillery Realty Trust, Robert P. & Janet M. Hillery – July 26, 1962 – b. 964 p. 51
Allen Discount Company, Inc. Raymond M. Reef, Tres. – Aug. 24, 1964 – b. 1017 p. 133
Norman S. Reef – Aug. 24, 1964 – b. Aug. 24, 1964 – b. 1017 p. 133
R. Lincoln & Janice R. Fuge – Aug. 27, 1964 – b. 1017 p. 136
George F. & Phoebe Kwass – Feb. 18, 1966 – b. 1054 p. 434
Porter Road Realty Trust, Geo. F. & Phoebe Kwass – Dec. 1, 1992 – b. 3610 p. 340
Porter Road Realty Trust, Geo. F. & Phoebe Kwass - Mar. 23. 1994 - b. 4013 p. 308
Porter Road Realty Trust, Geo. F. & Phoebe Kwass – Apr. 29, 1994 – b. 4036 p. 327
Kristin L. Lewis – Oct. 25, 2017 – b. 15272 p. 28

Inventory Data:

StreetPorter Rd
PlacePhillips District
Historic DistrictAndover Historic Building Survey
Historic NameMargaret (Grindell) & John A. Towle House
Present Useresidence
Original Useresidence
Construction Date1907
SourceERDS, NERDL, style,
Architectural StyleCraftsman/Bungalow
Foundationstone & granite
Outbuildings / Secondary Structuresformer garage/carriage house now 33 Hidden Rd. residence 1961
Major Alterations2017 renovations
Acreage1.820 acres
Map and parcel78-38
Recorded byJames S. Batchelder
OrganizationAndover Preservation Commission
Date enteredMarch 28, 2020