12 Central Street
Site of History 🛈The Site of History tag is given to properties that were lost before this building survey was undertaken.

Architectural Description: 

Greek Revival home, gable end to Central St.

Historical Narrative: 

The south end of the current parking lot of Bank of America once held the home of Samuel & Martha L. (Abbot) Gray. Martha Lovejoy Abbot was born Sept 9, 1804, the third child of Capt. Stephen & Hannah (Russell) Abbot. The Abbot home occupied the majority of the parking lot to the north and was considered a Mansion when first built. Martha married on July 12, 1831 to Samuel Gray b. Jan. 30, 1803 in Andover, son of David & Rebecca (Jenkins) Gray.

A portion of the Abbot homestead property was divided off by the Abbot heirs and sold to Samuel Gray on Jan. 27, 1840. The lot was 25' from the Stephen Abbot house and included the barn. Samuel & Martha then built their home. Samuel Gray began his career as a public school teacher in Andover. A 1832 school report lists Samuel Gray at the Abbott Village school on Cuba St. with a $28 salary for teaching. Samuel was hired by the Merrimack Mutual Fire Insurance Company in 1835 as the Secretary and Treasurer, a position he held for forty years. Samuel was elected president on January 19, 1875 which he held until his death on September 29, 1880.

The 1850 Andover Valuation Schedule list the Gray property as: Dwelling house, barn and 1/2 acre lot $1900. 14 acres of undivided half ownership, wood lot $350., 1 house lot $250. and his personal estate 10 Bank Shares $900., 10 Railroad Shares $500 and 3 shares of Chelmsford Company $300. Samuel and Martha had no children but adopted a young girl Margaret Elizabeth b. Feb. 15, 1835. She was baptized at Christ Episcopal Church on Sept. 5, 1841. Sadly Martha died on December 10, 1856. Samuel did not remarry and Margaret would live with her father the remainder of his life.

Oct. 1, 1880 Andover Advertiser - Obit - "Samuel Gray Esq., died a his residence in this place on Wednesday, last, at the age of 77 years 8 months 9 days. In his early life he was a successful teacher in our public schools. In 1835, he was chosen Secretary and Treasurer of the Merrimack Mutual Fire Insurance Company., and continued to hold that position forty years and for the last five has been president. This business of the company was very limited, when he became connected with it, but it has been veryy successful, and greatly increased under his management of its affairs. Mr. Gray was a widower, his wife havinf died about twenty years ago, and he has left an adopted daughter. His last sickness of between seven and eight months duration, was occasioned by an accident, on which reference has heretofore been made, and he bore his suffering with patience and resignation."
Deaths - Gray - In Andover, Sept. 29th, Samuel Gray, Esq. 77y 8m 9d. Funeral services at his late residence, Central street on Sat. Oct. 1, at 2 PM. Samuel and his wife Martha are interred at Christ Church Cemetery.

Margaret E. Gray inherited the property and we find her here in the 1900 census. In 1910 she is living at 12 Ridge St. and most likely rented this house as income property. Margaret Gray died on March 13, 1914 and is interred with her parents in the Gray family lot.

Burton S. Flagg, the Executor of Margarest's estate sold the property on Dec. 28, 1914 to Joseph H. Lowd. Lowd held just three months then selling to Patrick S. McGovern on Mar. 27, 1915. Patrick McGovern owned for five years. The 1920 Andover Valuation lists McGovern's property at 12 Central St. House $2700., barn $200, 9060 sq. ft of land $2000. He is also assessed for a house on Marland St. in Ballardvale. McGovern sold the property on July 12, 1920 to Mugrdich Hosepian and four years later it was purchased by the Andover National Bank on Feb. 19, 1924. The house was rented and appears to have been converted to a duplex. In the Andover Directory in 1943 has Hector M. & Alice Keith listed, as is Hector J. Keith. Both are serving in the US Navy. George & wife Thelma Thompson are also at 12 Central St. George works at the American Woolen Co. Shawsheen Mill.


12 Central Street - Samuel & Martha L. Gray House
Joseph Stevens estate d. Feb. 20, 1803 -
Joseph Stevens, Jr.
Sarah Stevens - Aug. 5, 1811 - b. 194 leaf 188 - $6963.
Stephen Abbot - Aug. 22, 1820 - b. 224 leaf 110 - $3300. four parcels
Stephen Abbot estate, died Oct. 1, 1835 - Probate
Wid. Hannah Abbot estate - died Jan.3, 1840 - Probate
Abbot heirs, Phebe H. & George V. Sibley, Hannah G. & N. Farrington Flint, John Harding, Stephen D. (Abbie D. ) Abbott, John B. (Caroline D) Abbott
Samuel Gray - Jan. 27, 1840 - b. 322 leaf 49 - lot with barn $300
Samuel & Martha L. Gray - Mar. 13, 1839, rec. Jan. 7, 1841 - b. 322 leaf 71
Phebe H. Sibley et alii - Sept 13, 1882 - b. 69 p. 298
Samuel Gray - Apr. 7, 1875 - b.33 p. 180-183 mtg. assign.
Samuel Gray estate, heir Margaret E. - d. Sept. 29, 1880 - Probate
Margret E. Gray - Sept. 11, 1882 - b. 69 p. 293 r/way strip
Central Street – see plan #178 by Horace Hale Smith – July 2, 1914
Margaret E. Gray Estate died March 13, 1914
Margaret E. Gray Estate, Burton S. Flagg, Executor - - Dec. 28, 1914 - b. 350 p175
Joseph H. Lowd - Dec. 28, 1914 - b. 350 p175
Patrick S. McGovern – Mar. 27, 1915 - b. 351 p. 319
Patrick S. McGovern - b. 351 p. 340 – deed correction
Mugrdich Hosepian – July 12, 1920 -b. 428 p. 151
Andover National Bank - – Feb. 19, 1924 - b. 496 p. 225

Inventory Data:

StreetCentral St
PlaceAndover Center District
Historic DistrictCentral Street NRH District
Historic NameSamuel & Martha Gray House
Present UseBank parking lot
Original Useresidence
Construction Date1840's
SourceECRDS, ENRDL, style-njs
Roofasphalt - gable
Outbuildings / Secondary Structuresbarn
Map and parcel55-98
Recorded byJames S. Batchelder
OrganizationAndover Preservation Commission
Date enteredJuly 26, 2017